2021_02_15 Insight Post- Kim Feld
This week's reading- Matthew 13 & 14
In Matthew 13 we are introduced to Jesus’ teaching in parables. Parables were used by Jesus to communicate spiritual truths in everyday language. Jesus was a masterful teacher who could captivate His audience with the way He spoke and His wisdom, and like any great communicator, He used multiple ways to convey His message. If you remember back a few chapters to His Sermon on the Mount teaching, it was straightforward and hard to miss His meaning. So why now employ a method that seemed to cause confusion? Did God really not want people to understand?
If you look back through the chapters we’ve read in Matthew, you will find a lot of reasons why people were hanging around Jesus. Some were in need of healing and through their faith, they found it. Some wanted to discredit Jesus because they saw Him as a threat; they were left frustrated as it was just impossible to trip Him up. Some wanted to see the “show” and followed to see what amazing feat He was going to do that day. But some felt a burning in their hearts at His words and they knew they had found their Messiah. They came to learn from Him. For those who were truly seeking, they found what they were looking for in Jesus and His teaching which includes the parables. Parables gave them deeper understanding about the kingdom of God. Those that had other motivation for following along were left in the dark.
To those not seeking Jesus, content to live life going their own way, spiritual things seem foolish. His upside-down kingdom where He commands us to love our neighbors AND our enemies, to give and to serve instead of getting and demanding, seems ludicrous. Throughout history people have had these same thoughts about Jesus. Look at what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:
18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.19 As the Scriptures say,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
As we continue our journey with Matthew, pray for eyes to see Jesus for who He really is. I believe that’s a prayer God delights in answering.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach