Jesus Presented His Messianic Credentials to the Religious Leaders
During his time on earth Jesus preached to the crowds, presented his Messianic credentials to the leaders and trained the twelve to carry on his work after he died.
The leaders saw the miracles, heard the words, and saw how he acted. After a time they reached their decision. Jesus did what he did because he was working as an agent of Satan, the great enemy of God’s people.
Jesus violated the legal interpretations of the leaders and defended his actions as the proper application of God’s law. Then he further confronted them by healing a man in a synagogue on the Sabbath. Matthew noted that the leaders protested Jesus’ violation of their interpretations. Then they went out and plotted how they might kill him, also on the Sabbath. (Matthew 12:1-14)
The Leaders Concluded That Jesus was Working With the Devil
Jesus then healed a demon-oppressed blind mute. Some who saw it wondered if this was the Messiah. The Pharisees then gave their verdict. Jesus did these things because he worked with Satan. (Matthew 12:22-24)
Jesus responded that this thinking was illogical and dangerous. The miracle did not prove that he was working with Satan. It proved that he was superior to Satan. Rejecting the only Messiah was a decision that was fatal to any relationship with God. (Matthew 12:25-32)
The leaders demanded another sign and Jesus cryptically pointed to the resurrection as the sign that would give the fullest validation of his ministry. (Matthew 12:38-42)
What Was Jesus’ Kingdom?
When Jesus was rejected by the religious leaders, his followers must have wondered about the future. What was Jesus’ kingdom? What did this rejection mean?
Jesus then spoke to the people. He spoke from a boat to a crowd gathered on the shore. (Matthew 13:1-2)
He told them stories or parables to illustrate what his kingdom would be like. There are eight stories in Matthew, chapter thirteen, which are in four pairs.
The first pair illustrated the reality of unbelief. In the parable of the sower the same seed is sown to four types of ground. It is cast widely. Some soil is resistant, some soil is shallow, and some soil is distracted and there is no fruit. But, some soil is fruitful.
Some hearers are hardened; some are shallow; and, some are full of other things more important to them.
Some hearers are receptive to the message and they are fruitful members of the kingdom. (Matthew 13:3-8; 18-23)
The second story was about wheat, a desired plant, and weeds, an invasive unfruitful plant. These plants will exist together in the field until the harvest. The weeds will be burned and the wheat will be gathered and kept. The story illustrated that end of this age there will be those who reject Jesus’ kingdom. They will be cast into fiery judgement and Jesus’ followers will enter the eternal kingdom. (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43)
What doesn’t everyone believe in Jesus?
Should we change the message if they don’t respond?
In the end, everyone will be saved, won’t they?
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