Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43
In the Parable of the Weeds, Jesus teaches that God plans to leave the wicked in his world until the righteous have fully matured. The Parable promises divine resources for Christians to stand tall to the glory of God.
Jesus' "Parable of the Sower" (Matt 13:18) is famous. Since the day he first told that story, images of the four types of "soil" have been considered over and over again. As Matthew presents it to us, the Parable of the Sower is the beginning of Jesus' practice of teaching the crowds only in parables. When we consider this aspect of the narrative, we gain strategic understanding for engaging our own time with the word of God.
God has much about which to take issue with the priests of Israel not long after the return from exile. As God scolds them through the prophet Malachi, present-day Christians can learn important lessons from their mistakes. We are reminded that our task is to honor, proclaim, and display the awesome holiness of the living God.
There are many ways we identify with other human beings as "family." Not all of them have to do with blood relations. Naturally, we bring this tendency into the Church. We gather in "families" of people "like me." In the passage, we are reminded that the family of Jesus is defined according to himself. Jesus' family is "everyone who does the will of My Father in heaven."
Many Christians join their neighbors in their communities in celebrating the arrival of a New Year. Yet, "New Year's Day" has never been a Christian holiday. What reasons might Christians have for celebrating a time when the earth begins another trip around the sun? As we listen to God's word answering this question, we are reminded of some of the most profound teachings from God.