Summary: When looking at the parables, we have to make sure we get the main points and don’t get lost in the details. Here is the main point.
Passage: Matthew 13:47-58
Intro: I love summaries!
1. something really satisfying about gathering info and drawing conclusions.
2. we have been looking at the parables from Matthew for some weeks.
3. and we have found some repetition.
4. so here at the last of these parables in this block, we find a summary of sorts.
5. since these parables are about “the kingdom of heaven”, we are getting a big picture view of what God’s purposes are.
6. easy to overlook the grace of God here!
7. God’s purpose is gracious, His revelation is kind
PP Warning sign
I. God’s Plan: The Clear Revelation of Truth
1. let’s put several things together here.
2. this particular parable about the net and the fish seems familiar to us by now.
3. God’s plan is to reveal the truth, and for rescue from captivity to deception to be based on the response to that truth.
PP) parable of the sower, weeds among the grain.
4. even the use of parables, which some understand and others don’t, is tied to the believing or unbelieving response to God’s revelation.
5. we have seen in these parables what we also see here; that resistance and rejection are one possible response to the revelation of God.
6. and so we have seen several times this statement of separation, of the wicked being burned and the righteous being welcomed into the eternal kingdom of heaven.
7. we find ourselves being somewhat resistant to this clear revelation; looking for a softer message.
8. but it has always been God’s plan to reveal the path of righteousness, and then hold people accountable for their response to that revelation.
PP Romans 10:17
9. look at v51. Jesus asks His disciples if they’ve got it!
10. one word answer: Yes!
11. they understood that faith comes by hearing, and that people need to hear and respond to the truth of God as revealed through Jesus Christ in order to be rescued from hell.
12. and that this separation was eternal and final, and would take place at the end of the world.
13. the warning is serious, and the warning is gracious, the rescue plan is gracious
13. so what should we do about it?
II. The Task of God’s Servants
1. the “therefore” in v52 is very powerful
2. means we are going to see an application of what was just said.
3. some people get in a tizzy about “teacher of the law”, as if it is referring to Jewish scribes.
4. but is really a statement addressed to those who have been called by God to teach the truth like Jesus did.
5. and to those, Jesus says we need to teach the whole thing, and not just the parts we like.
6. I believe we can apply OT and NT to this statement and get it right.
7. “the whole counsel of God”, the entirety of God’s progressive revelation
8. God has not chosen force or manipulation or bribery to rescue people from captivity to deception and spiritual darkness.
9. He has chosen clear, pure revelation of the truth to change people, to rescue people.
10. v17 very powerful, this has always been God’s plan; to reveal Truth and call people to put their faith in His truth instead of Satan’s lies.
11. the truth is the truth, and it has very specific parameters.
12. it is not relative, it is not based on a personal opinion or interpretation.
Il) I heard a little ad on Christian radio promoting their station, “You listen, God speaks” Hmmm.
13. for God’s servants, the task is clear.
14. proclaim the truth, be living examples of the truth, just like Jesus was.
15. it is easy to pick those parts of Jesus’ life that we like, and avoid the tougher statements like those found in these parables.
16. but this is the truth by which people will be held accountable.
17. the revelation of truth is incredibly gracious, fulfilling the righteous character of God to give us the whole story!!
Il) TV shows dole out info gradually, give us bits and pieces, so they can surprise us at the end with a “twist.”
18. there will be no surprises; no “twists.”
19. the righteous character of God requires full disclosure.
PP Romans 1:20
20. Satan seeks to distort the truth, that God has clearly revealed.
21. and here is an example
III. A Story of Resistance
1. don’t be put off by the paragraph if you have one.
2. the context ties this little story in with the rest.
3. because a huge part of the parables is the consistent resistance to the revelation of truth.
4. v53. Jesus goes to Nazareth, continues ministry of revelation