Posted by: Moses | January 19, 2006

Parables Declaring God's Power

I’m really enjoying reading through Matthew for Orientation; I’m going kinda slow, but plodding along consistently I think I’ll keep up okay. You can call me “tortoise.” So chapter 13, the beginning of the parables of Christ. Christ delivers the Prable of the Sower, and the Disciples were a bit confused as to why Christ didn’t just spell out the truth clearly to the masses.

As I read through the section, His reasons are pretty amazing. “To you [the disciples] it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” Now that almost doesn’t seem fair, looking at it from human justice; but looking for God’s glory? What glory! God gives knowledge. Understanding, like all good things, comes only from the Father of Good, God. He gives knowledge on His perrogative, His alone, not for anything of the chosen, just God’s choice. That’s all we have going for us is God’s choice. How humbling is that? It gets better.

“For the one who has, more will be given and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” He then procedes to quote Isaiah which ties his words on “seeing without sight” even more clearly to idolatry. Isaiah vividly describes people who follow after idols as becoming like them. They become, deaf, mute, blind, and impotent just like what they worship. Isaiah’s words emphasize the human responsibility to hear God’s word, understand with the heart, and turn away so that God would heal. No wonder he says that the pharisees were blind leading the blind. Idolators leading others into idolatry.

Next comes the awesome gift. Herein is part of the awesome mystery of Sovereignty; we are responsible to understand, but only God can give us understanding. “Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.” Wow. God made their eyes, God made their ears, and God (v. 11) gave them understanding of the secrets of heaven. He took what they had (v.12) and gave them abundant knowledge. They were given seeing eyes; God added the abundance of His beauty to their sight. He fulfilled what they were made for by giving them the gift of pleasing Him!

Last, Christ gives a very clear illustration of our dependence and the futility of our wills. We do have wills ya know, intentions, desires, things to strive for… whatever you want to call them; they’re just utterly dependent on God for direction and fruition. “Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see…and to hear what you hear.” Their wills were right, they desired to see the kingdom of God, and these people were described as righteous by Christ! What high praise! And yet they were utterly impotent, “[they] did not see it…and [they] did not hear it.” Their desires were perfectly rightetous, they wanted good! And yet God saw fit not to let them understand. God’s wisdom is infinite. His Divine Perrogative is unquestionable. He gives understanding where He will (v.11) and He darkens understanding where He will (Rom. 11:7-8). Blessed be the name of the Sovereign Lord.

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Responses

  1. I’m kind of disappointed in Benware. I’ve really been enjoying Matthew too, but Benware is ruining things some. He doesn’t really ascribe this passage to God’s sovereignty. He ascribes it to the fact that just prior to this passage, the Pharisees had said that Christ was doing miracles and casting out demons the Beelzebul and that now Christ was going “under cover” sort of. Pretty much like things were getting a little bad and now plan B, Christ’s crucifixion instead of His kingdom, was going to have to be enacted. After reading this, I flipped over to the chapter on Romans and read what he had to say on chapter 9. He basically posits a group election, not individual. He says that the passage talks about how “the nation of Israel” was elected to a special relationship with Christ and that then they had to have faith in Him. I mean, I agree that you have to have faith to be saved, but that faith isn’t in me unless God puts it there. Regardless though, his teaching is pretty far from Romans 9 because individuals are used, not nations. Plus, it’s individuals in Acts 13, not nations, that were appointed to eternal life and thus believed. It’s a bummer. I had high hopes for Benware. He seemed a lot better on the OT. Well, I guess his writing will help me in discernment.


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