Truly Alive (Matthew 13:1-23)
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Truly Alive (Matthew 13:1-23)

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Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. 2 A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. 3 He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” 10 His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?” 11 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. 12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.

14 This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says, ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do,you will not comprehend.

15 For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’

16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.

18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

The Kingdom of Heaven is a spiritual reality that changes HOW I SEE EVERYTHING.

Overall Commentary: 🌎

Jesus pivots to talk through parables and changing our worldview. He helps us to see how we enter the Kingdom of God. He also shows various complex spiritual principles told through the medium of stories. This type of teaching through stories is called giving parables.

Jesus desires for us to TRULY LIVE.


Gardener casting seed...

  • This was the most common way of planting crops. They would walk up and down the rows throwing seeds. Most of the time, they would till the ground AFTER they had cast the seeds.

Why parables?

  • There are many good reasons for Jesus to use parables. One reason is that stories are powerful and help illustrate difficult principles. Another reason is that there are many different types of people in Jesus' crowds. Not everyone is there to learn and grow. Some are there to criticize and frustrate His ministry. Therefore, He teaches in parables so that those who came to learn can, and those who came to criticize can also do so. The 'pearls' of the Kingdom are only for those looking for them.

Explaining the Parable...

  • Many parables we will read together would be very difficult to understand without Jesus giving us an explanation of these parables. This parable is one of the few that is found in 3 out of the 4 Gospels. (The other two are Mark and Luke.)

The Result of 30, 60, and 100.

  • A great yield of a crop during this timeframe was between 7 and 10x times. This would have been a great harvest. Jesus was saying what He wants to do is a miraculous increase of what we can expect. I think we get caught up in whether we are the 30, the 60, or the 100. That is not really the point of His numbers. The point is to say whatever God does in you, it will be a miracle.

Top Takeaway-

There are many great lessons we can learn from this text and many books have been written on this parable. The greatest lesson we can learn is there are many who approach God and hear His message. It is available to all. However, not everyone will receive His message. We must do it His way. We must come to Him and completely surrender to His Message. Jesus has a big idea for us. He wants us to be fruitful in our lives. This is His ultimate hope for us. Let's come to Him and experience His miraculous power in our lives.

Further Resources for Deeper Study