SERMON FODDER: Why Is “The Parable Discourse” (Matthew 13) Even More Important Than It Appears?

This is an excerpt from my sermon tomorrow, entitled “Now, Back to the Seeds.” The “chapter thirteen” I reference comes from Matthew’s gospel.

However, an even greater lesson emerges when we take a wider view of chapter thirteen. It is sandwiched in-between some pretty intense situations in which Jesus found himself. Chapter 12 finds Jesus embroiled in conflict with the Pharisees over some of his teachings. In verse 14, they plot against him–and he knows it. In chapter 14, Jesus is rejected in Nazareth and learns of John the Baptist’s murder. So, in the midst of all this turmoil, Jesus decides it is best for himself and those following him to sit down–right smack-dab in the middle of a pretty tumultuous time–and consider the things of God. It takes faith and strength, but that’s what he does. How important, then, should that same practice be to us?

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