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June 16, 2021 7:05 am
Jesus was a gifted storyteller in the New Testament we often get to see him surrounded by curious listeners who were captivated and sometimes puzzled by the parables.
He told today on Insight for living.
Chuck Swindoll illuminates one of those classic moments in Matthew chapter 13 we find Jesus using an agricultural reference to make his point comprehend the spiritual truth disciples needed help well in similar fashion. There are times when we read God's word and scratch our heads a bit, but rest assured, with helpful context of the story is made clear. Return to Matthew chapter 13 we come to a chapter that is full of stories are called parables. There based on something very familiar to the people who lived in Jesus day, though they may not be all that familiar to us who live in this 21st century, but with a little help were able to see the value and how it comes from the print on the page into a part of our lives and today's parable is no exception.
It's Matthew chapter 13 beginning at verse 24 down 330 then a few verses later, Jesus explains meaning he gives the meaning of what these simple parts of the story represent. I'm reading from the new living translation. Matthew 1324 here is another story. Jesus told the kingdom of heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field, but that night, as the worker slapped his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, and slipped away when the crop began to grow and produce grain. The weeds also grew the farmers, workers went to him and said Sir the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds that come from an enemy has done this.
The farmer exclaimed.
Should we pull out the weeds.
They asked no, he replied you'll uproot the wheat if you do let both grow together until the harvest, then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds tie them into bundles and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn. Verse 36, then leaving the crowds outside Jesus went into the house. His disciples said please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.
Jesus replied the Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. The field is the world and the good seed represents the people of the kingdom, the weeds of the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil, the harvest is the end of the world and the harvesters are the angels. Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire so it will be at the end of the world, the Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his kingdom.
Everything that causes sin and all who do evil, and the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace for there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their father's kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand our desire is to not only understand the story, but to see the significance of it.
In light of the day in which we live here listening to study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll sure to download his searching the Scriptures by going to Insight world.org/studies another message from Chuck about a world full of wheat and we Jesus was the consummate storyteller.
He loved to tell stories their woman all the way through his earthly ministry. 40 of them are recorded in the gospel accounts there called parables, 14 of them appear in Matthew's gospel 15 in Luke's account one in Mark nine and John.
But there must've been many others as well because Jesus knew what all of us realize there's nothing like a story to capture attention. Not only does it sees our attention. It holds our interest as it builds ultimately, through its plot into a climax an event or several events that bring it to ahead remembers a little child saying to my mother.
Can you tell me a story my dad could tell great stories.
I remember the teachers that connected with me the best. As I was growing up were those who could turn the lesson into story often stories that had comparisons analogies that make something clearer that would otherwise not be all that clear.
A parable is obviously a story based on a comparison if the word itself means to place or cast beside something familiar is the beginning point and it's set forth alongside something not familiar with the spiritual lesson that we are to grasp as we understand the comparison. We understand these stories by listening carefully, thinking deeply that not to be written down not to be over analyze, though, that is often a tendency on our part.
The main reason Jesus told them was really, actually two things to reveal truth to those whose hearts were open, and to conceal truth from those whose hearts were close this what he invites often either at the beginning or ending or both, that we listen to what he saying I will say candidly that it is a pleasure to preach at this particular church of ours because you are such good listeners.
At least you look like you're really interested and I think you are. I think you care about what this means and how it relates to where you live and to the things that we have that we all are facing.
This story is familiar in its beginning to people who lived in an agricultural culture. We don't but they did so.
Parts of it from time to time, even though it's the beginning of the parable or the part of it that is to be known has to be explained because it's not clear to the rest of us in the main part of it that isn't clear would be the weeds.
We understand wheat in the crop of wheat we've seen crops like this, but we don't get the part that refers to the weeds. Remember what he said the kingdom of heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. Verse 25. But that night, as the worker slapped look closely and listen carefully, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat.
There one of the weeds in this story you may know this story is the reason the tears but we don't what tears are either help me let me help explain this one authority writes it was a kind of Darnell weed which is a weedy ryegrass with poisonous see which in early stages of growth. Don't miss this looks just like we would can be distinguished easily at harvest. Another picks up this explanation and goes further. This bearded Darnell is common in Palestine and resembles wheat except that the grains of the we are black in its early stages.
It is indistinguishable from wheat, so you must wait until harvest to determine which is which is not until both come to ahead could the difference be determined and obviously Bob then one has a black seed the top of the weedy is black is poisonous obviously different from the result of the wheat start that bears week that is that color have a great tendency on the part of the workers would be to tear out the weeds during the growth so that only wheat would grow. This is where the story gets interesting. But before we get there observed in verse 25 who plants the weeds.
He is called his enemy. Jesus later identified as it will get to that in the moment, but the workers, and they asked since they were asleep at night when the crop began to grow.
Verse 27 they say further for you where you planted the good seed is full of weeds. Where did they come from is interesting that Jesus never explains the reason he and the father allow evil and good to grow together. That's not explained here are in fact elsewhere. It's all part of the mystery of lawlessness that continues to grow that there is always good and there was always evil and they grow together and what's interesting is that we cannot tell them apart until later on. So they asked the natural question should we pull out the weeds and he quickly answers, no significant because most of us when we see or hear that there is weeds along with wheat we want to get rid of it. We want to get rid of the evil get rid of the wrong get rid of every benefit as quickly as we can, but he deliberately says in the story. No, no, let it be. In fact, Ferdie says let both grow together until the harvest, then look at who takes over, but you but the but the master, the farmer says I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds tie them into bundles burned in, and to put the wheat in the barn so there is a time of planting. There is a period of waiting and then there is the ultimate climax for the crop and that is the harvesting of the crop is interesting. Before Jesus takes the time to explain the parable which happens in verses 36 through 43. He inserts a couple of other stories. One is the familiar story of the mustard seed you've heard if you were in church growing up you've heard since you were a child, the smallest of the seed is the mustard seed and this little brief parable is another illustration is used where the mustard seed is planted, and it becomes the largest of all the plants. It grows into a tree. Birds common make nests in this branch seems to be saying while we are on the subject of the growing of wheat or the growing of a crop that there is the enlargement of that which is good.
There is the growth of good ministries. There are the righteous who growing number.
There are those who do good. There are those who are involved in this process of enlargement of that which is growing and becoming significant at the same time, he adds another brief story in verse 13 verse 33 down of you. Just that single verse.
Cory talks about 11 or east.
He says the kingdom of heaven is like they used to woman use in making bread. Even though she puts only a little yeast in three measures of flour. It permeates every part throughout the Scriptures. Almost without exception, yeast or leaven is an illustration of evil. So we have the growth of good. I suggest in the mustard seed illustration but the presence of evil in the leaven that appears in this brief single verse statement of Jesus before he tells the meaning of the parable before we get to that meaning observed in verse 34.
Jesus always used stories and illustrations like the when speaking to the crowds. In fact he never spoke to them without using such parable just an aside is a good thing to remember as a teacher.
If you are involved in that to fall back on the story to use illustrations to rely on analogies to get the point across. You begin with the familiar and you go. Taking the group your teaching to the unfamiliar, he says, and that's what Jesus did in fact is is I will speak to you in parables will explain things hidden since the creation of the world as he quotes from a prophet of the Old Testament. Now the explanation. It's it's simple really give you a place in your outline for you to fill it in.
If you wish. And here you can have your pen handy as Jesus identifies the various parts of the story we just read and look for yourself.
And again, listen carefully, think deeply, leaving the crowds outside verse 36 begins Jesus went into the house. Probably this is in Capernaum and it is a house perhaps where he is often gone for rest and relief in his disciples around there with him. And there they say please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field notice are not asking about the wheat is the weeds that concern them.
The good crop we understand why the weeds poorly represent what is this about. So Jesus takes them through the story one point after another to begin with, the farmer is identified as the Son of Man, so whatever else the story is representing the main character is Jesus. He is the one in charge of the crop. He's the one watching over the harvest. He's the one who knows the plan for the growth and ultimately what to do with both weed and we, the Son of Man is the former now want to pause at this next one because it becomes extremely more complicated. The field is the world you and I tend to think at that moment of the globe, made up of 495 nations around this world, but it's not about nations. It's not about the globe. This is the cause of loss K OS MOS we get outward cosmetics from it. Cosmopolitan comes from the term weed in the year of the field is the cosmos.
What is the cosmos will want you to know ahead of time before I read a 20 minute definition of what I came across. I mean it could be. I just took just a little part of it.
I've never seen such thorough, careful explanation, so this will require real concentration.
One man writes the cosmos is the sum total of human life in the ordered world alienated from, and hostile to God and of the earthly things which seduce us from God.
Pause right there. Much of what comprises the world is unseen.
It is intangible it has to do with dark powers that are at work evil influence that seduces that attracts but looks so much like the good but necessary. The best part of our world. But the definition goes on to describe this which seduces us from God.
It is the ordered system of which Satan is the head's fallen Angels and Demons are his emissaries in the cosmos and the unsaved of the human race, or his subjects. Much of the world system is a religious be cultured seed refined the intellectual but it is anti-God. And it is anti-much more. We need to discover peel back the layers in the story Chuck Swindoll titled today's message a world full of wheat and weeds and please keep listening because Chuck is in the studio. Your closing comment with you coming up in just a moment and to learn more about this ministry. Please visit us email@example.com right now. Let me point you to one of the most helpful resources offered by Insight for living. Nothing will accelerate your ability to discern wheat from weeds and good from evil more than spending time in God's word. As we pour over the Scriptures in our quiet times with the Lord, the spirit of God is able to saturate our hearts with discernment and you like Leona favored Bible for this purpose, but you may not have one that includes insightful commentary from Chuck Swindoll. The Swindoll study Bible represents decades of personal study by Chuck preparing for sermons and writing books, and it's all contained in this helpful study tool belongs in your personal library to purchase a copy of the Swindoll study Bible and to check out the many different options, go to insight.org/offer a check one of the positive outcomes of this radio program has to do with the instant response we receive from people who hear Insight for living, their comments affirm that God is working even beyond our expectations. During the season of uncertainty.
That's right Dave. God uses the feedback from our listening audience to remind me that his word is alive and powerful. In fact, as the writer of Hebrews put it, the word of God is sharper than the sharpest two edge sword, cutting between soul and spirit. Think of that as an example I was so touched when I recently read The Encouraging Word's from one of our listeners who found his rest in Christ. After an agonizing year in 2020.
Listen to what he wrote. Chuck, I can't tell you how much your messages and help me through the storms I have been through starting in September.
With the passing of my sister then my stepdaughter in November. Then with the passing of my wife in December, Jesus used your messages to comfort me and love me and give me a piece that words cannot explain.
Thank you. Clearly, the spirit of God has penetrated that man's heart, providing deep and healing soul care during a painful seasonal loss all in one year. For that reason, I come to you with a bold request and without apology to help us continue touching the lives in this way, you see, when you give a generous donation by 30 June, you're enabling Insight for living ministries to teach the word of God without barriers, allowing the spirit of God to perform spiritual surgery with divine precision. I can assure you that your investment in this nonprofit ministry is yielding fruit. God's word is alive and powerful people responding daily and I mean that literally.
I am more energized today than ever before to pursue sharing the good news in all 195 countries of our world that here's her contact information and I look forward to receiving your donation today or shortly by the deadline of June 30, and in advance. Let me say thank you so much you can choose one of several ways to connect with Insight for living. The most convenient way to give is to follow simple instructions and insight.org/donate or use our convenient mobile app you can also give a contribution by speaking with some of the phone listening in the US policy at 1-800-772-8888, 1-800-772-8888 or give firstname.lastname@example.org. Wendell continues to describe a world full of wheat and weeds right here on Insight for living. The preceding message world full of wheat and weeds was copyrighted in 2016 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited