The Kingdom Unhindered #7 – Matthew 17:14-21

Matthew 17:14-21

14 When they reached the crowd, a man approached and knelt down before him. 15 “Lord,” he said, “have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”

Mark 9:17-18, 21-22

17 Someone from the crowd answered [Jesus], “Teacher, I brought my son to you. He has a spirit that makes him unable to speak. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid.”

21 “How long has this been happening to him?” Jesus asked his father.  “From childhood,” he said. 22 “And many times it has thrown him into fire or water to destroy him.”

Matthew 10:7-8
7 “As you go, proclaim: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, drive out demons…” 

Mark 6:12-13
 12 So they went out and preached that people should repent.13 They drove out many demons, anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

> Am I living in the fullness of the power of God?

Power is the “ability to do things, through strength, skill, resources, or authorization.”

1 Chronicles 29:11-12
11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty… 12 Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.

> What does God’s power do in the believer?

1) God’s power strengthens our inner being.
Ephesians 3:16
16 I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit…

2) God’s power gives us all we need to live a holy life.
2 Peter 1:3 (NLT)
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. 

3) God’s power gives us the ability to serve Him.
Ephesians 3:7 (NLT)
By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.

4) God’s power is always God’s power, not ours.
Acts 3:16 (NLT)
16 “Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes.”

5) God’s power will do more than we can imagine.
Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Matthew 17:17

17 Jesus replied, “You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” 

“Unbelieving” – Gr. apistos – actively disbelieving

“Perverse” – Gr. diastrepho – to distort, or turn off the right path

18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and from that moment the boy was healed.  19 Then the disciples approached Jesus privately and said, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”  20 “Because of your little faith,” he told them. 

> Jesus challenges us to step outside of the natural, into the supernatural.

20 [Jesus continued,] “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 13:31-32

31 [Jesus said,] “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It’s the smallest of all the seeds, but when grown, it’s taller than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the sky come and nest in its branches.”

Mustard seed faith is persistent faith.

> Our mustard-seed faith must always be based on who He is, and what we know to be true.

The Kingdom Unhindered #6 – Matthew 17:1-9

Matthew 17:1-2
1 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. He was transfigured in front of them, and his face shone like the sun; his clothes became as white as the light. 

“Transfigured” – Gr. metamorphoō – to change into another form

Daniel 10:4-6, 12, 18
 As I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, I looked up, and there was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like beryl, his face like the brilliance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude.

12 “Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me…

18 Then the one with a human appearance touched me again and strengthened me. 19 He said, “Don’t be afraid, you who are treasured by God. Peace to you; be very strong!”

Revelation 1:10, 12-18
10 I (John) was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard a loud voice behind me like a trumpet.

12 Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me. When I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was one like the Son of Man, dressed in a robe and with a golden sash wrapped around his chest. 14 The hair of his head was white as wool—white as snow—and his eyes like a fiery flame. 15 His feet were like fine bronze as it is fired in a furnace, and his voice like the sound of cascading waters. 16 He had seven stars in his right hand; a sharp double-edged sword came from his mouth, and his face was shining like the sun at full strength. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid. I am the First and the Last, 18 and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

Matthew 17:2-3
He was transfigured in front of them, and his face shone like the sun; his clothes became as white as the light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with him.

Matthew 5:17
17 “Don’t think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” 

Matthew 17:4-9
 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good for us to be here. If you want, I will set up three shelters here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased. Listen to him!” 

Matthew 3:16-17
16 When Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased.”

> We must never be too busy talking or working to listen to God.

When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown and were terrified.

Jesus came up, touched them, and said, “Get up; don’t be afraid.” 

> When God speaks, He always follows it with comfort and strength.

When they looked up they saw no one except Jesus alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

> When you renew your mind, you are transformed into something new.

2 Corinthians 3:18
18 We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.

> When we continually look into the glory of God, He slowly transforms us back into His image.

“Don’t be afraid, you who are treasured by God. Peace to you; be very strong!”

TBI: In Part Six of The Kingdom Unhindered, Jesus is transformed, and we should be, too.

The Kingdom Unhindered #5 – Matthew 16

Matthew 16
1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven…
4  “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.

> We have been given “plenty enough” proof that Jesus is the Messiah.

When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

> We must actively be on our guard against bad theology.

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” 

> The church must ALWAYS be about “Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

> We must continually ask God to give us a Kingdom mindset.

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”

> You are a true disciple of Jesus if you:

1) Deny yourself

2) Take up your cross daily

3) Follow him

4) Give your life for his sake

The Kingdom Unhindered #4 – Matthew 15:21-31

Matthew 15:21-31
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” 28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. 29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

Matthew 15:21-22
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

Mark 7:24
24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret.

Mark 7:25-26
“…as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet…She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

Matthew 15:23
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

Matthew 15:24
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

Matthew 15:25
25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

Matthew 15:26
26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

Matthew 15:27
27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

Matthew 15:28
28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Matthew 15:28 (Amplified Bible)
Your personal trust and confidence in My power is great; it will be done for you as you wish.”

THE PERSISTENT WIDOW

Luke 18:1
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up

Luke 18:8
“…will He find [this kind of persistent] faith on the earth?”

THE RICH YOUNG RULER

Luke 18:22 (Amplified Bible)
You will have [abundant] treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].”

Luke 18:25 (Amplified Bible)
For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man [who places his faith in wealth or status] to enter the kingdom of God.”

Psalm 63:8 (KJV)
“My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.”

 “Desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain.”    -A.W. Tozer

Mark 5 (The woman bleeding for 12 years)

Mark 5:27-29
27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

Mark 5:33-34
33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.

Mark 10:47-52
47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. 51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” 52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

THE ROMAN CENTURION

Matthew 8:5-10
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” 7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.

The Kingdom Unhindered #3 – Matthew 15:1-20

Matthew 15:1-20
Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’” 10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” 12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” 13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” 15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

>Are there traditions in your life that take the place of true worship?

Matthew 15:9
They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.

>Who do you care more about pleasing than God?

Matthew 15:12
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”

>What things are coming out of your heart?

Matthew 15:18
18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.

The Kingdom Unhindered #2 – Matthew 14:22-33

Matthew 14:22-33
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 After dismissing the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Well into the night, he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile, the boat was already some distance from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. 25 Jesus came toward them walking on the sea very early in the morning. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear. 27 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped him and said, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

> Jesus demonstrated the priority of spending intentional time with the Father.

> Jesus is making a statement about who he is.

“I am above all creation.”

> The only one who can change the rules, is the One who created the rules in the first place.

27 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.”

> When we start with “yes,” we open the door to all that God wants to do with us.

29 Jesus said, “Come.” 29 And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. 

> When your eyes are fixed on Jesus, you can always do what he calls you to.

> In moments of doubt, fix your eyes on Jesus.

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

31 “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” (NLT)

31 “Faint-heart, what got into you?” (MSG)

31 “Why would you let doubt win?” (Passion)

33 Then those in the boat worshiped him and said, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

> When God does something in/with us, worship is our only response.

The Kingdom Unhindered #1 – Matthew 14:13-21

Matthew 14:13-14
13 As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. 14 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

splagchnizomai – to be moved to one’s bowels

Sympathy – feeling bad for someone.

Empathy – Feeling for someone because you relate to what they’re going through.

Compassion – Feeling for someone in a way that motivates you to action.

Goes from
“I don’t care” (on left)
“Sometimes I’m moved” (in middle)
“I am full of compassion” (on right)

Matthew 14:15-17
15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”

> The disciples’ practical eyes have blinded their compassion eyes.

>> Never allow the practical to keep you from acting in compassion.

16 But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.” 17 “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.

John 6:7-9
Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

> The disciples’ sensible eyes have blinded their faith eyes.

>> Never allow the sensible to keep you from acting in faith.

Matthew 14:18-21
18 “Bring them here,” he said. 19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. 19 Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. 

> Jesus involved the disciples to demonstrate that he loves to work through us.

20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. 21 About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children!

> Jesus used the boy’s offering to demonstrate that he can do miraculous things with our small gifts.

> You can’t control what you have,

But you can control whether you’re willing to give it or not.

> When you give everything, Jesus makes the impossible, possible.

TBI: In Part One of The Kingdom Unhindered, Jesus feeds thousands with one boy’s gift.  What can he do with your gift?

The Kingdom Unleashed #18 – Matthew 13:53-58

Matthew 13:53-54
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he left there. 54 He went to his hometown and began to teach them in their synagogue…

Matthew 11:23-24
23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until today. 24 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Luke 4:16
16 He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. As usual, he entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. 

Luke 4:17-30
17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him, and unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written: 18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. 20 He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.” 22 They were all speaking well of him and were amazed by the gracious words that came from his mouth; yet they said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”  23 Then he said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Doctor, heal yourself. What we’ve heard that took place in Capernaum, do here in your hometown also.’” 24 He also said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his hometown.”  28 When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was enraged. 29 They got up, drove him out of town, and brought him to the edge of the hill that their town was built on, intending to hurl him over the cliff. 30 But he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.

 “Just as faith has the power to bring forgiveness of sins and eternal life, unbelief has the power to hold a person in his sins and under the condemnation of eternal hell.  Just as belief has the power to bring eternal happiness, joy, peace, and glory in God’s presence, unbelief has the power to bring eternal sorrow, pain, and anguish in God’s absence.” – J. MacArthur

> What does unbelief do in the hardened heart?

1) Unbelief blurs the obvious

Matthew 13:54
54 …They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? 

2) Unbelief builds up the irrelevant

Matthew 13:55-56
55 Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?  Isn’t his mother called Mary, and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, aren’t they all with us? So where does he get all these things?” 

3) Unbelief blinds to the truth

Matthew 13:57
57 And they were offended by him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his household.” 

skandalizō – to cause to stumble

4) Unbelief blocks the supernatural

Matthew 13:58
58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.

Mark 9:23-24
23 Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’? Everything is possible for the one who believes.” 24Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief!”

The Kingdom Unleashed #17 – Matthew 13: 47-52


Matthew 13:47-50
47 [Jesus said,] “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a large net thrown into the sea. It collected every kind of fish, 48 and when it was full, they dragged it ashore, sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers, but threw out the worthless ones.”  49 “So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out, separate the evil people from the righteous, 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

> Jesus understood the reality and the severity of an eternity without Him.

Romans 3:10-12
10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Romans 3:20-25 (NLT)
20 No one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. 21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law…22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.

Men move about within that net as if they were forever free. It may touch them from time to time, as it were, startling them. But they quickly swim away, thinking they have escaped, not realizing they are completely and inescapably encompassed in God’s sovereign plan. The invisible web of God’s judgment encroaches on every human being just as that of the dragnet encroaches on the fish. Most men do not perceive the kingdom, and they do not see God working in the world. They may be briefly moved by the grace of the gospel or frightened by the threat of judgment; but they soon return to their old ways of thinking and living, oblivious to the things of eternity. But when man’s day is over and Christ returns to set up His glorious kingdom, then judgment will come.    – J. MacArthur

> What should our response be?

1) Make sure you KNOW where you stand with Jesus.

2) Take your next step.

3) Share your treasure.

Matthew 13:51-52
51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked them. They answered him, “Yes.” 52 “Therefore,” he said to them, “every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom treasures new and old.”



The Kingdom Unleashed #16 – Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Matthew 13:1-9
1 On that day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea.Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, while the whole crowd stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it grew up quickly since the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it. Still other seed fell on good ground and produced fruit: some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty times what was sown. Let anyone who has ears listen.”

> Jesus names 4 different types of soil:

1) The road-side soil
 This soil keeps the seed from being planted.

2) The rock
 This soil allows no root to form.

3) The weedinfested soil
 Akantha
 This soil looks great, but eventually kills the plant.

4) The fertile soil
 This soil is perfectly prepared to receive and grow the seed.

 Let anyone who has ears listen.

Luke 8:9, 11

9 Then His disciples asked Him, “What does this parable mean?”

11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God…”

> The key that unlocks the parable:

The seed is the Word of God.

> The sower is anyone who spreads the seed.

> The soil is a picture of the human heart.

> 4 types of “hearers”:

1) The wayside hearer

Matthew 13:19
19 When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path. 

Jeremiah 19:15 (ESV)
“…they have stiffened their neck, refusing to hear my words.”

2) The shallow hearer

20 And the one sown on rocky ground—this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. 21 But he has no root and is short-lived. When distress or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he falls away. 

Hebrews 3:14 (ESV)
14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.

3) The worldly hearer

22 Now the one sown among the thorns—this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

4) The fruitful hearer

23 But the one sown on the good ground—this is one who hears and understands the word, who does produce fruit and yields: some a hundred, some sixty, some thirty times what was sown.”

> Enduring fruit is the only evidence that the Word has been planted in fertile soil.