07 January 2011

Matthew 12-13

Many of the religious leaders in Jesus' day were more concerned about the buildings and items used for worship than they were for the people who came there to worship. Jesus remarks to the Pharisees, "I tell you that one greater than the temple is here" (12.6) because he knew that the Pharisees were more concerned about keeping the temple pure, than providing food for those who are hungry. I sure am glad this doesn't happen anymore in churches!

As people were gathering around Jesus, straining to be close to him and hear his teachings, he redefines some basic human relationships. He tells his followers that those who "do the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother" (12.50). The implication is that there may be relatives of our who are less "brother[s] and sister[s] and mother[s]" to us than those who are connected to us through the blood of Christ. I sure am glad this doesn't happen anymore in churches!

Every time I read the "Parable of the Sower" (13.3-9) I think of Rob Evans, the Donut Man, and the song he wrote to tell this story. The images in Rob's video make it very clear how the different soils respond to the seeds that land upon them.

Before telling a series of parables (weeds, mustard seed, yeast, hidden treasure, pearl, and net), Jesus explains that his use of parables is because the "knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you [who understand the parables], but not to them [those who misunderstand them]" (13.11). Have you ever read a parable and thought: "What in the world does that mean?" I know I have!

What verse(s) stuck out to you the most in Matthew 12-13?

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