- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Read Matthew 13
Sermon by the lake.
Matthew records two big teaching of Jesus, sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), and sermon by the lake (Matthew 13) that is also known as teaching in parables.
The word parable literally means “to throw alongside” and underlines their comparative and revelatory function. Seven parables in chapter 13 teach about the kingdom of God. They draw from every day, peasant life in Jesus’ time. Jesus teaches in these parables that the kingdom of God is at work now, until God finally asserts sovereignty over all. For those who welcome Jesus, the parable and explanations confirm their commitment to and expand understandings of God’s kingdom.
Jesus uses parable in his teaching because, first, it gives vivid, memorable expression to his teachings. Second, it leads those who heard to reflect on his words and bear responsibility for their decision to accept or reject his teachings. Third, it probably reduces contention by hostile listeners.
The parable of the sower (1-23) — This parable shows self-explanation. “received,” “hears,” “understand,” “produces,” reflect on response to the words.
The parable of the weeds (24-30, 36-43) – This parable reflects on life dynamic of living in the kingdom of God and final judgement.
The parable of the mustard seed and the yeast (31-35) – This parable reflects on growing in the kingdom of God.
The parable of hidden treasure and pearl (44-46) – This parable reflects on setting priority in life.
The parable of the net (47-52) – This parable reflects on final establishment of God’s kingdom.
Jesus points “every teacher of the law,” to scribes who should be trained and disciplined for the kingdom of God. They should continue to teach the law but they should reinterpret the law and practice in relation to Jesus, and his teaching.
Rejection from his home town (53-58) – After Jesus finished this teaching by the lake, he returned to his home town. The folks in his hometown synagogue cannot understand his identity as the Son of God. They questioned his identity. They could not recognize God’s commission. They took offense against him. And they rejected him.
After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.
- Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
- Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
- Live it out through the day.