I bet this parable would have clicked right away for the farmers in Idaho where I took this picture.
- v24 – This time He at least starts the parable off by letting them know He’s talking about the kingdom of Heaven. Even though He was just explaining the last parable to the disciples, it looks like He’s still with the crowds (because in v36 He leaves them).
- V25 – I wonder if the “while his men were sleeping” bit has a real-life application. Could He be talking about the way God’s people haven’t been diligent to protect His Word from misinterpretation?
◊ This reminds me that after someone accepts Jesus, we don’t get to “go to sleep” – our job isn’t done. It is important to disciple new Christians and do what we can to protect them and help them identify “weeds” that might distract them until their “roots” run deep and they are more mature in their relationship with God. Am I discipling the new Christians around me?
- V28-30 – I might be totally off-base here, but I wonder if what Jesus says about rooting up the good wheat with the weeds is about how we’re in relationships with lots of people who are “weeds” and watching God pick them off would hurt us too much and could possibly turn us away from Him because we only “see dimly” (1 Corinthians 13:12) now and we couldn’t fully understand God’s justice. But by waiting “until the harvest” we will have a clearer understanding of God and His mercy and justice and “see fully” (1 Corinthians 13:12) as His kingdom comes in full.
- V31-32 – God”s really good at making much out of little. First He established an entire enormous nation from one really old guy (Abraham) who had one son (Isaac). Now He’s telling us that His new kingdom is going to start the same way. One man/God (Jesus) with 12 disciples will spread this kingdom and message until it’s eNORmous! I like how He includes the bit about the birds making their home in the tree.
◊ Am I participating in the growth of the Kingdom?
◊ Am I offering my little tiny self and talents to God so He can make much of them? (More about this in the next chapter!)
- V33 – Now He’s talking the “language” of the women in the crowd. I might be wrong, but I think that would’ve been unusual. I wonder why she “hid” it. My ESV note says that the kingdom is “active though not fully visible to the world because it begins with an inner transformation of the heart.” (Only the ESV translates it “hid”, the rest just say she mixed it in.)
- V34-35 – The quote is from Psalms 78:2. It’s actually pretty genius that He used stories to reveal these secrets that no one has ever understood since the beginning of the world. He’s attaching accessible language to a completely new idea. Maybe people would have more readily accepted Galileo’s revelations about how the universe works if he had slowly revealed it to them in the form of parables.
◊ Do I introduce people to the Gospel in chewable bites using words and comparisons they can understand and relate to or do I unload the whole enchilada on them at once?
- V36 – He left the beach and went home for some down time with His close friends, but He’s still teaching them, still revealing things. I wonder if they wait until they’re alone with Him to ask Him to explain things out of respect for His wishes or out of pride because they don’t want to look like knuckleheads in front of the crowd.
- V37-43 – His language is pretty blatantly clear, but this is still a lot to process.
- V41 – “They will gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all lawbreakers.” What an awesome promise! God’s Kingdom is going to be INCREDIBLE!!! (My front bike tire just got stolen last night and the thought of what need could possibly be met by a bike tire makes the idea of the causes of sin and lawbreakers being gone extra, extra sweet.)
- V42 – Whether the fiery furnace is literal or part of the figurative speech of the parable, eternity without God, without any of His creation, and without His love and light sounds simply horrific.
◊ Do I realize the urgency in doing everything I can to keep my neighbors, family, and friends out of this miserable place?
- V43 – Wow. That sounds amazing. If we’re reflecting God’s glory and turn out bright as the sun, how intensely bright God must be! It’s interesting He used that “ears” phrase again, even though He’s only talking to His disciples now. No one will understand until the Holy Spirit to helps you understand. These are more spiritual ears than physical ones, I guess.
◊ Give me clear spiritual ears Jesus! I want to hear and understand the secrets of Your kingdom!
Wrap up your quiet time by praying through the following questions:
- Based on this passage of Scripture, what can I thank God for?
- What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
- Based on this passage, is there anything I need to confess to God and ask forgiveness for?
- What do these verses remind me to pray for others?
- What do these verses move me to pray for myself?