My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.



Saturday, June 16, 2007

Matthew 13

Paraboloid

Summary:
Using a parable about sowing, Jesus explained that people fall into four catergories upon hearing God's word. Those from whom the word gets snatched away, those who embrace it temporarily because they have bad foundations, and those who embrace it but get choked by the world, and finally those who take it and grow.

Jesus used parables for the crowd, but spoke plainly to his disciples.

Reality is like this - God planted good crop, but bad crop got planted among it. Rather than trying to weed it out now, it'll be left until harvest then divided then. Just like fishermen dividing between the good fish and the bad fish.

God's reign is like something that starts small, but with time takes over the world. It's so precious. You would sell everything to gain it.

Jesus couldn't do many miracles in his home town because they didn't have much faith in him. They had seen him growing up.

Key verse:
11. The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.

My thoughts:
Jesus is well known for his parables. Many of his parable start with "The Kingdom of God is like." What does this mean? Sometimes it specifically means the Kingdom of God in relation to the Kingdom of Earth, such as the mustard seed and yeast parables here. Sometimes it's about what's going to happen when the Kingdom comes, people will be divided 'good' from 'bad'. Sometimes it means that this is what life is like when God's in control, like in the parable of the lost sheep. So, my favourite way to understand it is that it is just how God sees reality.

In my experience, I have found Jesus' four categories of people to be very accurate!

I like the mustard seed and yeast parables. God's kingdom doesn't explode onto the scene. God's church doesn't conquer the world. It's spreads throughout the world; slowly but surely.

This is the only positive imagery using yeast in the Bible. (Well, this and its sister stories...)

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