Secrets of the kingdom: Matthew 13

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Today’s reading: Matthew 13-14.

“Can you keep a secret?”

Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message. Malcolm Muggeridge

Parables have been defined as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. But Jesus said they were stories about heavenly secrets.

The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” Matthew 13:10-11

Proverbs says that the glory of God is to conceal things, while the glory of kings is to search them out. Some of that thinking is at work in the use of parables. Jesus wants his disciples to discover the glorious secrets of the kingdom of heaven. By hiding those secrets he requires his followers to work sincerely to understand them and to be in a relationship with him, the one who can interpret the hidden things. Those who are not pursuing spiritual things, who are only bystanders, will not have the desire or wisdom to uncover these secrets.

The seed and the sower – the secret of fruitfulness

  • The seed not covered (those who do not try to understand the word and therefore lose it).
  • The seed barely covered (those who let go of the word due to limited understanding and personal difficulty).
  • The seed covered but choked out (those who understand the word partly but lose the word because of worldly concerns).
  • The seed that produced much fruit (those who understand the word and apply it to their lives).

The seed mixed with weeds  – the secret of the end-time harvest

  • The world is a mixture of good and bad due to the work of Satan.
  • God allows the bad to remain, for now, in order to preserve the good.
  • The final harvest is coming when the bad will be weeded out and burned up.

The seed of the mustard plant  – the secret of kingdom growth

  • The kingdom of heaven begins in small ways, but doesn’t stay small.
  • Growing by multiplication, not addition, it keeps branching out more and more like a tree.
  • The growing kingdom is a bountiful blessing to all men, both the saved and the unsaved.

What parable secrets is God teaching you today?

Image by International Wheat and Maize on Flickr.

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3 thoughts on “Secrets of the kingdom: Matthew 13

  1. Perplexing isn’t it, to think that God would conceal essential truths, hide it from some, allow only others to see it? This hardly seems fair. Some might lack the gift of discernment and miss the truth. Or is there some message that gain only comes through effort?

    So this is the parable that speaks to me today. How two men can hike seven miles with the Lord Jesus Christ, conversing with Him, learning from Him, having the scriptures opened to them, yet not know who it is speaking to them. How can the glory of our Lord be in our midst, and we not see Him? Are we that blind?

    Where is this happening even now?

    • I’m as baffled as anyone about their failure to see him. Was is their lack of belief that he could possibly be alive that blinded them? Did he disguise himself? They recognized him when he broke bread (them seeing the familiar, or him allowing them to see?). What speaks to me about the episode is God’s grace in opening the scripture to us so that we could find faith through his word. Maybe that was the genesis of all the gospel writings relating how Jesus was the fulfillment of the OT prophesies.

  2. Pingback: Bible Daily Devotional – Secrets of the kingdom: Matthew 13 | ChristianBlessings

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