- Sermon Notes
Eternally LovedMatthew 13:44-58
ILLUS – Malina’s observation about God’s love.
1.Malina is in good company for Pastor Rich has shared, “If only we knew how much God loves us it would change us forever!”
2.How much does God love us? How much does He value us?
3.In the three parables we will study this evening, we will discover the answers to both questions and come to one amazing conclusion, that we are eternally loved.
1.In Matthew 13, seven parables that Jesus taught regarding the kingdom of heaven are recorded.
2.What is a parable? Remember, the word parable comes from two Greek words, para and ballō, which together means “to throw alongside”.
3.A parable, like a story or an illustration, makes a comparison between a known truth and an unknown truth. It “throws them alongside” each other.
4.A parable teaches one main truth, though there might be many parts or different characters used to develop the main truth further.
5.Why did Jesus shift His approach to teaching and use parables?
6.In Matthew 12, the scribes and Pharisees accused Jesus of using His Satanic powers to heal people and deliver demoniacs from evil spirits. Their accusation was an official rejection of Jesus by the religious establishment. In essence, they declared that Jesus was not Israel’s Messiah, the promised King of the kingdom of heaven. He was from hell.
7.So, parables reveal spiritual truth about the kingdom of heaven to those who earnestly seek it. At the same it, parables conceal spiritual truth about the kingdom of heaven from those with rebellious hearts. Thus, parables reveal and conceal spiritual truth.
8.These last three parables were given to the disciples only, after Jesus left the multitudes and entered a house. Therefore, there is great application for us, Christ’s disciples. They are personal.
Transition – With that understanding, let’s look at the last three of the seven parables in Matthew 13.
I.Be Convinced of God’s Great Love for You
The next two parables are about things of great value. We’ll see that they are similar yet somewhat different.
Jesus did not provide an explanation for either parable, so we are left to look at the other parables as well as the rest of the Bible for clues as to what they mean.
The first parable speaks of a treasure hidden in a field; which suggests something of great value.
A. In God’s eyes, you’re like a hidden treasure
1. In those days, people didn’t have the convenience or security of taking their treasure and placing it in a safe deposit box.
2. A common practice was to find a secluded place on their property, place the valuables in a chest, and then bury it secretly.
3. Inevitably, some people would die without telling anyone about where they had buried their valuable treasure.
4. In verse 44, Jesus told of a man who found treasure hidden in a field and from joy over it goes and sells all that he has in order to buy that field. That’s the parable. But what is the treasure and who is it that buys the field?
5. One common interpretation is that Jesus Christ is the treasure. If this is correct, then the man who purchases the field represents believers who discover Jesus and give up all they have to purchase Him or at least purchase their salvation. Is this possible?
6. Can we earn our salvation so that it’s something we deserve? Absolutely not!
ILLUS – How can a person make up for telling a lie?
James 2:10, For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.
APPL – Can he make up for his sin by punishing himself? No!
Colossians 2:23, These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
APPL – Is salvation something we that can purchase? No.
Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
APPL – Unlike the man who found the treasure, the truth is, none of found Jesus. In fact, we were never looking for Him.
Romans 3:10-12,There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.
So, we cannot earn our salvation, nor can we purchase it.
This parable reveals that the truth is completely the opposite and it’s much more beautiful as well.
7. Remember, in the parable of the wheat and tares, that the field is the world. (38)
8. Therefore, the treasure is you and me and the price that was paid was the life of God’s Son.
9. That’s the point. Jesus took our sins upon Himself. He bought us back. It all started back in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve turned their backs on God and sinned. Their sin corrupted humanity and resulted in making us all guilty before God and worthy of eternal condemnation.
10. Jesus came and took upon Himself the penalty for our sins, and before He breathed His last breath, He declared, “It is finished!” which means “Paid in full!” (John 19:30)
11. God saw this great treasure and He bought it for a great price, the life of His Son.
APPL – Many would look at that and say, “I don’t understand it, how can these things be?”
APPL – What is something worth? The value of something is determined by what someone will pay for it.
ILLUS – Some of the most expensive items ever sold at auction.
- APPL – What, then, is our value? Christ gave His life; we’ve been bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. That, then, is our value.
1 Peter 1:18-19, … knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
Transition – The next parable will give us more insight into God’s heart for us.
B.In God’s eyes, you’re like a pearl of great price
1. A merchant who deals in pearls saw a pearl of such great value that he sold everything to purchase it. (45-46)
2. Again, Jesus was describing the value of those He came to save, His church.
3. This is a helpful parable when you understand what a pearl really is. It begins as nothing more than a dirty irritation with rough edges.
a.But it is made valuable as the oyster covers that irritation with layer upon layer of this hard, impenetrable, and glorious covering.
b.It started out as an ugly, irritating, rough-edged piece of dirt and is made into something beautiful and valuable by what the oyster does to it.
APPL – Now this is something that we can relate to, the heart of the pearl we can identify with, that which is invaluable and rough and dirty.
- The rest is God’s doing.
- Layer upon layer He adds His love and grace.
- He bought us when we didn’t deserve a thing!
Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
APPL – This helps us understand the meaning of this parable.
- When many people look at their lives, they quickly recognize that they are dirty, unworthy, filthy, and an irritation that deserves to be rejected.
- Unfortunately, many act out and push God away.
- But this is the wrong reaction. God knows who we are. He is not deceived.
A. W. Tozer – “Jesus knows the worst about you. Nonetheless, He is the One who loves you the most.”
- God takes what we were and changes and transforms us by adding His love and grace.
- He is committed to making all things new in our lives.
Revelation 21:5, And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
II. Let God’s Love Transform Your Life
- The next parable of the dragnet is like the parable of the wheat and the tares.
- Here, Jesus said that at the end of the age the nations will be separated.
- Those who recognized the value of Jesus and the gift of everlasting life that He offered by placing their faith in Him, will be saved.
- Those who did not receive Jesus as their Savior will be cast away into the lake of fire, a place of eternal judgment where there will be weeping and
gnashing of teeth.
- Jesus asked His disciples if they understood what He said, and they said they did.
- Then, Jesus added one more thing that gives us great insight into how God transforms His people.
A.The truth will transform your mind
1. Jesus said to them that every scribe “who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven” is like a head of a household who brings forth out of his treasure things old and new.
2. The scribes were those who would copy the Scriptures and because of their knowledge of the Word, had a great treasure.
3. But Jesus was saying that those scribes who were disciples have knowledge of the old as well as the new, should bring forth their treasures both old and new. In other words, God will use the full counsel of His Word to transform lives.
Romans 10:17, So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
4. So here we see that Jesus is making all things new and will use the truth in both the Old and New Testaments to transform our minds.
Romans 12:2, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
B. The truth will increase your faith
1. The next scene that unfolds is sad, but a fitting close to this section, where Jesus was rejected by the religious leaders of Israel.
2. Jesus went to his hometown of Nazareth, but they were offended by Him and rejected Him.
3.T heir familiarity bred contempt! In verse 58, we’re told, “He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.”
4. It’s not that He could not, but rather He would not because of their unbelief.
APPL – But when God’s love works in our lives, the truth of His love will increase our faith.
- When there is faith, people will come to God and ask for help.
- When there is faith, God is pleased and will move.
Matthew 9:28, Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” “… Then let it be done according to your faith.”
APPL – Do you know that God loves you? Do you need God to move in your life? Will you come to Him? Will you trust Him?
2 Chronicles 16:9, For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.
Matthew 13:44-58 NASB