Matthew 19-22

Parables

It seems that Jesus is resorting more to parables now as His time on earth draws short. Back in Chapter 13 the disciples asked Him why He spoke to the people in parables. He said it was because the people saw what He was doing but did not understand. They would come to Him and ask Him questions but would not listen to the answers. This was because their hearts were hard. They had established what they believed in their hearts and were not about to change. Pharaoh did the same thing as we read in the book of Exodus.

What a person establishes in their heart is held in place by faith. As we studied in the book of Exodus the Hebrew word translated “hard” is also translated “strong.” We have all been given a measure of faith and our faith works just fine. Some people say they don’t have the faith to believe in Jesus. The reality is that they do have the faith to believe in something or someone. They are just not willing to put their faith in Jesus because there faith is somewhere else.

In the case of the nation of Israel there will be consequences for having misplaced faith as we see in the parable Jesus told in Chapter 21:33-46. It is clear from their response that the religious rulers understood the parable. They also knew that this teaching was about them. Still, their hearts were so hard, they refused to budge in their thinking. Verse 43 speaks of the consequences of that decision.

In order to see the kingdom of God we must be born again. John 3:3

This means we must change our thinking and get it in line with the Lord Jesus and follow Him. The old thinking pattern and hardness of heart must be broken. This is illustrated in Matthew 21: 44 where one falls on the stone and is broken to pieces. When we truly encounter Jesus and realize we have to let go of that old hardness, and do so, we are broken and surrendered to His will. It is at this point we will have eyes to see and ears to hear. Proverbs 20:12

Only Jesus can rebuild our lives, change our thinking, and instead of becoming hard, we become strong in the Lord as God redirects our lives. Ephesians 6:10-20; Romans 12:1&2

The other option found in the last part of verse 44 does not sound so appealing, but that is the one the religious rulers chose. People are still choosing this option today. As a result of their hardness against God they are living the hard consequences of their decisions. It is like being scattered like dust. Don’t be fooled and don’t fool yourself. The religious rulers would say they believed in God as many people do today. But the god they believe in is one that they made up in their mind and have conformed that god to that image in their mind. The image of god they had established in their mind is like an idol man has made. The idol may have eyes but it cannot see. It may have ears but it cannot hear. It has a mouth but it cannot speak so they put their own words in their idol's mouth. That is what got the religious rulers in trouble.

The fact that Jesus also spoke parables to the disciples indicates that this is an ongoing process. Often Jesus resorted to a parable when the disciple’s thinking was off track and needed to be corrected. The difference was the disciples were willing to listen and learn because they surrendered their will to His.

Have you truly surrendered your life and will to Jesus? Are you born again?

Pastor Dave