Day 242 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue in Matthew. Here is the video overview for the rest of Matthew.
Video – Read Scripture: Matthew 14-28
How does this video help you understand Matthew better?
Matthew 13 – In these eight parables Jesus describes both the hidden nature of the kingdom of God in the present and the mixed response of people who hear about it. The final chapter in God’s plan to restore the universe to what it should be after the destruction of sin (17:11) has started in a way so small and seemingly insignificant that many people pay no attention to it or reject it. Like the seed that a farmer sows, a small amount of leaven, a buried or hidden treasure, or an elusive pearl, the beginning of the kingdom is not obvious.
The intellectual elites of Judaism did not recognize the arrival of the kingdom, despite their knowledge of the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 1:23; 2:8). The close-knit community in which Jesus grew up rejected it, thinking that the Jesus they knew was unimpressive. Even those who at first embraced Jesus’ message of the kingdom enthusiastically sometimes failed to persevere in their initial commitment to it.
Others, however, responded with joy to the kingdom and devoted their lives to it without holding back. The genuineness of their commitment was evident in the way they lived. Still, the parable of the sower makes it plain to us that, until the final day of judgment, the institutional church we can see with human eyes will always have some who are not truly Believers (1 Corinthians 4:5).
The parable of the weeds is especially important for explaining why God does not root out all evil from our world immediately. Jesus pictures the wisdom of a farmer who will not damage his crop by pulling up weeds growing near the roots of good plants. So also God wisely delays judgment that would remove all of Satan’s instruments, so that the followers of Jesus and the purposes of God may reach maturity. Were God in this moment to root out all evil from the world, then not only would all institutions that are designed for human commerce, security, and health collapse, but so also would the cause of God’s mission in the world for the millions who have yet to claim our Redeemer as their own. Patience in judgment is a significant grace of God.
Many view the parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great value to mean that the kingdom of God is so great that we should sell all to buy it. But does this reconcile with what we know about the Gospel? Namely, that the grace of God and all we receive is not based on what we do for Jesus, but is completely based upon what Jesus has done for us?
Notice in all of the parables who is doing the “doing”. It’s not us. So when we get to these parables, let’s view them in light of the gospel. Jesus is the One who paid it all to redeem (buy us back). We are the treasure! We are the hidden pearl!
How does this view of the treasure and pearl change how you see yourself?
Matthew 14 – Jesus demonstrates here the power and compassion of God as He is revealed in the Old Testament. God fed His people in the wilderness (Exodus 16:1–17:7), and did so mercifully despite their ungrateful and complaining attitude. Here Jesus heals the sick because of His compassion on them and provides miraculous food for them in a desolate place (Matthew 14:13–21; see also 15:32).
In the Old Testament, God controls the wind and the waves, and rescues those who call to Him for help during storms at sea (Psalm 107:23–32; see also Matthew 8:27). Here Jesus does the same with His disciples, and particularly with Peter, who calls out, “Lord, save me,” perhaps remembering Psalm 69:1–2.
God continues to help His people at their points of need, not because of anything within themselves that makes them worthy of His help but because He is a gracious and merciful God who delights in helping the needy (Ephesians 1:18–23).
How has God helped you in your times of need?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s video and reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.
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