Summary: PENTECOST 8 (A) - Everyone who has ears are to hear the living and active word of God. We hear God's word not in neglect but for respect.
“HE WHO HAS EARS, LET HIM HEAR” (Outline)
July 18, 2010 -
Pentecost 8 -
MATTHEW 13:1-9; 18-23
INTRO: Listening to God’s word is absolutely vital to and for our Christian faith. The trouble today is that we are no trained to listen very well. If we do not pay attention we can always find the information we need in books or on the Internet. "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the mes-sage is heard through the word of Christ" (ROMANS 10:17). Believers come to know and believe in the Triune God by hearing the word of truth. Children know their Savior long before they can read. Verse 9 serves as our theme:
“HE WHO HAS EARS, LET HIM HEAR”. We pray to the Lord to help us have hearing ears so that we may pay close attention, listen, and hear: I. Not in neglect, II. But for respect.
I. MAY WE HEAR – NOT IN NEGLECT
A. Verse 3. Jesus teaches in parables. Parables compare two things side by side.
1. Jesus uses parables to explain the spiritual with the earthly (extraordinary with the ordinary).
2. Everyone was well acquainted with planting seeds. Jesus compares sowing seed with faith.
B. Verse 4. Along the path the seed is eaten before taking root. Verse 19. The devil snatches away.
1. Verses 5,6. The seed in shallow soil grows quickly as the soil is warm. Too warm in heat.
2. Verses 20,21. Emotional hearing lasts only a short time in the face of trouble. A shallow root.
C. Verse 7. The seed among the thorns gets the chance to grow up and mature. Thorns choke it out.
1. Verse 22. The seed is unfruitful. Worries and wealth have choked out the fruitfulness.
2. None of the seed in these first three examples produced any fruit. Seeds need good soil.
D. In this parable the Lord God Almighty reminds each of us about the “unholy trinity”. Now, we are familiar with the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. What about the unholy trinity? Jesus said the “evil one snatches away what was sown”. This can be anything that is evil and stands opposed to the divine will of God. Remember the source of all evil is the evil one: Satan. Satan is alive and well. Satan seeks to destroy our souls forever in hell. The devil is a formidable foe. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 PETER 5:8). Our enemy is ferocious. Satan is also sneaky. Satan often disguises himself as an angel of light. There are many today who focus so much on angels that they are distracted from focusing on Christ alone.
E. Next in this unholy trinity are ourselves. Our own sinful flesh constantly opposes God’s will for our lives. It is a constant struggle for every Christian. We are born as enemies of God. By grace the Lord God reaches down and snatches us from the very jaws of hell itself. Still, we often look to ourselves for the answers for this life. We tend to want to know the explanation for that which cannot be explained. Such is the thinking of our “know-it-all” human race. The experts offer their advice and wisdom. It changes quite often. Even religious leaders strive to do that which the world would accept instead of what God would want. Our faith needs to be rooted on the Rock of our salvation. "Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming" (EPHESIANS 4:14).
F. How often the world distracts us with all of its attractions. The purely, earthly desire for fame, power, glory, honor, and wealth can consume us. The world around us constantly offers fleeting material possessions as the source of happiness. Ask those who seem wealthy if they have enough money. Ask yourself if you have enough. It always seems that just a little more will be just right to make us happy enough. But then we need a little more and a little more. "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 TIMOTHY 6:10). Remember money is not evil. The sinful love of money is what easily distracts us. Daily the devil, our own sinful flesh, and the world try to drown out the words and very voice of God.
“HE WHO HAS EARS, LET HIM HEAR”-- not in neglect but for respect.
II. MAY WE HEAR – FOR RESPECT OF GOD AND HIS WORD.