Matthew 13:12, 13 - The Mystery of Parables.

Matthew 13:12, 13: The Mystery of Parables.

Matthew 13:12, 13 (NLT) To those who are open to my teaching, 
more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of 
knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be 
taken away from them. 13 That is why I tell these stories, because 
people see what I do, but they don't really see. They hear what I say, 
but they don't really hear, and they don't understand. 

Some say parables are earthly stories with a heavenly message. 

The disciples once asked Jesus why He liked to speak in parables 
- picture-stories with hidden meanings. Jesus' answer was a 
promise of spiritual insight for anyone who truly knows Him. When we 
believe in Jesus, God gives us a supernatural ability to understand the 
Bible and apply it to our lives. And it's not just a little ability; 
it's more than enough for the job. That's always the way God gives - 
over and above. [The 365 Daily Promise Bible By Barbour re Mat. 

   Jesus used many stories, or parables (Matthew 13:3, 34), when 
speaking to the crowds. These stories compare something unfamiliar to 
something familiar, helping us understand spiritual truth by using 
everyday objects and relationships. When speaking in parables, Jesus was 
not hiding truth from sincere seekers, because those who were 
receptive to spiritual truth sought to understand his illustrations. To 
others they were only meaningless or entertaining stories. Human ears 
hear many sounds, but there is a deeper kind of listening that 
results in spiritual understanding.  
   Jesus' parables compel listeners to discover truth, while at 
the same time concealing the truth from those too lazy or too 
stubborn to look for it. To those who are honestly searching, the truth 
becomes clear.  
   Each parable has a central meaning unless otherwise specified 
by Jesus. We must be careful not to read too much into parables, 
forcing them to say what they don't mean. [One Year NLT SB re Mat. 

Jesus taught extensively in parables. Often the multitudes 
didn't understand the meaning of the parables, but Jesus explained them 
to his disciples when they asked (see Matthew 13:18-23). This 
pattern is typical of God's ways: He gives understanding to those who 
are the most receptive to truth and who seek it out. Those who don't 
keep seeking to understand are left in the dark. Light received 
brings greater light; light rejected leaves darkness. If we hunger for 
greater spiritual understanding, then we should strive for faithfulness 
in what we do understand. The light received can bring more light 
to our lives. [NIV Once A Day Bible re Mat. 13:10-17] 

   An inescapable law of life. In every sphere of life more is 
given to the man who has, and what he has is taken away from the man 
who has not. In the world of scholarship the student who labours to 
amass knowledge is capable of acquiring more knowledge. It is to him 
that the research, the advanced courses, the deeper things are given; 
and that is so because by his diligence and fidelity he has made 
himself fit to receive them. On the other hand, the student who is lazy 
and refuses to work inevitably loses even the knowledge which he 
   Many a person had some skill in a craft or game and lost it, 
because he neglected it. The diligent and hard-working person is in a 
position to be given more and more; the lazy person may well lose even 
what he has. Any gift can be developed; and, since nothing in life 
stands still, if a gift is not developed, it is lost.  
   It is so with goodness. Every temptation we conquer makes us 
more able to conquer the next and every temptation to which we fail 
makes us less able to withstand the next attack. Every good thing we 
do, every act of self-discipline and of service, makes us better 
able for the next; and every time we fail to use such an opportunity 
we make ourselves less able to seize the next when it comes.  
   Life is always a process of gaining more or losing more. 
Jesus laid down the truth that the nearer a man lives to him, the 
nearer to the Christian ideal he will grow. And the more a man drifts 
away from Christ, the less he is able to reach to goodness; for 
weakness, like strength, is an increasing thing. [Barclay Commentary] 

   Our Lord warns that the human heart can be so pounded and 
beaten down with the traffic of sin that it becomes completely 
insensitive to the gospel. This is the heart that knows no repentance, no 
sorrow over sin, no guilt, and no concern for the things of God. It 
allows itself to be trampled by an endless procession of evil thoughts, 
cherished sins, and ungodly activities. It is careless, callous, 
indifferent, never broken up or softened by conviction or sorrow for 
wrongdoing. This is the heart of the fool described in Proverbs. The fool 
hates knowledge, and resists instruction. The fool despises wisdom and 
says in his heart there is no God. He will not hear. His mind is 
closed. And he does not want to be bothered with a gospel invitation. 
   Many people have hearts like that. You can shower them with 
seed, but it just lies there. It does not penetrate. And it does not 
stay very long before Satan comes and takes it away completely. Each 
time you try to witness to such a person, you must start again at the 
   Dry, hard, soil on the edge of the field does not necessarily 
signify someone who is anti-religious. Some of the hardest individuals 
in the world remain on the fringes of true religion. But because 
sin has so hardened their hearts, they are utterly unproductive and 
unresponsive to God. John F. MacArthur, Jr. [Time With God SB] 

The gospel is "foolishness" to some (see 1 Cor. 1:23) because 
"the natural man," unconditioned by the influence of the Holy Spirit, 
has no capacity for receiving "the things of the Spirit of God" (see 
1 Cor. 2:14).... The ground must be ready for the seed to a 
certain extent before it can receive the seed with profit. Those who 
have made practical use of the truth revealed to them will be given 
more truth. Those who are spiritually receptive will get infinitely 
more good from any presentation of truth than the keenest minds that 
are lacking in spiritual receptiveness. The wonderful gifts of 
Heaven are for those who eagerly desire them (see DA 827). [SDA 


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