Faith of Jesus Daily Devotional - Day 52
Matthew:13:1-23 The Parable of the Sower
Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:12:46-50 Jesus' Mother and Brothers
What is God doing?
"And he spake many things unto them in parables"
We begin a series of parable teachings here in chapter thirteen. (see: dict:all parable )
"It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given"
The parable is a device employed to sort the seeker from those that are not. Those who are truly seeking to know the things of heaven as only Jesus can reveal will be shown and will thus find. Those who are not seeking (not as only Jesus can reveal) will manufacture the meaning of the parable into whatever they want it to men and will refuse being shown and thus not find. The straight teaching of Jesus as exemplified in the Sermon on the Mount and elsewhere is not being received largely because it is exposing things about the heart that man does not want to know or have made known. As time closes is in on Jesus' time with the disciples, the need for illustrating the greater things of heaven to them becomes more urgent. They are not going to fully understand the meaning of each parable until Jesus dies and is risen, ascended and the Holy Spirit takes the lead in the hearts of the truly seeking believer in all that Jesus has revealed Himself to be and to have done for them.
"For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath"
We must ask, what is it that is so hard to understand about this first parable? Well it appears by this statement that there may indeed be some initial type of understanding, the problem it seems is where that initial understanding then leads. One view the opportunity for it to develop into something fruitful is completely snatched away. Another view leads not much further as it has little chance of standing against the pressures coming against it. Another view takes the opportunity a little further getting past the pressures against it, but failing to keep it going falling to the cares and riches of this life. Only one view makes it to a fully developed and fruitful outcome.
We know that for all of this time God has been wanting for us to know this information. HE has planted many a seed in the history of man previous to us. If it was up to just having an understanding of some key additional information to transform us that information likely would have taken root somehow long ago and have become a fruit bearing well developed plant that we would already be partaking of; if it were only that. It is not simply information however that produces this product, it is first and foremost a person, a person that a great many as of yet are unwilling to seek out and accept.
What is man doing?
"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables"?
I think we have begun to understand why Jesus would be doing this. Let us know ask why the disciples would be asking this. Notice that in forming the question that they did not ask why speakest thou unto "us". It is "them" that they are considering the object of to whom Jesus is speaking to as if they already understand these things. Do they? Jesus responds "unto you it is given" not in the past tense, but in the continuous present/future. We already have a problem, the disciples are not presently seeking any further understanding and devlopment other than what they already think that they've got.
"Because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand"
It is not that man is not seeing, it is that he sees not. What he sees and hears he understands not. His sight is not on the long term development of a revealed form of understanding that first must overcome the external pressures against it as well as the internal corruptions commingled alongside it within, this only if it is received and not snatched away to begin with.
"For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed"
It is obvious that anything being sent the Pharisees' way is being snatched before even hitting the ground. They will have nothing to do with any revealed/developed understanding from Jesus. Then there are those who want to hear more of Jesus, but at the same time do not wish to stand against anything that the Pharisees are saying or doing against Jesus as well. There are those like the rich young ruler that can get past all of that, yet can't get past the physical gain and possessions and respect he has obtained (inherited perhaps) that would likely have to be forfeited by bucking against the established power structure from which he received it. Then at last there are the disciples whom God has chosen, who don't know it yet that Jesus is already making for an understanding of the heavenly things, who at this time preceding His death is driving them emptying of everything that they though they understood and everything internal and external that might come up against that, preparing them for the work of the Holy Spirit.
"Many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them"
It has not been able to be done before because the process yet lacked the person. Many seeds have been planted. Some of these seeds back then will help us to determine the new seeds now being tossed about in the person of Jesus. Some had received the first revelations while God was establishing mans' desperate need for Christ, saints now know such desperate need are seeking the fuller revelation and strenuous development of it out in Christ.
What does this passage tell us about the about the commands and faith of Jesus that saints are to keep/guard?
"Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower"
What do you think that it means?
Next: devotion:Matthew:13:24-30 The Parable of the Weeds