QT 15/01/2024 Monday Matthew 13. Be the good soil. 做那好土

QT 15/01/2024 Monday Matthew 13. Be the good soil. 做那好土

QT 15/01/2024 Monday Matthew 13

Once again, Matthew cited Isaiah, Matt 6:9-10 this time. He argues that Jesus is the Messiah. But how could have Jesus' parables "fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah" (Matt 13:14)?

The parable of the sower in Matt 13 reveals the hardened heart conditions of the hearers. Only the "good soil" produced a crop. The other three kinds of soils yielded distinguishing results :-

Seeds on the path - those who DO NOT UNDERSTAND (Matt 13:19) and consequently, allowing the devil to take away the potential for life in the seed;

Seeds on rocky places - those who receive and rejoice initially but have NO ROOT, allowing the trouble or persecution that comes because of the word to overcome it (Matt 13:20-21);

Seeds on thorns - those who allow worries of this life and the failure to detect the deceitfulness of riches (Matt 13:22) to CHOKE them.

Isaiah 6:9-10 (the context of which is around 8th Century B.C.) is very serious, because Isaiah's ministry was to harden hearts so that his warning becomes the "final straw" after which God would "finish" the rebellious Israelites off.

Simultaneously, God's righteousness would be vindicated, i.e., He was "right" to exile His own people (one of the most severe forms of punishment for rebellion and unrepentance).

Hosea, Isaiah, Amos and Micah were sent to the Israelites but they refused to listen. Destruction and exile inevitably followed.

Jesus' parable to the Jews would also reveal the heart conditions of the listeners. We know from history that the Jews rejected Jesus and about 30+ years later, Rome utterly destroyed the Jerusalem temple (about A.D. 70).

If you go to Jerusalem today at the Temple Mount, and ascend the steps onto the foundation/platform where the temple used to stand, you would understand how utterly the temple was destroyed.

APPLICATION (1): Be the good soil that "hears" and "understands", producing abundant harvests (Matt 13:23). Do not be the "weeds" (Matt 13:24-30) but have faith like the mustard seeds (Matt 13:31-35).

APPLICATION (2): Treat the kingdom of heaven like treasure, exchanging YOUR ALL for it (Matt 13:44-46). However, the true followers of Jesus would only be revealed ultimately "at the end of the age" (Matt 13:49), so beware.

星期一 2024年1月15日 今日读经:马太福音13章