The Grief of Unbelief

Read Numbers 14:1-25 with Matthew 13:53-58

Unbelief can show its grievous ways on several fronts. Sometimes it is disbelief in God's promises and Word; sometimes it is obstinacy wanting one's own way; sometimes it is an unwillingness to walk in faith because the way forward is hard. Jesus did not do many mighty works in Nazareth, not because he was powerless or restricted by unbelief, but because his gracious mercy was profitless to the unbelieving heart.

The Visible Church

Read Genesis 25:27-34 wih Matthew 13:47-52

The Parable of the Dragnet is a grave warning to the visible church of Jesus Christ. As the gospel goes forth, like a dragnet it catches many people. But, like the dragnet, there are both good and bad within, and they will not be separated until the end of the age. As God declares, "they are not all Israel who are of Israel." Since the visible church is the kingdom of Christ here on earth, this aprable warns us not to presume all who are in the church visible are in the kingdom of God.

The Great Treasure

Read Proverbs 3:13-18 with Matthew 13:44-46

These two parables of the hidden treasure and pearl of great price, draw the issues of the kingdom of heaven to a very personal level. They beg the questions of "How precious is Christ to your soul?" and "Have you laid hold of the great treasure of the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus already spoke of "sons of the kingdom" being cast out for not embracing the treasure - Jesus Christ [Matthew 8:12]; have you believe in Jesus, the Lord and Saviour? Remember, many are called, but few are chosen.

Of Wheat and Tares

Read Matthew 13:24-30, 34-43

Have you ever thought how the world seems to be getting more and more immoral? Pehaps it is that immorality is simply tolerated and accepted more. Regardless, in this parables, the Lord Jesus reveals his sovereignty and glorious power to build his church even in the midst of an evil and lawless generation. The tares are all around us, but they do not prevent the ministry of the gospel.

The Good Soil

Read Matthew 13:10-23

Only the "good soil" is able to bear fruit from the "word of the kingdom" that is sown. That is because there is a vital union with Christ and the efficacious work of the Holy Spirit upon the soul. Are you abiding in Christ, and can you see the gracious fruit of faith, repentance, grateful worship, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life, and maturing in your life? These are the visible signs of a soul that has been prepared by the Holy Spirit to receive God's Word.

Do You Have Ears to Hear?

Read isaiah 6:1-13 with MAtthew 13:1-17

Matthew 13 is a distinct chapter of the New Testament focused on parabolic teaching of the Kingdom of Heaven. Here the Lord Jesus explains the purpose of parables, which is directed preeminently to the Church, and not the ungodly. In the Parable of the Sower there are three soils representing those, even in the Church, who would hear God's Word proclaimed and yet have no fruit born. Do you have ears to hear?

The Genuine Family of God

Rea Matthew 12:43-50

Jesus gives a strong warning about the dangers of an empty house [heart of a person]. Any of us can accomplish some measure of moral reform in our life, and yet be empty of grace and God's presence. The danger is we become even more susceptible to the power of Satan and sin. Of a truth, it is either Satan or Christ who reigns in your life, there is no in-between. And then, the Lord Jesus goes on to express who truly belongs to his family.

The Sign of Christ

Read Matthew 12:38-42

Unbelief is a powerful stubborn obstacle in the heart of man. But here, The Lord Jesus addresses the unbelief in the covenant community of God's people, which is even more fearful. How easy to feed this stubborn unbelief by looking for signs from God instead of walking by faith, or by being unwilling to repent, or havign an apathy toward God's wisdom. What is the state of your faith?

The Holy Spirit & Heart and Mouth

Read Ezekiel 33:12-20 with Matthew 12:22-37

While most of us as Christians have thought about the "Unpardonable Sin" and what blasphemy against the Holy Spirit really is, it would be fair to say that most of us have contented ourselves with not having committed this unforgivable sin. But what about our speech? Jesus makes clear your speech reveals the state of your heart; and every idle word we speak will be brought into judgment.

Behold God's Servant

Read Zephaniah 3:14-20 with Matthew 12:14-21

In the midst of criticism, dislike and misplaced enthusiasm focused upon the Lord Jesus, Matthew digresses for a moment, taking us to Isaiah 42:1-4 to proclaim Christ as God's chosen servant. How important this was at a time when the people were hearing different things about who Jesus was. As the text proclaims, Jesus is the one established as God;s Servant who came to serve God's grace unto us.