Sunday, August 5, 2018

What Would Jesus Teach?

What Would Jesus Teach?

A  look at why Jesus taught in parables, and a study on the parable of the sower/soils.   

Scriptures:
  • Luke 4:42-43
  • Mark 4:13
  • Matthew 13:1-9
  • Matthew 13:10-17
  • Matthew 13:18-23
Outline:
  1. Introduction and Review
  2. Jesus Taught with Parables
  3. Parable of the Soils
  4. Why Jesus Spoke in Parables
  5. Explanation of the Parable of the Soils

Introduction and Review

When Jesus went and spoke during His ministry what was His main topic?
  • Healing and prosperity
  • Salvation
  • Grace
  • Relationship with the Holy Spirit
  • Love one another
Jesus’ main topic was the Kingdom of God

Jesus’ Mission

Luke 4:42-43
42At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”
Says Jesus himself declare that his mission was to teach the kingdom of God then we should also focus on this

What We’ve Learned So Far About the Kingdom of God

  • Kingdom of God is synonymous with the Kingdom of Heaven
  • Kingdom of God means the reign of God
  • The Jews were expecting an earthly Kingdom that would be taken by force
  • It’s not a physical kingdom or political system on earth
  1. The Kingdom is Spiritual
  • The Kingdom of God involves living a life in complete obedience to the Holy Spirit
  • Jesus said the Kingdom has arrived
  1. It is not future
  • The Kingdom is here but not yet completely realized (Inaugurated Eschatology)
  • Satan’s kingdom is in opposition of God’s kingdom
  • Satan’s kingdom consists of:
  1. Satan
  2. Fallen Angels / Demons
  3. Humans that oppose God
  • Jesus rescued us from Satan’s kingdom
  • Jesus came and took dominion of the world from Satan
  1. Though Satan wasn't removed
  • When we sin (and through Adam’s sin) Satan gains access into our lives
  • God’s current plan for His Kingdom is the same as the plan He had for Adam
  • The future Kingdom involves man ruling with God over all created beings

Jesus Taught in Parables

parable is a succinct, story that illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. A parable is a type of analogy.
  • A parable has a surface story and a deeper meaning
Jesus taught 13 parables about the Kingdom.  He used analogies of:
  • Agriculture
  • Cooking
  • Money
  • People
  • Fishing
  • Feasts

After This Point Jesus Only Spoke in Parables

This is Jesus’ first parable
  • After this Jesus only spoke in parables
The knowledge of the kingdom is a blessing because we get to see reality.
  • It gives us a glimpse into the Spirit realm

Parables Were a Sign of the Messiah

The Old Testament Prophesied of a Messiah Teaching in Parables
  • If the people had been studying the Torah they would have seen this as a sign that he was the Messiah.
  • It wasn't the only sign but it was a strong one.
It will be the same when the antichrist comes
  • If we know what to expect we can’t be deceived
  • Example: the antichrist will also be preaching “love”

Parable of the Soils

We start with this one because:
  1.  This was Jesus’ first recorded parable
  2. Jesus gives an explanation of what the parable means
  3. Jesus explains why He teaches with parables
  4. This parable is the key to understanding other parables.
Mark 4:13
13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
  • This parable is the key to understanding all parables

3 parts of the parable
  1. The parable
  2. Explanation of why Jesus taught in parables
  3. Explanation of the parable
Matthew 13:1-9
That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea.
2 And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.
3  And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow;
4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.
5 "Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.
6 "But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 "Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.
8 "And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.
9 "He who has ears, let him hear."

Details of The Parable

The Sower was sowing seeds indiscriminately
  • He was doing it based on their yield
Birds are bad (when generic)
Jesus doesn't judge the amount the crop produced

The Kingdom is Like a Seed

Jesus chose a seed to illustrate how the Kingdom of God works
Seeds are how life procreates
  • We are a result of seeds
  • Most plants and animals comes from a seed
Most life is created from: a seed, dirt, and water
You can't cram for a harvest
  • Example: 9 women having a baby in a month
  • You can’t rush the growth in someone’s heart
  • You can’t rush the growth in society

The Kingdom isn't Taken by Force

  • The Jews would have expected the Kingdom to come by force
  • It's not a quick takeover
  • It starts small like a seed and grows

Why Jesus Spoke in parables

Matthew 13:10-17
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"
11 Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.
12 "For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
13 "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
14 "In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,
'YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND;
YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;
15 FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL,
WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR,
AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES,
OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES,
HEAR WITH THEIR EARS,
AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN,
AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.'
16 "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
17 "For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Parables are Used to Filter People Out

  • Not to help explain  better
  • He spoke in parables so people wouldn't understand
  • They were designed to hide the truth
Jesus said that the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom was not for everyone.
  • Not everyone “has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven”
  • It had been given to the disciples but not to everyone.
Jesus uses the parables as a sifting device
  • He doesn’t use stories because it helps people grasp the concept
  • It’s the opposite -- He uses stories so everyone doesn’t understand the concept
  • Those who did not “hear” will not be able to understand.
Jesus says that his parables will draw closer those who have an understanding and have an interest, but they will drive even further away those who do not have an understanding or an interest.

Jesus Made a Judgment That Some Shouldn't Understand

  • Judgment has been proclaimed
  • Hearers and non-hearers have already been delineated
  • This sifting doesn't happen at the end time it is happening now
  • Jesus declared that the Pharisees were of their father the devil
  • Only those who belong in the Kingdom will understand
  • Only His sheep will hear His voice
  • The judgment and the reward come later

Those Who Have an Ear Let Them Hear

When Jesus sees that people are not understanding him he doesn't chase after them by explaining. Jesus expected that many people would not listen to him and he doesn't force the issue.
The disciples didn't understand either
  • Apart from the explanation of the disciples would not have understood him
Non Believers will not fully understand the parables.

Meaning of the Parable of the Sower/Soils

Matthew 13:18-23
18 "Hear then the parable of the sower.
19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.
20 "The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
22 "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
23 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."

It’s Not About the Seed It’s About the Soil

  • This parable is not about the Sower or the seed it's about the soil.  
  • Jesus describes four types of soil.  
  • The implication is that the same type of seed is sown in every soil

The Soil Is Your Heart

  • The soil is a person's heart, feelings, and will.  
A person’s spiritual development is based on how they receive God's word in their heart.
All of these people heard the same gospel

The Road

  • Didn't understand

Birds

Birds mentioned generically in the Bible are always bad
Birds in this story represent the kingdom of satan
Since this parable is a key to understanding others we can assume that birds in other parables might represent satan
Many of the parables of the Kingdom involve the enemy
  • Those without an ear to hear will mistake it for good

Some Unbelievers Aren’t Rejecting the Kingdom

  • They didn’t understand it
Example: unclear apology
A seed was sown even though they didn’t understand it
Not understanding the Kingdom is different than rejecting the Kingdom
Application: you don’t have to have all the details correct to witness or disciple

Satan Prevents People From Being Saved

If you don't understand the word about the kingdom the enemy can snatch it away
Someone who doesn't understand
  • In Hebrew there is no word for brain
  • You understand in your heart
If your heart is hard you're opening yourself up to the enemy
Don’t want to give satan too much or too little credit
  • Some people feel you shouldn’t talk about satan
  • Even though Jesus did
  • The example of the enemy was the first example
Notice that this is the only soil where satan is mentioned

Bad Doctrine

Not understanding could be because of a hard heart
But it could also be from bad doctrine
  • People may not understand the truth because they never heard the truth
  • You have to take the effort to seek out and understand the word for yourself

Rocky Soil

  1. Hears it
  2. Understands it
  3. Receives it with joy
  4. Loses it
Example: Once a plant can no longer send down roots it may push the plan upward
This is the person who receives and understands it quickly shows a lot of promise. Goes out in evangelizes it may even bring other people to Christ. They start annoying their family at every family gathering.  
They don’t have strong faith.  When they face issues of life they lose faith.
  • A life tragedy happens and they lose their faith

Their Faith Hadn’t Been Tested

Example: Biosphere - no wind
  • Grew fast without struggles
  • Persecuted for the words sake
Example: Tree that broke through cement
  • Deep roots can withstand what seems impossible
The sun scorched them
  • Plants need the sun to grow
  • What they needed to grow is what killed them
Corollary: The Kingdom can be gained and then lost

Seeds on Thorns

  1. Hears and accepts the word
  2. Doesn’t produce any fruit
It doesn’t specify whether or not this person really understand the word
  • Either way it’s the same result
Worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth
The gospel is not the only thing growing in their life
  • Distracted by goals outside of the Kingdom
Worries about:
  • Health
  • Family
  • Finances
  • Politics
  • News / Media
  • Social media
  • Church politics
  • Character of church leaders
  • Changes happening in the church
Distracted by success:
  • Prosperity
  • Promotion or raise
  • Maintaining your good reputation
  • Fear losing the image of success

Good soil

  1. Hears the word
  2. Understands it
  3. Bears fruit
This person is helping to spread or prosper the Kingdom.  

Fruit Should be Internal and External

Fruit should be both in the body of Christ and in your own body
  • We should be serving the body in some capacity
  • We should also be being transformed
If a person is preaching, but hasn’t grown in the fruits of the spirit something is wrong.

Different Soils Produce Different Amounts of Fruit

The seeds produce different amounts of yield because that is just the nature of seed growing it was not a judgment
Some people are transformed immediately
  • Others over time
We have different giftings
Summary:
  1. The Kingdom can be missed
  2. The enemy can prevent the seed of the Kingdom from staying in someone’s heart
  3. The Kingdom can be obtained and then lost
  4. Worrying about your earthly situation can cause you to lose the Kingdom
  5. Chasing after worldly success can cause you to lose the Kingdom
  6. The evidence that someone has received the Kingdom is both their benefit to the body of Christ and their increasing in the fruits of the Spirit
  7. The Kingdom grows at different rates in different people

Conclusion

Jesus wasn’t concerned about reaching the greatest number of people that He could.  Jesus wasn’t concerned about that fact that His manner of speaking made it difficult for some to understand Him.  In fact, He intentionally spoke in a manner knowing that some wouldn’t understand.  Jesus’ focus was on those who He knew were part of His Kingdom.  Those who had would get more and those who had less would have that taken away.  
Jesus was focused on those who had a heart for the Kingdom.   He was focused on those who would receive the Kingdom .  
We need to make it a point to understand the Kingdom or else it could be missed.   Notice that the only soil that Satan prevented from receiving the Kingdom was the heart that didn’t understand the Kingdom...the heart that didn’t understand the truth.
Once we know the truth, we need to be cautious of distractions.  We all go through problems, but we can’t let those problems take us from the Kingdom.  Many people lose faith when a loved one dies or a tragedy happens in their life.  They don't understand how God could allow this to happen if He exists.  This is often because their reality doesn’t match their religious views.  This too then goes back to having a wrong view of God or a bad understanding of the truth.  Trials and struggles draw some people closer to God while they turn other people away from their faith.  Which type of person are you?
We also need to be cautious not to let our dreams and goals or our achievements distract us from the Kingdom.  Don’t be deceived into believing that every goal that you have that isn’t evil is God’s will.  God gives you desires once you make Him a priority.  Prior to that it can be society, your family, your friends and your co-workers who are putting desires into your heart.
Our goal though isn’t to merely understand and believe in the Kingdom.  The only reason the sower planted seeds was to produce a harvest.   The scary thing about  this parable is that three of the four soils did not have any harvest.  The only reason the sower was sowing seeds was to produce a harvest.  Some people receive the seed, nurture it, water it, move it to a great sunny spot, but don’t grow any fruit.  If you aren’t producing any harvest are you any more benefit to the sower than the rocky soil or the thorns?  
Are you producing fruit?  Are you advancing the Kingdom?  
Jesus didn’t judge a small harvest as being any better than a large harvest.  He only differentiated the soil with fruit from the soils didn't have fruit.   There are really only two meaningful categories - soil that produces fruit vs soil that doesn’t produce fruit.   Which one are you?
Presenter: Michael Leadon


References

Parable of the Sower bibletalk.tv
How We Listen by Tim Mackie
Parable of the sewer by Andy Womack
All of the parables talk about how critical the word of God hears and understanding the kingdom of God
Mark 4:13
Jesus is saying that this parable is how you understand all of his teachings

Extra

Luke 10:21-24
21 At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.
22 "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."
23  Turning to the disciples, He said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see,
24 for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them."