Faith Daily |24 July 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p563
you alone can order our unruly wills and affections:
teach us to love what you command,
and to desire what you promise,
that, among the changes and chances of this world,
our hearts may surely there be fixed
where true joys are to be found;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 13: 24-30
24He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ 28He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: John Vickers
This particular Sabbath heralded a seismic shift in how Jesus chose to deliver His sermons. He had been preaching for nearly two years, and up to this point, His messages had been direct and frank, there were no parables in the Sermon on the mount for instance. Christ’s preaching had been fact and Scripture based. Consequently this had not won Him many friends especially amongst the religious privileged, the Pharisees and Sadducees. As a result, they sought to destroy Him. In Matthew 13 on the Sabbath, Jesus first and thereafter to the end of His ministry, preached by speaking in parables.– see also Matthew 13:34-35 and Mark 4:33.
What is a “parable” – “para” means to “lay alongside” – meaning a story which lies alongside the truth. There are 40 parables in Matthew, Mark and Luke, none in John. All parables relate to the gospel and salvation, and are doctrinal, theological, truths using everyday examples listeners would be familiar with. All truths are based upon logic, not sentiment, or emotion or feelings. Truths are based upon a rational presentation of the facts put into an argument that leads to an ultimate grasp of the truth – as with parables.
But many, including the twelve disciples did not initially understand why He spoke in parables and ask him in Matthew 13:10. His answer was shocking – He spoke in parables to those who would not understand – the unbelievers - “they have not and even that which they have will be taken”. Mark 13:13 states, “Because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” (also Psalm 78). Those who were to be saved would understand – “they had much and even more would be given.” Parables are not stories to entertain, they express a hidden truth. Matthew 13:35. Modern Christians are privileged, having a rich understanding of the full doctrinal picture, comprehending salvation and the Gospel. We therefore understand the hidden meaning of the parables. Those who reject the Gospel always have issues understanding the parables – Matthew 13:13 –15, (which quotes from Isaiah 6:9-10). The parables are therefore a judgement on those who do not understand them.
The full explanation of the parable of the Tares is given by Jesus in Matthew 13:36- 43, which details the fate of unbelievers and the existence of Hell, by the One who spoke of it more than salvation and more than love in the Scriptures – Jesus.
Lord of the harvest,
I constantly need your direction and inspiration
to take my daily steps.
I ask for your guidance today in Jesus’ name. Amen.