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March 17, 2016

Text: “For to the one who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables,  because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:12-13

Emerging from his lodging place and taking a seat beside the sea, Jesus begins a day of teaching by the use of parables. After pronouncing the first parable (the parable of the sower) his disciples, recognizing the figurative language of the parables, question him about his reason for using parables on the crowd. Parables are both instructive and enigmatic; sort of a oxymoron. His answer is above. In a nutshell, Jesus informs them that men will have one of two responses: either they will be eager to go deeper to learning the meaning, or they will disregard the challenge and pursue spiritual lessons no more. Parables frustrate the simple, and motivate the wise!

The Master’s response is to assert the reward of aspiring to know more of God’s teaching and exert effort to obtain it. Unfortunately, the shirkers who put forth no effort to learn because they have little value for the knowledge of God’s spiritual truth remain ignorant by their own choice. The teachings of Jesus raise this same theme time and again. See also Mark 4:25 and Matthew 25:29. Many have been misled to believe that these passages teach that God will heap material blessings upon those who beseech him for riches and material goods, but not if they do not ask. This “gospel of prosperity” is a misunderstanding of God’s real promises. This misdirection leads men astray, putting the emphasis upon the wrong treasure. You must keep your real focus on the true treasure!

This idea is explained more to the point in Luke 8:18. “Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away.” See how Jesus warns us about the effort we must give to acquire and retain the knowledge of His words.  The warning begins, “TAKE HEED HOW…!”  You are responsible  for adding to your own body of knowledge and it doesn’t come cheap! Spiritual learnedness doesn’t come by osmosis…it comes with your hard work!

Here is another way of stating the matter. “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2  Like an athlete who misses his assignment and is benched, so the Christian who fails to study the game plan will be removed from the game!

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink!” “You’re as stubborn as a mule”, is another adage.  As pertains to humans these are especially true! The human being is incorrigibly stubborn and can seldom be encouraged to change his mind or behavior. Jesus addresses this issue in verse 13: “because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Let me proclaim loudly and persistently that it is you own fault if you stop studying and learning God’s word! You may be lacking in spiritual depth, but you can and must stop being Satan’s stooge!   

Either you will, or you won’t!













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