August 30th

Matthew 13-14

  • 13:10-15 – To some degree, there is protection in not understanding the truths of Jesus’ identity and importance. With knowledge comes responsibility to act accordingly.
  • 13:18-23 – Jesus explains the parable to the disciples, which rarely happens.
  • 13:24-30 – A very powerful parable! God could have destroyed all the people who did not believe in him at any point, but he chooses not to because the destruction of all of them would certainly damage the faith of many believers. We see this even in reading Scripture and feeling sorry for the wicked people in Noah’s day who were drowned. We wonder why God had to destroy them. So God allows believers and non-believers to prosper even if it might make it more difficult for believers.
  • 13:31-32 – Mustard plants grow quickly and are wild plants.
  • 13:33 – Clearly Jesus wanted to describe the many intricacies of the kingdom of God. The fact that there are three parables describing the same thing means he wants you to take special note of this.
  • 13:44-46 – It is unprecedented for a theme to be repeated five times so quickly. The order of the kingdom of heaven was necessary to understand.
  • 13:47-50 – This sounds like a harsh judgment, but the hearers and now, the readers, have received warning after warning of what decisions we need to make and how we are to live.
  • 13:53-58 – As will continue to become clear, their culture was one of honor and shame. Everything about you either brought honor to you and your family or shame. Jesus came from a small town and a normal family. Those in his hometown saw nothing impressive or honorable about him.
  • 14:1-11 – John the Baptist was beheaded because Herod was weak. He did not want to have John killed, but he was clouded by drunkenness, the pressure of a crowd, and a hormonal spike caused by a young girl dancing.
  • 14:12 – We don’t often think of Jesus’ emotions, but he had to have been extremely sad about the death of his cousin and friend. We do know that Jesus knew John would die in prison because the message he sent to him earlier purposely failed to mention prisoners being released.
  • 14:13 – When Jesus heard about John the Baptist’s death he retreated.
  • 14:14-21 – This miracle story is included in all 4 gospels. Very few stories are in all 4.
  • 14:23 – Note how many times throughout the gospels they mention Jesus going off by himself to pray.
  • 14:28-33 – Peter gets a bad rap because he sinks, but notice that he’s the only one that trusts Jesus enough to even get out of the boat. Also, this is a clear instance of when our faith fails, Jesus fills in the gap and takes care of us. This also elicits belief in the witnesses.
  • 14:34-36 – Clearly the story from chapter 9 where the bleeding woman is healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment had spread.

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