Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XV: Christ As Israel's Messiah Seen By The Opposition To His Ministry, Matthew 11:2-16:12
H. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Edifying Instruction On God's Altered Program, Matthew 13:1-52
1. Christ's Edifying Instruction On Individual Discipling In God's Altered Program
(Matthew 13:1-23)
  1. Introduction
    1. When Jesus was rejected as Messiah by Israel's leaders in Matthew 12:14-45, that same day (Matthew 13:1), He taught a collection of parables on God's program for believers in view of His withdrawal of His Kingdom, which postponement of the Kingdom that day had been predicted back in Zechariah 11:8-11.
    2. We thus begin to view that altered program insight to understand how God wants us to function today:
  2. Christ's Edifying Instruction On Individual Discipling In God's Altered Program, Matthew 13:1-23.
    1. Jesus began to instruct His disciples on God's altered program in a way that kept His spiritually unreceptive listeners ignorant while informing His followers who believed in Him, cf. Matthew 13:10-17:
      1. When Jesus began to speak in parables, the disciples asked why He did so in view of the fact that parables were difficult for many to understand, Matthew 13:1-3a with 13:10.
      2. Jesus replied that the disciples who had been responsive to Christ's words would be given insight in understanding the truth in the parables in reward for their response where those who had not faithfully received Christ's words would be kept ignorant on their truths in divine discipline, Matthew 13:11-16.
      3. Indeed, Jesus revealed that many godly men of the past had desired to hear what the disciples heard, meaning the insight taught in the Matthew 13 parables is priceless for us believers today, Matt . 13:17.
    2. Accordingly, we view the Parable of the Sower and its interpretation (Matt. 13:1-9, 18-23) that teaches there will be varied responses to the truth among even believers due to varying personal spiritual victories:
      1. Christ today sends forth His servants to present Bible truth to hearers in general, Matthew 13:3.
      2. However, due to varying degrees that individual hearers submit to God's Word versus various spiritual foes, there are varying responses, and varying degrees of spiritual fruitfulness, Matthew 13:4-9, 19-23:
        1. If a hearer does not understand the presented Word due to unbelief, Satan comes like the birds of the air and takes away God's truths to those who are thus not receptive, Matthew 13:4, 19.
        2. If a hearer then initially receives God's truth, but trials and persecution for holding it arise, and he is thus offended at the truth for this, he is like the rocky soil that initially spouts the sown seed, but does not give it strong root, and his spiritual growth is stunted, Matthew 13:5-6, 20-21.
        3. A third kind of hearer is he who receives the Word, but the cares of this world and deceitfulness of riches, worldliness, choke the impact of the Word, so he does not become fruitful, Matt. 13:7, 22.
        4. However, those who receive the Word and by faith understand it over Satan's efforts to the contrary, they hold to it in faith in God regardless of trials and persecutions and regardless of worldly cares and lusts, are like the good soil where the seed spouts and grows to become fruitful, Matt. 13:8, 23.
        5. However, even in this productive soil, there are varying degrees of crop yield: some bring forth thirty fold, some sixty fold and others an hundred fold, Matthew 13:23. These crop yield variations are then caused by variations in personal victory over Satan, the sin nature and the world, the believer's three spiritual foes described elsewhere (as follows): (1) one overcomes Satan by heeding Scripture to counter His deception, and by relying on the Holy Spirit versus one's own power to gain victory over Satan's efforts, 1 John 2:14b. (2) One overcomes the sin nature by walking in the power of the Holy Spirit versus his own effort, Galatians 5:16. (3) One overcomes the world by not loving it and its lusts of the flesh, the eyes and the pride of this earthly life, 1 John 2:15-16, and by living in hope of God's reward in eternity over the temporary rewards of the world, 1 John 2:17.
Lesson: In our current, post-Kingdom-withdrawn era, there is a wide variety of responses to the presentation of the Word even among believers, and this is caused by degrees individuals trust God's Word to offset their spiritual foes in Satan, the sin nature and the world. Our part as believers is to gain victory over these spiritual foes by faith that we might be discipled and greatly productive in life.

Application: To be fruitful, may we receive the Word of God in victorious faith over our spiritual foes!