16 March – Additional Notes
MATTHEW 13: REVEALING HIDDEN THINGS
To someone with a busy life, today’s chapter may seem far too long to bother with. But if the Creator God’s Word is food for the soul[a], this is a five-course meal that you really shouldn’t miss out on! So then, if you’ve been following my Breadcrumbs over the past days, you may notice that things seem to be repeated. That’s because four guys were watching the same scenes and told their own separate stories. Through my Daily Breadcrumbs, I’m picking out bits of their reports, and it’s difficult to avoid repetition.
Having said that, the Creator God is revealing hidden things. And, if you’re at all like me, it’s good to have things said 2-3 times – at least that’s what my husband says! Today’s chapter, for example, repeats a lot of Chapter Four in the Book of Mark, that we looked at on 12 March, but here’s something that you may not have noticed: we need to have ears to hear! [v9] Now if that’s not “stating the obvious” what can it mean?
Well, to answer that, we need to go back to my breadcrumb for 11 March, where we looked at the Book of Luke Chapter 7. In the middle of it all, Luke threw into the storyline some seemingly insignificant information that he happened to notice at the time. As it’s turned out, we need to know that clue if we’re to understand what’s going on in today’s chapter…
“When all the people and the tax collectors heard [Jesus’ words], they acknowledged God’s justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.” [Luke 7:29-30]
The Creator’s MasterPlan called the Nation of Israel to “repent” (do a complete U Turn in their life-style) and be baptised (spiritually washed clean) by a man called John the Baptist.[b] But a year or so later, Luke notices two groups of people – those who obeyed “the trumpet call” from their Maker, and those who didn’t. These people are “the seeds” that Jesus talked about in today’s chapter – people who respond to their Maker (who got their “inner seed” prepared for the messages to come through “washing away the impurities” then, in turn, producing a healthy crop of more usable grain), and those who don’t. [v1-9 & v18-24]
In the time between John the Baptist appearing on the stage (and everyone heard about it with large crowds going out to where he was baptising) until today’s chapter, enough time had been given to see who were choosing to be receptive and those choosing not to believe and, therefore, not bothering to answer the national call.[c]
When the allotted time had passed, Jesus stepped out on centre stage teaching in stories – parables. He did this in follow-up to John’s call (John’s role had been predicted 400 years earlier) and by deliberately teaching in parables, Jesus separated the two groups…
“To you [receptive ones who are willing the hear and obey without delay] it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” [v11-12]
As it was, even those in Jesus’ home town lost out because of their negative response. [v53-58] But what does any of this mean for us today?
Well, significantly there’s two groups of people today – those who respond to HIStory and those who spend their whole lives searching for answers that may reveal hidden things, in every other conceivable corner of the universe. With our modern preoccupation with our past, for example, and in response to the significant “black holes” in the Big Bang Theory – namely, that a “bang” (and how that bang happened), still isn’t actually proven – the astronomer John Covach has been using microwave telescopes down at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station south pole, to find evidence of distortions in space time.
I guess one could say that they want to go back to a time when only the first four words of the Bible existed: “In the beginning, God….”[d] But they now have another problem. In the BBC article titled: Is Everything We Know about the Universe Wrong? they’re now telling us: “There’s something very odd going on in space – something that shouldn’t be possible. It’s as though vast swathes of the universe are being hoovered up by a vast, unseen celestial vacuum cleaner.”[e]
So, while the world’s greatest minds are tormented with the “Hide and Seek” scenarios that their own theories produce, today’s chapter tells us of an ancient prophecy fulfilled[f] whereby the Creator God has only ever wanted us to “Seek and Find”…
“You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; For the heart of this people has become dull; With their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes; Otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return; And I would heal them…” [v14-15]
Blessed are those whose eyes can see and whose ears can understand the hidden things that the Creator has revealed [v16-17], because HIStory has never been about the past. When we read chapters like today’s chapter, it feels like it’s a history book about a nation of people disconnect from us. But all of it, from beginning to end, was always about revealing hidden things related to the future. So, Jesus goes on the explain what will happen in the future to the two groups of people who were first identified as far back as when our dates began.
Using the story of wheat and weeds [v24-30 & v36-43] or fish in a dragnet [v47-50], Jesus explains secret things about what the Creator God is planning at the end of the Age. But why is He doing this – what’s His motive?
From the very first stories in the Book of Genesis, the Creator God has never been about scaring people. He’s only ever told us the future (however scary) in order for us to make appropriate decision today in preparation. It seriously doesn’t take much, and He’s not hitting us over the head with a sledge hammer. He only needs from us Faith the size of a mustard seed, in order to do with us extraordinary things. [v31-32]
What He wants to do in us, is not foreign to nature or impossible to achieve. Created in His image to be like Him, it’s just like a pinch of yeast in the dough. A dash of the Creator God in the recipe of ME, is all it takes for Him to work right through me – if only I would introduce Him into my life and allow Him to change me from the inside out. [v33] Although it can seem like “parables” and riddles at first – my pea-brain will of course need time to process things hidden since the foundation of the world [v35] – it’s not impossible for me to locate and obtain it.
Unlike, astronomers who use microwave telescopes to search day and night for the slightest sound in outer space – and, so far, not finding any usable information – the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven are like costly pearls or treasure in a field. [v44-45] They’re within reach. But, just as it was in the days of John the Baptist (when people had to go out specifically to obtain what was on offer), I need to stop long enough to take the time to dig.[g] This is why I’m spending my time writing to you today, and why I’ve created this website in order for you to stumble upon my thoughts.
I want to be for you, just what Jesus predicted that I could be – a revealer of hidden things: “…every scribe (teacher/writer) who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven, is like a head of a household, who brings out of his storehouse new treasure as well as old.” [v52] I want to see with my eyes, hear with my ears, and understand with my heart, but whatever happens – even in darkness, even in the questions, even in the times when I’m not meant to understand – I’ll trust in Him…
CLICK to return to today’s “Daily Breadcrumbs”
[a] Deuteronomy 8:1-3 and Matthew 4:1-4
[b] Matthew 3:1-13
[c] Malachi 3:1
[d] Genesis 1:1a and John 1:1-2
[f] Isaiah 6:9-10
[g] Isaiah 45:3