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Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:
PARABLES ON KINGDOM MYSTERIES

Today we start looking at Jesus presenting some parables to those who were around him. In these times coming closer to the end times we do find lots of people who claim that they do not have to do any works any more because they are saved. For them it is clear that we do not have to do anything any more because (according to them) by the death of Christ all sins are forgiven, so it does not matter any more if we do some sins.

This thirteenth chapter for some Americans  bearing a number that brings misfortune, may bring bad luck in the end of their life, because they did not want to see that they still had to do a lot of work to make sure to go through the small gate of the Kingdom of God.

The followers and disciples of the Nazarene master teacher wondered why this eloquent rabbi so many times told stories which where not always so clear or were in a form of a parable. When the talmidim asked their master why he used stories to teach the people and spoke to them in parables, Jesus answered,

“You have been chosen [L It has been granted/given to you] to know [understand] the secrets [mysteries] about the kingdom of heaven, but others cannot know these secrets [L it has not been given/granted to those others].

With such a remark you may question who might be chosen to get to know those secrets Jesus was talking about. We must know that Jesus was sent by his heavenly Father to bring the Good News of the Kingdom of God. That Only One True God gave the whole world His son. He was not for just a few. But it is up to all people to come to recognise the sent one from God and to accept him as the sent one from God and as the son of God. Depending on what people want to believe and who they want to follow they shall either be able to receive insight and come to understanding, or as Jesus warns those around him, when they prefer to hold fast on human traditions and human teachings instead of Scriptural teachings they will not be able to see clear, because first of all those human dogma‘s make it often very confusing for people or trick them in the wrong teachings. The apostle Matthew tells us in the previous and this chapter that we should open our ears and eyes and come to see the one who God has sent, so that by listening to the words of the master (instead of those of so called theologians) God shall see the heart of each individual and let His calling ripen so that understanding will be given more, and they will have all they need [an abundance]. But those who keep doubting or do not accept that Jesus is the sent one from God shall have more difficulties to understand what is said. Those who close their heart for God and His sent one shall receive not so much understanding. We are even warned it can be worse, namely that even the knowledge or understanding they have will be taken away from them. This is why Jeshua (Jesus Christ) uses stories to teach the people [L speak in parables]: because we might see a lot of people who look, but do not really want to see and to perceive.

Today we do find lots of godless people, but also lots of people who call themselves Christian, but do not adhere the teachings of Jesus Christ, neither do they worship the God of this Nazarene master teacher from the tribe of David. Jeshua, being born in a devout Jewish family (Essene family) worshipped the Only One True God Who is One and not three. He also wanted people around him to come to know that One God of Israel. He too could see that lots of people loved human traditions and preferred to keep to the words of philosophers and people who worked in the temples, but had introduced own findings in their teachings instead of keeping to the Torah.

Those people who liked those in charge of the temple and loved what they wanted to hear instead of loving what the Torah really said are exactly the same as the ones who today hang on the lips of the clergy but do not read the Bible or Word of God. They hear, but they don’t really hear or understand. So we can see how the things Isaiah said in his prophecy were already fulfilled in Christ’s days, but still count for today too.

In these present times we also see lots of people who have taken them their own idols and gods and who are drifting about from one sort idea or hype to an other. They might sometimes listen with half an ear or go from one group to an other to listen and to keep on hearing or listen intently, but they will not understand.

We should listen to Jesus carefully and take care that we shall not become some one he could see around him who was looking but not seeing. Let us make sure that we look intently and have ears for what Jesus as son of God and authorised person of God has to tell us. Let us make sure that we come to hear, see and learn to perceive and comprehend.

We should not mind what others do find about our belief. Believing in only One God shall not be liked by many. Those who follow Jesus as their brother and not as their god shall receive a lot of opposition. Many shall try to thwart those who accept Jesus as the son and do not take him as their god. For the minds [hearts] of these people have become stubborn [dull; calloused; hardened] and we should know that they do not [hardly] hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears. They might really understand in their minds [with their hearts] and come back [turn; return] to Jesus and be healed, because the God of Israel is a God of order and God of clarity, loving His children and prepared to receive them back, when they where gone. But the world shall have to know that good and evil shall become separated. It is totally wrong to think that all people would come into heaven or into the Kingdom of God. Therefore Jesus gives us all those stories or parables so that we shall come to see and understand that we should be working at ourselves and have to be building ourself up in good soil, so that we can grow properly and become fruitful.

In Mark and Luke (Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37) we learn that people were astonished at Jesus his teaching because his message had authority. We may not forget that this authority came from his heavenly Father, Jehovah God. Those who were given to him to listen to him he told about the Law (Matthew 5:17-20) of which Jesus did not come to abolish this or the Prophets, like those who say we do not need to do works believe. They forget that Jesus came to fulfil those writings and to make clear what we should or should not. In the fifteenth chapter we shall come to hear Jesus talking about purity and hear his warning against false teachings. In chapter 18 comes then the parable of the person who cannot forgive. Luke gives us the parable of the good Samaritan and is not afraid to show how Jesus criticises the religious leaders and tells the story of the rich fool, like we may encounter many (Luke 12:13-21).

Too many people do forget that they have to prepare themselves for the return of Christ (Luke 12:35-48). Too many people do forget what it means to walk on the right path, which is only a narrow road and that all people shall have to make their own choice and should make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because Jesus tells us that many will try to enter and won’t be able. And that is a recurring idea in the teachings of Christ.  (Luke 13:22-30)

It is not because Matthew does not tell about the parable of the lost coin, showing the importance to repent (a work to be done) (Luke 15:8-10) or the lost son (Luke 15:11-32) (to return to the Father) or about the dishonest manager (Luke 16:1-18) that we must not pay attention to the stories and warnings not told by Matthew.

To come to know the secret of the kingdom of God which has been given to the apostles we should learn from all those parables, not forgetting to look for willing to understand and to perceive.

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Preceding

True God giving His Word for getting wisdom

Daily portion of heavenly food

From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah

Matthew 11– Intro to The Nazarene’s Commentary: Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities

Matthew 12:46-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Family of Messiah

False teachers and false prophets still around

Christians having the right heart to call others to go to God

Sharing the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge

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Additional reading

  1. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  2. Blindness in the Christian world
  3. Fog, brass and light for the eyes
  4. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  5. Coming to understanding from sayings written long ago
  6. the Bible – God’s guide for life #9 Gospels not only place to find ‘the mind which was in Christ’
  7. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  8. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  9. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  10. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  11. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  12. Hearing words to accept
  13. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  14. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8Missional hermeneutics 2/5What is a Christian?
  15. Only six of ten commandments of God still important to British Christians
  16. Not being saved by faith in Christ alone
  17. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith
  18. Two states of existence before God
  19. Sanctification and How To Pursue It
  20. Responsibility bigger than those who talk about worldly matters
  21. Thought for those who think it is not necessary to do any works any more
  22. Today’s thought “Blessed people …” (July 27)
  23. Knowing The Truth and Loving The Truth
  24. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  25. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  26. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  27. At the end of your life

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Related reading
  1. Jesus Didn’t Tell Parables for the Reason You Think
  2. Are You Teaching Your Kids About the Parables of Jesus?
  3. Of Sheep and Parables
  4. It stopped with them Only Listening
  5. Deceiving Yourself
  6. Kingdom of God
  7. ​ Which one are you?
  8. “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?” ~Jesus
  9. What Jesus Said
  10. “Thou Lovest Righteousness and Hatest Wickedness”
  11. what we see often depends on how we look
  12. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” ~Jesus
  13. Unlearning to Learn
  14. Fruitful Living
  15. The Kingdom of God is like a Farmer Growing Crops
  16. Four Prayers Based on the Parable of the Soil-Sower (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8)
  17. “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them.” ~Jesus
  18. Matthew 13丨C. H. Spurgeon
  19. Matthew 13丨John Calvin
  20. When God is Important to Us, We Find Joy
  21. Upside Down Kingdom Parables: No Cost Too Great
  22. Choose the Giver over the gift.
  23. Upside Down Kingdom Parables: Wheat and Weeds (pt. 1)
  24. Listen
  25. Don’t Be Surprised By Gospel Rejection
  26. AW Pink (1886-1952): The Prophetic Parables (p1)
  27. Cultivating Your Heart for a Spiritual Harvest
  28. God’s Kingdom: the Word
  29. Matthew 15: Watch your mouth
  30. Understanding Parables
  31. Trained By The Rabbi
  32. Matthew 25:1-13 ESVThe World as the Field

Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief

Luke 1:18-22 – Struck Dumb For Disbelief

LK1:18 Now Zechariah said to the angel: “How can I be sure of this?[1] For I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”[2] LK1:19 Then the angel answered him: “I am Gabriel[3] who stands in the very presence of The God![4] I was sent to speak with you and to bring you this good news. LK1:20 Now, look, you will be unable to speak or say anything until that day when these matters will be fulfilled, because you did not believe my words that will come to completion at the proper time.” LK1:21 Now outside the worshippers waited for Zechariah and began to wonder because he was taking so long in the temple.[5] LK1:22 And when he did come out he was unable to speak to them – and as a result the people realized that he had seen a vision in the temple – because he could only gesture to them though he remained speechless.


[1] How can I be sure of this: For this question the angel strikes the priest dumb.

[2] For I am an old man and my wife is well along in years: An echo of Abraham and Sarah. The Levitical priestly assistants had to retire at the age of 50 while the Aaronic priesthood could serve throughout their lives.

[3] I am Gabriel: The angel of Daniel 9. His name means “God’s Able One.”

[4] Who stands in the very presence of The God: This may suggest that not all angels serve in God’s Presence.

[5] He was taking so long in the temple: The service with prayers took about thirty minutes.

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Preceding:

The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression

Nazarene Commentary to A Factual and Logical Statement

Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth

Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest

Next:

Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant

Nazarene Commentary to Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary

Nazarene Commentary to Mary Visits Elizabeth

Nazarene Commentary to Mary Magnifies God

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Duccio angel gabriel

Duccio angel gabriel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Mary Did You Know? (devotionsinmotion.wordpress.com)
    Six months after Zechariah and Elizabeth conceived, the angel Gabriel came back to earth and appeared to a young girl named Mary.  She lived in Nazareth and was betrothed to a young man named Joseph.  Gabriel spoke to Mary, saying, “Greetings O favored one, the Lord is with you.”  God’s messenger told Mary not to be afraid.  He immediately launched into the message sent from God.  She was going to conceive and bear God’s only begotten Son.
  • Deafening Silence (ubicrux.com)
    Nine months. Can you imagine being unable to speak for nine months? Especially when your whole life’s purpose — in Zechariah’s case, his Temple duties — required you to speak? Why did God eliminate Zechariah’s ability to speak for so long? I think it’s because God understood that Zechariah needed a “time out.” Zechariah seemed like he had everything in order. He was a priest, a righteous man, a good man. But underneath, Zechariah had a certain hardness of heart that even he did not recognize. When his lifelong prayer was finally answered, he did not react with happiness but with incredulity that God answered the prayer in His way, and not in Zechariah’s way.
  • Advent Figures: Zechariah (encourageandteach.wordpress.com)
    His question demands that God fulfill our requirements, meet our standards. It puts God on trial. This is what it means to disbelieve: to reject the messengers God sends us, to insist that God meet our demands. Rather than bow down before the divine messenger and conform his mind to the message, Zechariah demands that God conform Himself to his earthly way of thinking.And the punishment fits the crime – because if we do not believe, we have nothing to say. Nothing, certainly, in the sense of having no supernatural view, no divine voice to bring to a world turned in on itself. But disbelief makes us mute also in the sense that once we cut ourselves off from the divine message we become a mystery to ourselves. We can no longer speak coherently about who we are and why we exist. In the words of Vatican II, “When God is forgotten, the creature itself grows unintelligible.”

    And so for us in a culture of disbelief, Zechariah is an apt figure. The modern world has heard and rejected God’s messenger – not an angel but Christ Himself speaking through His Body, the Church. And having rejected faith we now know little about ourselves and our purpose.

  • 19th December, Gospel Reading (Luke 1:5-25) (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
    Listen! Since you have not believed my words, which will come true at their appointed time, you will be silenced and have no power of speech until this has happened.
  • God Answers Prayers We Have Given Up On (ckisler.wordpress.com)
    When do you think Zechariah and Elizabeth had given up hope for a child of their own? When do you think their last prayer for a child was uttered or even fleetingly crossed their minds with any genuine hope of conception.

    And Yet, Gabriel clearly told Zechariah, “your prayer has been heard.”

  • Celebrate Week 2 (gracenazarene.org)
    As we walk in the light that God gives us, we are growing in the Lord and in obedience.  Everyday God gives us new instruction as He guides us along the way.  He shines His light in the dark so we can follow the path that He has for us.  And the more we walk in the light, the closer we are drawn to Him.  What a great reminder this Advent season that the Christ Child came to be a light in the darkness and His blood that was shed for us not only cleanses us from sin but keeps on cleansing us as we walk in obedience.
  • Clean and Clear (gracenazarene.org)
    Remember our definition for envy is resenting God’s goodness in others’ lives, while simply ignoring God’s goodness in our own lives.  Resenting His blessings in others, while ignoring His blessings in our own lives.

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