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Well-known Bible teacher and Grace to You host John MacArthur spends some time with Kurt Goff. They talk about leadership and how to live an uncompromising life for Christ in a world where "tolerence" is the ultimate virtue.
Every parable has a particular message that is being communicated. As well, every parable is designed to reveal truth to believers while, at the same time, concealing that truth to unbelievers. What is the lesson from this parable? It is help believers understand that not all hearing leads to spiritual life. There are four soils and only one soil produces the fruit that is characteristic of real life.
Today we’ll start looking at the parables of Matthew 13. They are an important part of Jesus’ teaching ministry and Matthew’s message, but they are not easily understood. Jesus and his teaching are an enigma because he is not understood by most of those who hear him. He talks about the kingdom of heaven and many wonder where this kingdom is. And he frequently uses parables as a teaching device which often leaves people either angry or scratching their heads as to what he is saying. But this is all part of Jesus’ plan in revealing himself, and Matthew places this teaching here for a reason.
Matthew 12 introduces us to a growing conflict between Jesus and the religious rulers. Jesus is attracting large crowds, and he is challenging the status-quo of the religious establishment. He declares that he is Lord of the Sabbath (12:8), breaks the traditional rules by healing on the Sabbath (12:13), accuses the religious leaders of committing an unforgivable sin (12:32), and asserts that the real problem is the evil that is in their hearts (12:34).
Matthew 12:33-37 could really be seen as an extension of Jesus teaching on the one unforgivable sin. And Jesus does here what he so often does – he aims for the heart. In other words, he presses the Pharisees beyond just the reality of the one unforgivable sin. He shows them (and us) that the real problem is not just the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit; the real problem is their hearts. Their words reveal their hearts or to use our title they were “betrayed by words from the heart.”
Because God has dispenses divine mercy to us, we should dispense mercy to others.
Paul writes these two chapters in order to help the people in Corinth think correctly about their commitment. In other words, Paul used the prospect of a future offering to talk about the priority of biblical generosity. Last week we looked at four principles that were drawn out of 2 Corinthians 8. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to give you a total of 20. This morning I want to show you five additional observations that help us understand the beauty of biblical generosity.
Matthew gives us 12:1-20 as a clear statement as to how off the religious crowd really was, and he gives it as a warning: Don’t be oblivious to the spiritually obvious. There are three lessons in the text regarding things that we should be careful not to miss.
Our passage for this morning introduces this section by showing us a portrait of Jesus as the promised messiah who doesn’t meet the expectations of the people. He is not widely accepted or embraced. And the main reason that he is not recognized as the Messiah is because of people’s expectations. In other words, their expectations led to unbelief.