What Jesus Did! 'The Power of Stories' — Matthew 13:34-35

Friday, June 30, 2017

Jesus used stories to tell all these things to the people. Jesus always used stories to teach the people. This is the same as what the prophet said: "I will speak using stories; I will tell things that have been secrets since the world was made."
— Matthew 13:34-35
Illustration of Matthew 13:34-35 — "I will speak using stories; I will tell things that have been secrets since the world was made."

Key Thought

Jesus' stories, or parables, were windows to God's truth. They both reveal and conceal. They conceal from those not seeking the truth, God, or the Kingdom. They reveal to those following Jesus—his disciples. But the revealing of these messages came through Jesus' time alone with his disciples as he explained God's mysteries to them. The message, however, was hooked into everyday life for them to easily remember and later awaken these truths when they saw them again in real life. From this point on, Jesus will put the key focus of his energies and time on helping the disciples understand God's mysteries. But the parable of the soils reminded them that they chose whether or not they were soil fit for his seed and whether or not they would be fruitful. For us, the message is much the same: if we want to understand the mysteries of God's Kingdom, we must be willing to spend dedicated and concentrated time with Jesus. This is why Matthew wrote his Gospel in the first place. Don't let the year go by merely reading a few verses from Matthew's Gospel everyday. Read it through at one sitting several times during the remainder of the year using different translations. Read the other Gospels as well. Get to know Jesus better and worship, serve, and reach out with the Gospel to those who don't know Jesus. He longs to help us understand the deep things of God, but he can only do it if we spend dedicated time in his presence.

Today's Prayer

Father, God Almighty who sent his Son in love to reveal the truth, please help me know Jesus more completely. In addition, help me to know your will for me as I search the Scriptures. Reveal yourself to me in my everyday life as I seek to know you more fully and as I seek to follow your Son more completely. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Then Jesus used another story to teach them. Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a man that planted good seed in his field. That night, all the people were asleep. The man's enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat. Then the enemy went away. Later, the wheat grew and heads of grain grew on the wheat plants. But at the same time the weeds also grew. Then the man's servants came to him and said, 'You planted good seed in your field. Where did the weeds come from?' "The man answered, 'An enemy planted weeds.' "The servants asked, 'Do you want us to go pull the weeds?' "The man answered, 'No, because when you pull up the weeds, you might also pull up the wheat. Let the weeds and the wheat grow together until the harvest time. At the harvest time I will tell the workers this: First gather the weeds and tie them together to be burned. Then gather the wheat and bring it to my barn.'" Then Jesus told the people another story: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. A person plants that seed in his field. That seed is one of the smallest of all seeds. But when the seed grows, it is one of the largest garden plants. It becomes a tree, big enough for the birds to come and make nests in its branches." Then Jesus told the people another story: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman mixes into a big bowl of flour to make bread. The yeast makes all the dough (bread) rise." Jesus used stories to tell all these things to the people. Jesus always used stories to teach the people. This is the same as what the prophet said: "I will speak using stories; I will tell things that have been secrets since the world was made." Then Jesus left the people and went into the house. His followers came to him and said, "Explain to us the meaning of the story about the weeds in the field." Jesus answered, "The person that planted the good seed in the field is the Son of Man. The field is the world. The good seed are all of God's children in the kingdom. The weeds arethose people that belong to the Evil One (the devil). And the enemy that planted the bad seed is the devil. The harvest time is the end of the world. And the workers that gather are God's angels. "The weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire. It will be the same at the end of the world. The Son of Man will send his angels, and his angels will find the people that cause sin and all people that do evil. The angels will take those people out of his kingdom. The angels will throw those people into the place of fire. In that place the people will be crying and grinding their teeth {with pain}. Then the good people will shine like the sun. They will be in the kingdom of their Father. You people that hear me, listen!

Matthew 13:24-43

Related Scripture Readings

I want you to know that I am trying very hard to help you. And I am trying to help the people in Laodicea and other people who have never seen me. I want them to be strengthened and joined together with love. I want them to have the full confidence that comes from understanding. I mean I want them to know fully the secret truth that God has made known. That truth is Christ himself. In Christ all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are safely kept. I tell you these things so that no person can fool you by telling you ideas that seem good, but are false. I am not there with you, but my heart is with you. I am happy to see your good lives and your strong faith in Christ. You received Christ Jesus the Lord. So continue to live following him without changing anything. You must depend on Christ only. Life and strength come from him. You were taught the truth. You must continue to be sure of that true teaching. And always be thankful. Be sure that no person leads you away with false ideas and words that mean nothing. Those ideas come from people, not Christ. Those ideas are the worthless ideas of people in the world. All of God lives in Christ fully (even in Christ's life on earth). And in Christ you are full. You need nothing else. Christ is ruler over all rulers and powers.

Colossians 2:1-10

Jesus answered, "I am the way. I am the truth and the life. The only way to the Father is through me. If you really knew me, then you would know my Father too. But now you know the Father. You have seen him." Philip said to Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need." Jesus answered, "Philip, I have been with you for a long time. So you should know me. The person that has seen me has seen the Father too. So why do you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you truly believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The things I have told you don't come from me. The Father lives in me, and he is doing his own work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or believe because of the miracles I have done. I tell you the truth. The person that believes in me will do the same things I have done. Yes! He will do even greater things than I have done. Why? Because I am going to the Father.

John 14:6-12

Every person that does evil hates the light. That person will not come to the light. Why? Because then the light will show all the bad things he has done. But the person that follows the true way comes to the light. Then the light will show that the things that person has done were done through God.

John 3:20-21

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.