10/5/14 – A Kingdom Free From Imposters

Matthew 13:24-43 ESV

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'” He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.” Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

A. In the incarnation, the kingdom began but the immediate physical eternal reign of Jesus is in the future. (Matt 4:17)
B. These parables tell followers of Jesus about what the kingdom would look like between His ascension and return.

A. Farmer plants wheat. His enemy plants weeds that look exactly like the wheat.
B. The servants want to pull the weeds. The master will not let them because the wheat would die with the weeds.

A. The parable of the mustard seed helps 12 understand that even though the kingdom was staring small it would have a big finish.
B. The New Testament never defines success for church in terms of numbers but rather in faithfulness.
C. Jesus never sought a large number of followers but rather a few radical devotees with whom He would change the world.
D. Jesus uses the weak and unqualified to advance His kingdom because in that He gets more glory. (2 Cor 4:7)

A. Leaven and weeds do not belong and represent the presence of those who are not pure. (Ex 12:19-20)
B. Jesus causes the Gospel seed to produce fruit in the world but the Devil raises up imposters alongside the genuinely born again.
C. A harvest, or time of judgment will come, and at that time, the weeds will be separated from the wheat and thrown into Hell.

A. Jesus never apologized for the reality of judgment and Hell.
B. Jesus was comfortable discussing Hell because He had come that Hell would be empty not to fill it up.
C. Jesus describes Hell as a place of flames by referring to it as a fiery furnace. (Daniel 3:19-23)
D. Hell is a place where the loss of the love and presence of God forever is wept and agonized over.
E. The most painful thing in Hell will be having seen Jesus & living with the regret of rejecting Him.

A. Satan is a master counterfeiter who has created many religions and gospels to counterfeit the true Gospel. (Deut 32:17, 1 Cor 10:20-22)
B. Satan’s greatest trick is convincing the counterfeit follower they are the real thing.

1. What is the greatest assurance of your salvation? A past prayer or a present posture of surrender to Jesus?
2. Do you hate your sin and is your life marked by a desire to battle your sinful desires?
3. What in your life looks like the life of Jesus? Are the things that were important to Jesus important to you?