No Offense Intended (Matthew 13; Isaiah 65)

“And they took offense at Him.  But Jesus said to them..”  Matt. 13:57

My grandmother was a wonderful person who I almost idolized when I was a child.  As I grew older I discovered that even my grandmother had faults.  One of the those faults was in how she was extremely bold and blunt in sharing her opinions.  She was known for saying, “I am going to tell people the truth.  If they get mad, they will have to get over it.”  I have often wondered did she really mean to say, “No offense intended?”  After reflection, I think not!!!

When we come to Matthew 13, in our readings, we discover the sad reality of people who take offense at the loving teaching of Jesus (13:53-58). The chapter begins with Jesus teaching from a boat somewhere on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus teaches using a series of parables (8 to be exact).  As a reminder, a parable is simply a story that is used to illustrate often one point.  In this case the subject is the Kingdom of God and the great divide between those who will be citizens and those who think they will be citizens of the kingdom (I want to encourage you to read this chapter very carefully).

Think it through:

1.  The Kingdom of heaven is reserved for those who have received God’s Word.

These are clearly on the path of deliverance as depicted in these parables.  These are in good ground (Receive the Word).  They are producing fruit (Good soil). They are like a mustard seed (Growing in faith and connecting with others in His Church).  They are experiencing joy (seeing the value of the treasure of heaven).  They are ready of the harvest (At the end of the age they will be judged righteous)

2. The Kingdom of heaven is kept from those who have rejected God’s Word.

These people live as they were citizens (in their own mind) of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Such people never allow the Word to get into their hearts (hard ground).  Such people have a mistaken heart (Not root).  Such people have a misplaced faith (They never really saw the value of faith).

These people leave this world thinking they are citizens of the Kingdom (The enemy has deceived them).

These people will exist in eternal hell in pain because they never received the Word.

Our response:

Did you take offense at what you heard?  Some in the crowd did.  They were the ones who rejected the Word.  You and I must be of those who respond to the Word of God.

We also must be the ones who passionately teach others the Word of God.  Prayerfully seeking to see all come to Jesus!!!

Lastly, make sure, unlike my grandmother, that you share with a heart to see people saved.

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