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Sunday December 6th 2009
Matthew 13 Parables Part Two
Setting the Context - Continued
1). Mt 13:1 ? On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables,
a). As we saw last week Christ speaking ?many things to them in parables? marks a significant change in His earthly ministry. And because this change is so significant it is imperative that we understand the context in which it happens so that we might correctly understand that which is taught in the parables.
b). Now we saw in Isaiah that God had said - Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,'
c). And in this we will see a direct connection with that which the Lord says about the parables themselves - Mt 13:34 All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, 35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: "I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world."
d). These parables then have to do with the end declared from the beginning and those things declared from ancient times that are not yet done, things that have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. Information that is vital to us in setting the correct context.
e). And as we saw last week the parables? broader context has to do with God?s plans and purposes by and for His Son, with regards to rulership over the earth; plans and purposes that are found within a timeframe of 6 days of work followed by a 7th day of rest ? that which is the very foundation of all scripture as presented in Genesis 1:1.
f). We also saw that God?s plans and purposes by and for His Son included Man ? a created being brought into existence from the dust of the newly restored earth to replace the present ruler of this world, Satan - Ge 1:26 ? Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion??
g). And that Man would ultimately rule with Christ in the 7th Day, the Day of the Lord, the Millennial Kingdom - Re 19:7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give
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Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
h). Re 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
i). We had seen how the promise of the establishment of Christ?s Kingdom, which would be realized in the 7th Day, was given in the Seed of the Woman in Genesis 3:15 and how the foundational type of the Seed of the Woman was Seth; the substitute who replaced the murdered Abel.
j). As we then followed the lineage of Seth it became clear that God?s dealings with Man are in no sense arbitrary, but rather are precise and exact. From Seth we came to Enoch and Noah and then to Shem and from Shem on to the father of faith, Abraham.
k). And it was to Abraham and his descendants that God gave the promises concerning the earthly and the heavenly realms of the Kingdom ?
Ge 22:17 "blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.
l). From Abraham we come to Isaac and Jacob and Jacob?s 12 sons ? those who are the nation of Israel ? the only ones in possession of the promises as the descendants of Abraham.
m). And it was to David, the one who replaced Israel?s first king, Saul, that God gives a further promise concerning the Seed of the Woman - 2Sa 7:12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
14 "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.15 "But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you.16 "And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever."'"
n). So, what might we learn from all of this? That God has chosen to work through one particular lineage within the human race to bring about the completion of His plans and purposes for the rulership of the earth and through this lineage His blessings will be imparted on all. And we may know for sure that all He has purposed will be accomplished.
o). And finally, at the end of last week, we had followed the prophetic thread to the time of the nativity, and it is here that we shall continue.
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2). Now as we said last week the woman through whom Christ would be born was not a random choice, but a woman who would have a direct link, through David to the original type of the seed of the woman ? Seth.
a). And in respect of Mary this is exactly what we find.
b). In the genealogy presented in Luke Chapter 3 we see Mary?s lineage through her father, Heli, Joseph?s father-in-law.
c). As we read the scripture we will see the phrase ?as was supposed?, and in the Greek language this refers to something that is perceived to be so according to the law.
d). Jesus, as was supposed, according to law, was the Son of Joseph, and Joseph, according to law, was the son, the son-in-law of Heli, Mary?s father.
e). Lu 3:23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, 27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
f). Jesus? blood line then can be traced all the way back to Adam through David, Abraham, Shem, and Seth. He being the fulfillment of the type of the seed of the woman pictured in Seth.
g). We see Mary?s ancestry coming through David?s son Nathan making Jesus a literal descendant of David, of David?s own bloodline just as God had promised in 2 Samuel 7 and Ps 132:11 ? The LORD has sworn in truth to David; He will not turn from it: "I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body.
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3). Not only that, but Christ?s right to David?s throne comes to Him, according to the law, through David?s son Solomon ? not just because He is God.
a). Remember, that according to law Jesus was considered the legal Son of Joseph.
b). So note Joseph?s lineage as presented in Matthew - Mt 1:1 ? The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: 2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. 4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. 5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. 7 Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. 8 Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. 9 Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. 11 Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. 12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. 14 Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. 15 Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. 16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.
c). So Jesus, at His birth was the literal descendant of David through His mother, with a legal right to David?s throne through Solomon via his father by law ? Joseph - Mt 2:2 saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?
d). And because His biological Father, so to speak, is God the Father He was born without sin in the image of God - Col 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
e). And although our genealogy in Matthew does not take us that far back we would realize that from Abraham, Joseph?s lineage will also go back to Adam through Shem and Seth.
4). And I guess we may not have considered this before, but it was absolutely necessary for Joseph to take legal responsibility for Mary and Jesus so that the legal right to David?s throne would be established.
a). This is considerably more than an interesting detail, within the framework that God had established, this was absolutely necessary.
b). And what is so incredible is the way Joseph?s decision to take Mary as his wife is recorded in Matthew?s gospel - Mt 1:20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,
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"Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,
c). The echo of Adam and the Woman is too loud to ignore.
d). Just as Adam cleaving to his wife results in the seed of the woman typified in Seth with the promise of redemption, so Joseph cleaving to Mary makes possible the fulfillment of the type in the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who would be the promised Redeemer.
5). Now with all this background in mind listen to the words the angel speaks to Mary - Lu 1:30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." 34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" 35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God??..38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
a). Do you see where the angel takes Mary? ? to the scriptures, to that which God had already said through His servants the prophets. And we may suppose I think that Mary was not in ignorance of her ancestry, nor indeed of that of Joseph. She knew that what the angel said was possible, because she knew who her bloodline led back to. And we might also suppose that she knew exactly what God had said to David recorded in 2 Samuel 7. She had absolute faith that God would be faithful to His promises.
b). And having accepted, by faith, that which the angel had said, listen to the words Mary speaks concerning this when she arrives at her cousin Elizabeth?s house in the hill country of Judea - Lu 1:41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 "But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 "For indeed, as
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soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 "Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord." 46 And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. 49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. 50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. 54 He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, 55 As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever."
c). And of course notice where she ends ? the promises made to Abraham and his seed ? forever ? promises concerning rulership from the heavens and rulership on the earth - Ge 22:17 "blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven[the Kingdom of the heavens] and as the sand which is on the seashore[the earthly portion of the Kingdom]; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies[the promise of rulership]. 18 "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
d). And again ? notice the words of Zacharias after the birth of John the Baptist - Lu 1:67 ? Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: 68 "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, 70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who have been since the world began, 71 That we should be saved from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us, 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant, 73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: 74 To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
e). And in microcosm here we again see God declaring the end from the beginning, with Zacharias declaring things that are not yet done as though they are. Before Jesus is born he is speaking of the final outcome of the establishment of His Kingdom.
e). There is no doubt as to who Jesus is. And it is interesting to note, especially with regard to what is recorded here of Mary and Zacharias, that they both have absolute certainty because of that which is said in the scriptures.
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f). We will note I hope that they knew the scriptures well enough to understand exactly what was going on and what the outcome of these events would be. It is not in the evening news but in the pages of scripture that we find the truth of what is happening in the world. And if we know the scriptures well enough, the future, no matter what it looks like in the natural, will hold no fear for us.
6). We may also be encouraged that in the midst of Israel?s seeming indifference to the times at Christ?s first advent, there was a remnant of those who waited for and looked for the fulfillment of scripture, who would take God at His word and then organize their lives accordingly - Lu 2:25 ? And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: 29 "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation 31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."
a). Lu 2:36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity;37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
b). Just as it was at Kadesh Barnea with Caleb and Joshua, so it is here with Simeon and Anna, so it would be with the 120 in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost, and so it is now with respect to the eternally saved of this dispensation, all Christians, who will have ears to hear.
7). So we can see here with the birth of Jesus the precise outworking of the prophetic thread that is woven throughout scripture. His birth is exact in terms of timing - Ga 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman,
a). In terms of location - Mt 2:6 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.'"
b). And as we have seen through Mary and Joseph, precise in terms of genealogy.
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c). All according to the scriptures.
d). This was a day and an hour set before the foundation of the world, ordained before the ages, and declared by the prophets since the world began, when God would take on the fragile frame of a man, stepping out of eternity into time to bring about redemption - according to the scriptures.
8). And Christ?s advent of necessity has a particular focus which was first stated by John the Baptist and then repeated by Christ when John was imprisoned and continued by the 12 and the 70 - Mt 3:1 ? In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
a). Mt 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
b). Mt 10:5 ? These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 "And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
c). And the message was for one particular people - Mt 15:24 But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
d). The earthly portion of the Kingdom had already been unconditionally covenanted to the physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob via David the King. It is to Abraham and his seed alone that the promises have been given and so there were no other people on the earth to whom Christ could come in respect of these promises. Only now there was no deliverance from one earthly land to another on offer, but a deliverance from the earth to a heavenly land.
e). And here in our scriptures is the Son of David, the One who is God?s own Son prophesied in 2 Samuel 7, the One who is born, ?King of the Jews? coming to offer to Israel, who are an eternally redeemed people through their faith in God?s provision for sin, death and shed blood, the only ones who could receive this offer, the heavenly portion of the Kingdom ? the Kingdom of the heavens - rulership from the heavens over the earth - which has the condition of national repentance. A repentance that has nothing to do with eternal salvation, but a repentance to do with their long history of disobedience and unfaithfulness ? a turning away from, a change of mind with respect to, their sin and spiritual harlotry, their unbelief and disobedience.
9). Israel?s religious leaders however, in a parallel situation to that at Kadesh Barnea, reject the King and His offered Kingdom and persuade the people to follow their example, and it is following a terminal point in this ongoing rejection that Christ leaves the house and goes by the sea and begins speaking in parables.
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a). What God has planned and purposed from the foundation of the world by and for His Son, who is the Seed of the Woman ? rulership in the place of Satan will be accomplished.
b). Mt 21:42 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD'S doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes'? 43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God[literally the Kingdom of the heavens] will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
c). It is this ?nation? in relation to bearing fruit for the Kingdom of the heavens, a nation other than the physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, that is the subject of our parables.
d). But this new nation must be the seed of Abraham, as it is only to Abraham and his seed that the promises have been given. And so it is through the new creation in Christ that this nation comes into existence. It is exactly as we see in - Ga 3:29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
e). Christ is a Jew, a literal seed of Abraham and our positional standing in Him through faith makes us the seed of Abraham also with access to the same promises.
f). And so the Matthew 13 parables deal exclusively with this nation, the new creation in Christ even before this new creation has even taken place. And again, as we will see, these parables themselves declare the end from the beginning as they present to us the complete dispensational history of the Church. This creation of the new nation and the parables that speak prophetically of it must then be seen within the overall context of God?s plans and purposes for Man, by and for His Son, with respect to the rulership of the earth.
g). There is no other way that they can be properly understood.