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A Story for the Hard of Listening, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
June 11, 2021 7:05 am

A Story for the Hard of Listening, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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June 11, 2021 7:05 am

The King’s Kingdom: A Study of Matthew 8–13

A New Beginning
Greg Laurie
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Chip Ingram
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It's one thing to hear someone read the Bible is quite another to understand what the words actually mean. Listening to someone call God's word is a healthy exercise but it's the spirit of God that illuminates, turns the light on our comprehension today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll's teaching from Matthew chapter 13 in this passage the writer describes a story Jesus told it was a parable that explains how the seed of God's word takes root in our lives. Chuck titled today's message a story. The heart of this word is alive and active in sharper than a two-edged sword and is able to pierce for neurosurgeon scalpel can never touch right to the soul. Any other book that you could use would not do that, but you could put a page of the Bible in a bottle in the middle of the sea plug it up drop it in when it washes ashore and someone pulls out that sheet that sheet is a part of God's word on it is alive and active and able to change the life of the one who reads we are going through the book of Matthew and we come to a place where Jesus changes his approach. I sometimes use the word seat. He goes a little more underground behind the scenes and now he begins to speak in words that are not that easily understood we might call them riddles, but he calls them parables and that we are there in chapter 13 of Matthew and we have the privilege of looking through the first 23 verses not read all of the verses but just a select number. Please locate Matthew 13 I'm reading from the new living translation. Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake, a large crowd soon gathered around him so he got into a boat and he said there and taught as the people stood on the shore. He told many stories in the form of parables such as this one.

Listen. A farmer went out to plant some seeds as he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on the footpath and the birds came and ate them overseas fellow shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow but the plants soon wilted under the hot sun and since they didn't have deep roots.

They died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil. They produced a crop that was 30, 60, even 100 times as much, as had been planted. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand his disciples came and asked him what he views parables. When you talk to the people. He replied you're permitted to understand the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but others are not to those who listen to my teaching more understanding will be given and they will have an abundance of knowledge, but for those who are not listening even what little understanding. They had will be taken away from them. That's why I use parable verse 18 not listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seed. The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the kingdom and don't understand then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts the seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don't have deep roots. They don't last long, they fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God's word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God's word and all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth so no fruit is produced.

The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God's word and produce a harvest of 3060, or even 100 times as much, as had been planted. Interestingly, all four types of soil are represented in the gathering. This large, we can't tell by looking.

Only you know and hopefully is God's word is explain.

You will understand what that means to study the book of Matthew Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight another message from Chuck called a story for the heart of listening. Some days are just not stop from start to finish, not just at sunup. But before sun up and long after sundown. They just go on and on and on wincing that I have a day like that, we will often say is returning the covers down on her bed at night. This is one of those 22nd nights. By that we mean I need about 20 seconds of the time. My head hits the pillow so it's also saying don't bring up some subject that will require a lengthy discussion or I'll be going to sleep on. You all will be able to make Jesus at one of those nonstop kind of days when I look back through chapter 12, and I'd like you to do that. Go back and see beginning at verse two of chapter 12. They are eating grain and these called on the carpet is confronted by the by the Pharisees that same day that same group found fault with the heel demands a deformed hand at the synagogue, they criticized him for that. The same group of critics called the secret meeting. Verse 14 of chapter 12 and the meeting was about finding a way to kill it.

To give you some idea of the condition of their hearts. They were religious but they were totally out to lunch spiritually knowing about meeting Jesus escaped and kept right on healing as the crowds followed and is there anything more draining than the constancy of crowd that's in verse 15 of chapter 12 and then he encounters a demonized man who is not only blind but is not able to speak Jesus cast out the demon as well as gives them insight and speech. Again, the Pharisees accuse him of operating under the power of Satan and there is this heated dialogue between him and them versus 24, 25, and it finally winds up for he says to them in an exasperated moment. You brood of snakes. Verse 34 and in the Pharisees that set him up to do a great sign and they wanted to find fault and that that's verses 38 to 45 and when you know it with the time you get to verse 46 to 50 his own family shows up from Nazareth and they want to remove him and rescue him from himself because some of them believe he's lost it. Like I said, he must have been exhausted. When you face a day like that. Look at verse one of chapter 13, it makes sense that Jesus would leave the house and sit beside the lake. Sounds like a great place for a little R&R when I don't last long because as soon as he is there the crowd locates him verse two and then they gather around and he has to get into a boat which becomes a perfect theater setting for there's no there's no public address system so his voice would carry easily over the shoreline and as they are sitting as they are standing.

He is sitting in and he decides verse two that he would he would teach them and he told him many stories in the form of a parable, a smile inside because I remember sitting in our own life as a family many years ago when all of our children were at home in smaller I the it had been one of those nonstop periods of months now, not just a day or two days a week, months and we were all sort of stumbling over our tongues trying to keep life together and I realized we all need to get away and I said and I made plans to escape to our favorite island and among the Hawaiian chain. The island of Hawaii can't get much further away than that and I thought nobody will know it's there that be a great place to be and we went and it was it was terrific and early one morning, the boys and I went fishing.

We would have the North Shore long before daylight and a member what I'm saying is runaway. I thought we were going to have easier days but you have a word organa fishnet so we get the boat with a lot we we catch a bunch of fish. It's great. We put about a stringer and we get back and you we wade ashore and is waiting ashore mice my two sons on each side. We look up and there is a gathering of a group of people walking toward us and one the boy said they're coming for you. Dad were around here and I said no, no, no, they will. Nobody even knows were here so the boys were gone left me with a string of messy fish and a crowd and to my amazement, they all had Bibles and they began brothers when all was when we heard you were on our island and we have come for you to teach us and I thought the world my sons when I need him right now and it also thought of something I could've said let's start with the miracle you close your eyes 45 seconds and I will vanish from you, but I did but I didn't teach. I was in his patient is Jesus isn't. I found a way to lie my way Live but I I said we had other plans.

The plans were to get away from them so that we could get some peace and wide. I got the car. The guys that we told you dad would tell you that. But here's Jesus sitting in the boat and he's got the crowd ever present crowd. There any decides to teach them in a different way. Always remember when you're reading your Bible to pay attention to unusual words. One of them emerges in verse three he told many stories in the form of parable. Parable interesting word.

Actually, it's a combination of two Greek words power which means beside you play something par something you do it beside and Buffalo, which is the verb for to throw or to cast some time to place placing something alongside something else for the purpose of comparison to teach a particular truth understand parables were spoken they weren't written.

Jesus did not tell them to write anything down there. Not meant to be analyzed with commentaries and dictionaries in Bible atlases and all that there there met to be heard better to be listened to as someone speaks them. Furthermore, the truth, they teach is immediate either you immediately get it or you do not there designed to be like that. In other words, Jesus used these parables, these comparisons first of all to reveal truth to those who desired to get and then to conceal truth from those who rejected it, denied sort of separated the listeners from those who had no interest.

They're not allegories.

One man rights this week.

Generally speaking, a parable will have only one point a parable is not an allegory, and allegory is a story in which every possible detail has an inner meaning, but an allegory has to be read and studied a parable is heard. We must be very careful not to make allegories of the parables. I often sit this week.

Don't make a parable walk on low for don't try to take apart every segment of it and make it mean something or represent something you know when allegory comes to mind is the Pilgrim's progress.

It's a book full of word pictures and you study it you read it and you can examine each of those things that represent something else of a deeper meaning as an allegory but up hi Rob hello parable is designed to teach one main truth would get to it in a moment, but keep that in mind what is the one truth that Jesus wanted to convey so he begins with the familiar parable start like that. Familiar to people in the first century, though not familiar to 21st-century people, some of whom have never been on a farm, most of whom have never sewn seed in a field so the story begins unfamiliar to us.

Unfortunately, so for that reason I'll take a few moments to explain it. If I were to say a person sit down at the computer to send an email message to a friend. Everybody here would get it. You not only you already know about it. You've done it.

You're involved in it so it was with the farming community of the first century, but because were not of an agricultural typesetting in our lives a little explanation is helpful. A farmer would have the field plowed or he would plow it and then would attach a bag of seed to the waist or would hang shoulder bag strap shoulder bag and he would reach inside and is he walked along he would randomly broadcast the scene tossing it here and there, and the seed would fall randomly on the soil. That's the picture could have been that there was a farmer on a hillside. Jesus is just like that farmer you've all seen it.

You're all familiar.

There was this farmer that so see he was planting scattering seed with your pen handy.

I want you to verse four to Mark the footpath or beside the road. It reads as he scattered the seed across the field. Some fell on the footpath work that is the first kind of soil that he uses to illustrate his point was the footpath well between rows. There would often be provided a place for people to walk so they didn't crush the plants as they walked across the field but imagine everybody walking pathway gets his heart as a pavement and if you drop seed on the pavement like on this desk here. You just lie there and blow away, which is his point will get to the moment to put my guts.

Ready. Look at verse five. Other seed fell on your Bible may read Rocky Plaisance or rocky soil mind reads on shallow soil.

The reason is it's more shallow than Rocky was a rocky soil with a couple of stones and rocks mingled in the in the soil, but it's not that this is a small shelf almost like a skin of of of the dirt that lays on top of limestone, big slabs of limestone found all over Israel and in the shallow soil and obviously if seed lands.

There it begins to germinate, but there's no place for the root to grow and the sun comes in pounds on it and the weather beats on it finally withers and and it and it doesn't grow it dies says that the University now get ready. Here's the third.

Other seed fell among four notes.

I was like they were used throwing seed ensemble actually in the plowing had not gotten all of the roots of boards out of there and hear these fibrous roots that are really foreign and thistles that as soon as the ground begins to be watered in the sunshine's thorns grow up along with the grain and the thorns overgrow grain and choke out the grain so that it cannot produce in the new sprouts are hindered from producing and we read the being. These tender plants that they were, or choked out, and of then the fourth is market fertile soil or your Bible may read good soil, nice clean solo will cultivated or will plowed soil at the roots can go into and then the plan rose and is healthy becomes productive. Gratefully we receive wonderful feedback from our listening family telling us their stories of life change is strong evidence that the seed of God's word is falling into fertile soil. Please stay with us because Chuck Swindoll has some good news to share.

And if you want to learn more about this ministry. Please visit us online Insight and Insight for living.

We understand that some of your best encounters with God occur when you're alone and have some peaceful quiet time to read and reflect on your own. In these moments of stillness. It's easier to hear God's voice and to feel his presence well. In addition to your Bible reading, let me recommend a helpful book chucks written the complements our study through the book of Matthew.

It's a biography on the life of Christ, and he scalded Jesus. The greatest life of all, if you're looking to rekindle your passion for God. There's nothing quite like a personal encounter with the one who changed history forever. Again, where highly recommending the biography chucks written called Jesus.

The greatest life of all and you can purchase a copy right now by going to or give us a phone call if you're listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888, which are just a year ago, our staff and Insight for living, huddled together, trying to figure out how to navigate through a global pandemic. It was face building to say the least. Looking back, none of us imagined how God would provide which needed to sustain this ministry.

Yes, Dave.

You would think that nonprofits like Insight for living ministries would suffer losses during a global pandemic, but I'm pleased to give you this report. That's not been our experience God's people have stepped forward to help us meet and sometimes even exceed our expenses and if you're among those who have given the recent donation.

We are deeply grateful to you. The experts might say the charitable giving goes down during uncertain economic times, but we believe God has accomplished his sovereign plan in his way and in his time, regardless of what the experts may say and defying conventional thinking God is blessed Insight for living ministries in ways we never expected and could never have predicted. Now list to assume that were flush with the resources and no longer need your support. Let me clarify this. I want to dispel that notion right away, financially speaking, we are completely beholden to the listeners who rely on our daily program. That's the way it works. We have a shared partnership that started back in 1979 and continues to this day, and our goal for the June 30 deadline is impossible to reach without the partnership and participation from friends like you.

So as you measure the value of this Bible teaching ministry in your life and his God calls upon you to share his message of grace with others. Please follow his prompting and give whatever amount God places on your heart will always give our contact information at the close of our program and today is no exception. Please get a pin and jot down, how to get in touch with us. Then join me in our shared vision to declare the gospel in all 195 countries of the world.

How exciting that thanks so much for your part in this.

Choose one of several ways to respond to Chuck's window to give a donation online, go to You can also speak with someone about giving a donation college direct listening in the US, 1-800-772-8888 that's 1-800-772-8888 or go online to hi Dave, Spike, relaxing window continues our study in Matthew on Insight for living. The preceding message, a story for the heart of listening was copyrighted in 2016 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide.

Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited

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