外表能骗人 Appearances Can Be Deceiving
马太福音13:24-30、36-43 Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
1. Welcome our friends to this new broadcast.
2. We are beginning a series of messages on the parables of Jesus.
3. Each story has a specific point that Jesus wanted to make.
4. And today, I am going to begin with a parable found in the gospel of Matthew chapter 13.
5. And we call this series of messages “The Point of the Story”.
6. And this particular parable in Matthew 13 is a parable of the sower.
7. In this particular parable, it will be easy for us to understand because Jesus not only telling us the parable but he tells us its meaning.
8. I want to challenge you to read ahead Matthew chapter 13 verses 24 to 30.
9. Because I am going to challenge you to do some rethinking.
10. Because you will hear some things you may never have heard before,
11. So I want you to be prepared.
12. The Lord Jesus Christ, the greatest preacher that has ever lived,
13. taught by telling stories... or riddles... or illustrations.
15. Because what stories do is help to bring the theory into practice.
16. A story helps bring abstract ideas into real life.
17. A story helps to illustrate a distant thought and make it practical.
18. And that is why Jesus taught with a story.
19. Most of you who have been listening to me know that I seldom preach a message without telling you some sort of illustration or story in order that you might remember it.
20. In Matthew 13, Jesus tells two groups of parables.
21. The first group of parables he tells to the large crowd.
22. And then he reserves its explanation for the disciples.
23. The second group of parables he only tells to the disciples alone.
24. because there are some things that only the disciples of Jesus Christ must know and must understand.
25. This is the parable that Jesus tells to the crowd, but he reserves the explanation of it to the disciples.
26. This parable is often referred to as the parable of the sower
27. But I want to refer to it as the parable of the soil
28. Let’s look at the story
29. A farmer who owns a piece of land...
30. cultivates it and prepares the land for planting.
31. He plows it, so that the seed can go into the soil.
32. The next day ... he gets up early in the morning and all day long he sows wheat.
33. This was not a machine going around tilling hundreds of acres in one day and automatically sowing seeds.
34. This was all done on foot.
35. He keeps walking back and forth, with the seed in a pouch and spreads the seed, back and forth, all day long.
36. At the end of the day he is totally exhausted and sleeps well at night.
37. But then ... at night while the farmer and his workmen are resting.
38. ... his enemy... who hates him so much... comes in and plants seed that look very much like wheat.
39. The seed looks exactly like the wheat.
40. So if the farmer wakes up in the morning and starts looking around, even though the weed is there, he will no know it.
41. Several weeks later… as the wheat begins to green up… the hired hands discover what to them is a terrible disaster.
42. Their first reaction is to go down to the field and start digging up the weed.
43. But the experienced... and all wise... land owner says;
44. No... let it alone,
45. because in the harvest time it is going to be easier to separate the two.
46. He tells them that if you start pulling out the weeds too early... you may unintentionally pull out some of the wheat.
47. I want you to focus with me here on five things in this particular story.
48. Number one the field
49. secondly, the two sowers
50. thirdly, the two crops
51. fourthly, the two questions
52. and fifthly, the two harvests
53. First, let’s focus on the field
54. There are so many writers and commentators who thought that the field is the church.
55. they argued that the church is not supposed to be holy and righteous and pure.
56. They argue that the church ought to be a mixture of everybody, believers and non-believers.
57. Because the visible church, they say, is not the bride of Jesus Christ.
58. This is terribly erroneous...
59. not because I am saying it is erroneous...
60. but because Jesus, in v. 38 of Matthew 13, said so.
61. Let’s read it.
62. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,
63. The field therefore is the world... Jesus did not say it is the church.
64. To be sure, in the church of Jesus Christ... there are many Christians who are Christians in name only.
65. In the church of Jesus Christ, there are many who believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world... but not their own personal Savior.
66. In the church of Jesus Christ, there are many who claim to be Christians, but they only are look alike Christians.
67. But that is not the point of the parable here.
68. The field is bigger than the church.
69. God owns the whole world...
70. this is the message that Jesus is communicating.
71. The first point of the story is that His Father owns the world.
72. The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof.
73. The devil has no right to this world whatsoever.
74. Satan tried and continues to try... to usurp that right, but the devil has no rights.
75. He misleads many people into thinking that he does, but he doesn’t.
76. But in fact the Bible says that the devil is the God of this world only as far as those who are under his dominion are concerned.
77. But this is God’s world.
78. He made it,
79. He put it together.
80. He owns it all.
81. And one day he will demonstrate His ultimate power, and authority.
82. One day He will demonstrate His ultimate ownership of this world when He comes back.
83. Secondly, Jesus tells us about the two sowers.
84. He distinguishes between the two, so clearly that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind.
85. They are distinct in every way.
86. They are different in character.
87. They are different in purpose.
88. They are different in nature.
89. Jesus is the first sower.
90. Jesus is the owner of the field.
91. This is His farm, He owns it.
92. He plants in the daylight without fear and hesitation.
93. He plants in truth and He plants in honesty.
94. He plants in hard work.
95. Jesus plants good, real, and precious seed that has value.
96. Satan is the second sower...
97. he doesn’t own the land...
98. he is a usurper.
99. The land belongs to someone else.
100. Satan is the enemy of the land owner.
101. He is the enemy of the landlord.
102. So, he sneaks in at night...
103. he sows cheap, worthless, look alike imitation wheat seed that has no value whatsoever.
104. Have you ever stopped for a moment to think about how this parable is working out in our world today?
105. And how Satan, the usurper, has been misleading, even among some of God’s elect, in confusing the two sowers.
106. I want to give a modern day contrast between the two sowers in our own society.
107. The vast majority who are undiscerning never comprehend the difference.
108. While Christians sow genuine love...
109. Satan comes in and sows cheap sentimentality on the same field.
110. While Christians sows true compassion...
111. Satan comes in and he sows “empty good work”.
112. Many among the people of God cannot distinguish between the two.
113. While Christ sows profound faith in God and trust in His Father and His supernatural power.
114. Satan comes in and he sows the seed of faith in one’s self, and belief only in the power of self.
115. While Christ sows personal purity and righteous living...
116. Satan comes in and he sows the seeds of selfishness and greed.
117. While Christ sows the seed of biblical and theological truth
118. Satan comes in and he sows the seed of secular pragmatic logic
119. The two sowers could not be more different to the discerning person
121. There are two distinct crops or products.
122. The son of God sows wheat in the fields ...
123. But His enemy comes in and he sows “look alike wheat”, but it is weed.
124. This is an incredibly diabolical trick.
125. Satan does not sow wickedness among the wicked...
127. That would not be doing much damage.
128. But, he sows wickedness among the good.
129. Satan’s actions are motivated by malice and hatred toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
130. Think about it.
131. Weed does not have a marketable value like wheat!
132. The wheat does have value.
133. And yet, this particular type of weed, looks so much like wheat that even experts have a hard time distinguishing between the two plants when they are growing together in the field.
134. It really is very difficult to tell the difference.
135. But Satan does not only sow his false seed out of pure malice.
136. He also sows his false seed as a form of revenge.
137. Let me give you some historical background on this.
138. It was common back then ... that when two farmers had a fight, that the enemy would not necessarily kill each other.
139. The enemy would wait until nighttime.
140. The enemy might even wait longer, until the planting season.
141. Then, waiting for the very day when the farmer put his seed in the ground.
142. The enemy would come at night and plant “weed seeds” to ruin his enemy’s crop.
143. That was an insidious crime back then.
144. So much so, that the Roman government had a specific law against such a crime.
145. They even instituted a special punishment for that.
146. It is such an insidious crime because it ruins the whole year of livelihood for the farmer.
147. It is such an insidious crime because it takes so long to discover.
148. This particular crime is being perpetuated in many parts of the world ... even today.
149. And I want to tell you a lot more about this,
150. But the time has run out.
151. Please tune in next time when we talk more about the wheat and the weeds,
152. Until then, I wish you God’s richest blessing.