January 21, 2020
THE TREASURE FOUND IN BOTH THE OLD AND THE NEW After Jesus had finished using many parables describing the kingdom of heaven, he asked his disciples whether they understood. They replied that they had understood. Jesus then called them “scribes” who had been instructed in the kingdom. In Jewish life, a scribe was one who
January 20, 2020
HAVE YOU BECOME LIKE LEAVEN? Jesus often spoke in parables when describing the kingdom of heaven. In this parable, He compared it to leaven. Leaven is an ingredient added to dough to make it rise. It only takes a small amount to permeate and change the whole loaf. As the apostle Paul noted, “A little
January 19, 2020
FOUR HEART CONDITIONS In Jesus’ parable of the sower, He described four heart conditions that determined their receptivity to the gospel. Jesus explained the meaning of the parable to His disciples. He explained that the “seed” is the gospel, the “sower” is the one who preaches the gospel, and the four types of “soil” are
January 20, 2019
GIVING ALL, LOSING NOTHING, GAINING EVERYTHING! One of Christ’s many kingdom parables, this one emphasizes the willingness of one to give up everything in this world in order to have the kingdom of heaven. The value of the kingdom is “hidden” to most, yet revealed to those who discover its treasure. Others probably thought the
January 21, 2017
I don’t know what you believe about heaven and hell, but Jesus taught that they were real places of eternal existence. In this parable of Jesus, He compared the kingdom of heaven to a fishing net that caught both good and bad fish. The good fish represented those who truly believed in Christ as Lord. And the bad represented those who were hypocrites.
The kingdom of heaven is to be populated by those who have made Christ king. However, there are those who pay lip service to Jesus outwardly, yet inwardly their hearts remain unchanged. They still have “self” on the throne. They have not made Christ the Lord of their lives. They are hypocrites. As the gospel “dragnet” gathers people into the church, both the saved and the hypocrite are present. Yet, at the “end of the age” (Matt.13:49), they will be separated. The “just” to everlasting life and the “wicked” to a place of everlasting torment called Hell.
This is why we must continually preach the gospel to the church. For we do not know who there is among us that has yet to truly confess Christ as King. And this is why each of us must examine our own hearts to be sure that we have truly submitted our lives to Jesus. Have you confessed Jesus as Lord and believed that God raised Him from the dead? Are you truly among the redeemed? The end of the age is coming. Are you ready?
January 21, 2015
The people of Nazareth were offended at the authority of Jesus’ teachings because of their familiarity with him. They knew his family. They had seen him grow up. “Who does he think he is coming back home preaching to us?” They thought.
Two ways we might relate to this passage:
One, we might relate to the Nazarenes. We sometimes respond without respect to Christ because of familiarity. We’ve been believers for a long time, so we feel we’ve heard it all before. We’ve sung all the songs. Listened to all the sermons. Attended all the holiday events. We lose sight of our “first love.” We become like the people of Nazareth. And we do not see Jesus do mighty works in our lives because of our unbelief.
Two, we might relate to Jesus. We sometimes experience rejection from our family and friends when we bring Jesus home with us. We are able to share our testimony of faith with strangers and see them accept Christ, but our own family members act offended when we offer the same to them. Like Jesus, we have no honor in our own house.
How do you relate to this passage?
January 19, 2015
Ever since God told Adam and Eve about the Seed that would crush the serpent’s head, believers had looked for the Messiah. Generation after generation, the Word of the Lord came to prophets enlarging their understanding and anticipation of His coming. But their lives passed without hearing or seeing the Desire of all nations. Yet, when the Christ did come to God’s chosen people, the ones He had prepared throughout the centuries to receive Him, they received Him not. Only a remnant had eyes to perceive and ears to understand that the Messiah had come. Today, it is the same. Only a few perceive and understand the gospel and receive Jesus as Lord. Only a remnant look for and anticipate His return. What grace that God would open our blind eyes and deaf ears, so that we might know the Son! What a blessing to be a member of the remnant that He calls to be His own!
January 20, 2014
What is this Kingdom that Jesus preached? It is like a treasure hidden. Yet, some find it. A treasure so valuable as to be worth selling everything you own. Yet, the one owning the land is apparently unaware of its presence and is willing to sell it, like Esau selling his birthright. It takes spiritual eyes to see this treasure’s worth. Only a few find it.
January 19, 2014
When Jesus was asked why He taught in parables, he answered with this quotation from Isaiah about the “hardened” hearts of the people. Jesus was aware of their unreceptive hearts, yet still poured out His. The Lord and His gospel still have that affect on people’s hearts. It either penetrates, making the heart new and receptive or it hardens it even more. When it is made new, it responds in sympathetic resonance to the sound of God’s heart. But when it is hard, sin dampens its heart strings, so that it is deaf to God’s love.
January 20, 2013
One of Christ’s many kingdom parables, this one emphasizes the willingness of one to give up everything in this world in order to have it. The value of the kingdom is “hidden” to most, yet revealed to those who discover its treasure. Others probably thought the man foolish for giving all that he had, but he treasured the kingdom of heaven over the world’s kingdom. There are still those today to whom the treasure is hidden. And strangely, there are those not mentioned in the parable, to whom it is revealed, yet they continue to haggle over its price. Are you willing to give all or are you holding back?