Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

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    New York, NY
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BAC Sermons

The Point Of Parables

2004-08-15 Matthew 13; Mark 4

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I. The Point of the Parables is to Conceal and Reveal

Mark 3:23  So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: "How can Satan cast out Satan?

Mr 4:2  Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:


Mt 13:10  And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"11  He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12  "For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.


II. The Parables Conceal Truth as an act of Judgment and Mercy

Mk 4:11b but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12  "so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’"


Mt 13:13  A."Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. (Cf John 12:36-43)

B. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

C. ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,

D.  And seeing you will see and not perceive/understand;

E. 15  For the hearts of this people have grown dull.

F. Their ears are hard of hearing,

G. And their eyes they have closed,

G’ Lest they should see with their eyes

F’ and hear with their ears,

E’ Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’

D’ 16  "But blessed are your eyes for they see,

C’ and your ears for they hear;

B’ 17  "for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired

A’ to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.:


A. Truth is Precious, don’t cast Pearls before swine

Mt 7:6 Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.


B. Grace shields people from further judgment (See: Faithfulness with the Truth {in back of TOYL})

Lk 12:47  "And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48  "But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

49  "I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!


III. The Parables Reveal Truth via Explanation and Effort

Mk 4:10  But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11a  And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God;


A. It takes effort to dig for gold, which when found is more valued (and remembered)

Illustrate, more deeply imbed in thinking and understanding when you think, get frustrated, think harder, question, finally understand.


B. The content of the parables is frequently about the kingdom

1. Mystery = previously unrevealed truth about the kingdom [NOT unrevealed truth about the mystery form of the kingdom (no such animal)]


2. The kingdom is the reign of the Messiah on earth as promised by God in the OT, (cf Isaiah 40 with Mk 1-John the Baptist)


3. John, Jesus, and the twelve apostles all had the same message: Repent the kingdom is at hand. (Repent= change your mind : stop living as if this world is all there is; start living as if there’s a kingdom coming in which God judges, and rewards the faithfully righteous. Lk 3:10-14)


Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:

1. Why would God not want people to understand and respond to truth, thus avoiding judgment? Why does God harden people?

2. What values and attitude does it take to ask about what you don’t understand? Why would someone not ask? What does that reveal about them?

3. What helps folks be receptive to the truth? What helps you want to obey before you fully understand?

4. Do you remember and apply more the truths you’ve dug out for yourself, or the ones you’ve heard in a sermon or an edification?  Is one better?

5. What can you point to in your life this week that indicates you’re a truth-seeker?