Read Matthew 13
Powerful lessons in today's Bible reading. The Word of God is the seed. We're just told to plant and let it grow. God provides the fruit (Matt. 13:1-23). Mustard seed, yeast, and hidden treasure. The pearl of great price can be yours (13:45-46). Jesus miraculously feeds 5,000 when there is no food (14:13-21) and walks on water (14:25-27).
In the first parable of Jesus that Matthew recorded, Jesus described four kinds of responses from those who hear His Word. The true disciple of Christ is represented by the good ground that received seed, which in turn brings forth fruit even to an hundredfold (Matt. 13:8-23). His second parable was of tares (weeds) that grew in the same field with wheat but could not produce fruit (13:24-30).
The tares look identical to wheat as they grow. In its young stages, only the expert can tell the difference. But, when these weeds reach maturity there is no head, exposing its lack of value. In this parable, the Master said: Let both grow together until the harvest (13:30). Jesus explained that the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom (13:38).
The tares represent those who outwardly appear to be converts to Christ, but who have never truly received Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives. They may join the church, give their tithes, and deceive members of the church, but not Christ. It may seem startling to read that the Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all . . . which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth (13:41-42).
No one expects to be hurled into outer darkness (8:12) and torment in a lake of fire (Rev. 20:15) where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 8:12) forever. But, Jesus warned: Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few . . . find it (Matt. 7:14). The next thing Jesus said: Beware of false prophets (7:15).
These few have characteristics that are not true of the majority of people. They recognized that they were sinners and needed a Savior, and they asked the Lord to forgive them of their sins, and to make Him the Lord of their lives. They love to worship the Lord on the Lord's day.
To believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and . . . be saved (Acts 16:31), means much more than a mental assent to the fact — it's their way of life. They continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, which ye have heard (Col. 1:23).
Thought for Today:
They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Gal. 5:24).
13:5 forthwith; 13:15 is waxed gross as grown hardened; 13:20 anon . . . receiveth it immediately accepts it; 13:21 dureth for a while continues only a short time; 13:25 tares seeds — symbolic of satanic activities; 13:33 leaven insignificant yeast that affects the whole; meal around grain; 14:8 charger large platter.
For Matt. 13:14-15: See Is. 6:9-10. Matt. 13:32: See Ps. 104:12; Ezek. 17:23; 31:6; Dan. 4:12. Matt. 13:35: See Ps. 78:2. Matt. 13:41: See Zeph. 1:3. Matt. 13:43: See Dan. 12:3.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Helen Porter • Staff: Jennifer Cunningham • Government Officials: Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX), Rep. Brian Higgins (NY), Rep. Steve Scalise (LA) • Country: Comoros (563,000) in the Mozambique Channel of the Indian Ocean • Major languages: Shaafi Islam (Swahili dialect) and Malagasy • Limited religious freedom • 99.7% Muslim; .2% Roman Catholic/Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Encourage others to praise the Lord throughout the day (Ps. 67:5).
Memory Verse for the Week: James 5