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September 29 Today’s Reading: Matthew 13-14
The Parables of the Kingdom
Drawing His illustrations from the book of nature, our Lord Jesus Christ gave the multitudes who were gathered to hear Him seven striking illustrations of gospel truth. Here is a great display of the tender heart of God our Savior. He condescends to teach His redeemed in the most simple terms, so that none might miss His meaning.
The Parable of the Sower (vv. 1-23)
The Gospel, the Word of God, is the seed of life. Many hear it without any benefit to their souls. But those whose hearts are prepared by grace receive the Word as seed sown in good ground. And it springs up in them unto everlasting life.
The Parable of the Wheat and Tares (vv. 24-30)
In every local church, where God has planted His wheat, Satan sows his tares. And it is impossible to distinguish one from the other until harvest time. So we must let both grow together. In time of harvest God will do the separating.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed (vv. 31-32)
Faith begins in the heart as a small seed, and grows in a short time into a tree with far spreading branches. As the mustard seed is pungent, so faith even as a grain of mustard seed is powerful, overcoming the world.
The Parable of the Leaven (v. 33)
The Gospel of the grace of God, like a small pinch of leaven, was sent forth into the world by the Spirit of God. Its power and influence will not cease until it has reached every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue, until “all Israel shall be saved.” God’s elect remnant scattered among all the nations of the world must and shall hear the Gospel and be converted to Christ.
The Parable of the Treasure Hidden (v. 44)
The Church of God’s elect is the treasure He has hidden in the earth. Christ, finding His treasure in the earth, has purchased the whole world (Psalm 2:8; John 17:2) that He might have His treasure. The price He paid was everything He had, even His own life!
The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price (vv. 45-46)
This Pearl is our Savior. If ever a sinner sees this great Pearl and rightly discerns His value, he will gladly part with everything to have Him. Christ is the Pearl that makes men rich, truly rich, rich toward God, eternally rich!
The Parable of the Great Net (vv. 47-50)
The preaching of the Gospel is like the casting of a great net into the sea. In the net both choice fish and useless carps are gathered. And Gospel preaching gathers both God’s elect and the reprobate into the visible church. But, as the fishermen separate the good from the bad and throw the bad away, so at the end of the world, God will send His angels to sever the carnal professor from the true believer. And the reprobate He will cast into hell.
In every part of this blessed chapter, the Lord Jesus has drawn, as with a sun-beam, the striking difference between His elect and the reprobate of this world, assuring us of His faithful, tender care of His own. O Lord Jesus, give us grace to know that we are Yours at all times and in all circumstances! And give us, blessed Savior, grace to honor You at all times and in all circumstances!