Wednesday, July 2, 2014

More Parables About The Kingdom

Matthew 13:36-53

“Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.” (Matthew 13:36)

The unbelieving multitude simply accepted Jesus’ story as an interesting story.  His disciples recognized it as having greater meaning and asked Jesus to explain it.   In teaching today, those who have little or no interest still find stories interesting while those who are interested want to know more. 

“He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:37-43)

When first created all the plants were good for food according to Genesis 1:29, but as a result of sin, some became what we call weeds in Genesis 3:18.   In the same way all men were created by God and in that sense are sons of God, but sin has corrupted many and they now follow Satan.  As Jesus explains these are the tares. 

The harvest is the end of the world, when God comes back to claim those that his.  As Jesus explains, all those who follow Satan will be cast into everlasting fire, where they never die.  Those who belong to God will live with him in the heavenly kingdom.   Contrary to what many believe, Jesus said there will be a definite separation between the two groups.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” (Matthew 13:44-46)

If a person believed the value of a buried treasure was large enough and was sure where it was, he might well give everything he owned to insure that no one else could claim it, selling everything he owned to buy the land.   Another person might do the same thing to obtain a valuable pearl or diamond, convinced that they will prove far more valuable than what he presently has.  Other people will think it foolish to pay so much because they don’t consider ti worth that much. 

If a person considers salvation and eternal life that valuable he will be willing to give whatever he has to get it.  In Luke 14:33, Jesus said anyone who was not willing to do so could not be saved.  “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”  Only those who recognize the value will be willing to do what is required.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:47-50)

A net catches everything within the area it encloses including trash and undesirable fish.  When it is emptied, the good fish are cared for and saved while the trash and undesirable fish are disposed of.  Jesus reiterates that at the end of the world there will be a sorting process, and those who are not acceptable will be cast into everlasting fire. 

“Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things?

 They say unto him, Yea, Lord.

Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” (Matthew 13:51-52)

Jesus then asked the disciples if they understood what he was telling them and they said they did.  He concluded by saying a person who really understood about the kingdom of heaven, about the Christian life would be like a person with a rich treasure.  When he goes in and checks it out, he not only finds things he had forgotten or didn’t know he had, but he also is able to enjoy the things he knew about.   A person who really understands what Christianity is will constantly find new and exciting things as well as being blessed by the old things he has learned in the past.

“And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.” (Matthew 13:53) 

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