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To Follow Jesus: Spend Time with Him

Read Matthew 12 46-50 & 13:1-13

Let us use our bible study methods to see what is happening in this scripture. What are you Observing? How should we Interpret this? How should we apply this?

Jesus is travelling and teaching in parables. If we look earlier in Matt. 12:43-45 we see that people were having their lives changed after listening to Jesus.

“While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him…Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” –Matt. 12:43-45

Jesus is pointing out that when people believe in Him, when people devote their lives to Him their lives change. Their relationships change—they become related to Jesus, apart of His family, and they don’t remain strangers. Then He continues to speak to another crowd while standing on a boat with the crowds on the beach. He tells the parable of the sower—and one things is immensely clear. What is Jesus trying to teach and do?

Jesus wants His disciples to BE WITH HIM.

This isn’t some figurative idea. Jesus wants to be in proximity with people that both know Him and don’t know Him. We see this right here when Jesus is attracting crowds and talking face to face with people. Imagine this, Jesus is God, He is the God of the universe, He’s perfect, He’s holy, He’s sinless yet he is choosing to be with sinners! He is choosing to be in His creation! He is choosing to meet His creation FACE TO FACE, as a man, as a person, He is indwelling with His creation, He is serving them, teaching them, and building into disciples. He wants a relationship with His creation.

Jesus wants His disciples to BE WITH HIM.

The Parable:

Jesus continues to tell a parable.

“As the farmer sowed some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.’”

--Matthew 13:3-13

The Explanation

In Mathew 13:10-17 Jesus explains why He uses parables to teach. Jesus is preparing the hearts of the people willing to follow Him and willing to listen to him. He brings up a passage from Isaiah which foretells people hearing about their salvation, hearing from God directly yet not listening an having hardened hearts towards God. Again, this is what continues to happen with Jesus preaching and teaching. Here, Jesus is teaching from a boat, probably to try and amplify His voice, He’s not preaching in a temple, He’s also teaching something that is tricky and causes one to think—the jewish High Priest would have been upset by Jesus in this specific moment.

“The parable conceals truth from those who are either too lazy to think or too blinded by prejudice to see. It puts the responsibility fairly and squarely on the individual. It reveals truth to him who desires truth; it conceals truth from him who does not wish to see the truth.” (Barclay)

What is Jesus doing here? He is teaching something that will repeated throughout the entirety of the New Testament portion of scripture. He wants to soften hearts which are willing to be softened by hearing Jesus’ words. Jesus wants His people to put a foundation on Him, God’s word and the work of God. The enemy is quick to take away salvation, to trick people into salvation that is false, which is why planted firm, deep roots is so important for followers of Christ.

Jesus wants our full attention. How do we give it to Him?

We must practice discipline in our lives, we must take care of our spirituality. This means having a disciplined and constant prayer life, doing ministry with God and serving others, reading God’s word, Enjoying God’s creation, and taking consistent breaks from work to focus on God.

“Having a healthy spirituality involves feeding our souls in three ways: through prayer, practicing justice, and by having good things that we enjoy (friendships, good food and wine, and healthy leisure that keep our souls mellow and grateful).”

-Ken Shigematsu (God in My Everything)

“When we regularly pause from our ambitions and activities, we create space to experience Christ.”

-Ken Shigematsu (God in My Everything)

The Good Soil: “this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some hundredfold some sixty and some thirty” –Matthew 13:23

Jesus wants His disciples to BE WITH HIM. How often are you with Jesus?

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