“Hard Heart – Shallow Heart”

Hard Heart

The first parable is an ideal one with which to begin, since it deals with the beginning or origins of the Kingdom. Here it is compared to a farmer sowing seed. “A farmer went out to sow his seed” (Matthew 13). Not all of Christ’s parables are explained. In fact, most are not. But this one is, and the explanation Jesus gives is our starting point. The seed is the Gospel of the Kingdom, and the soil is the human heart. The emphasis is on the various kinds of hearts and how they reject or receive Christ’s message.

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“The Sign of Jonah”

The Pharisees must have been smarting from their verbal defeat by Jesus. Jesus had shown that their evil explanation of His miracles – that He was casting out demons by the power of Satan – was both absurd and contradictory. His arguments should have moved them to reconsider their position, but they did not, of course. They hated Jesus, so rather than altering their views, they merely came at Hm from another direction, demanding a miraculous sign.

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“A Final Warning for Everyone”

This has been very good preaching, and since it has been directed at the Pharisees and their particular sin of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit, we are tempted to lean back and merely urge Jesus on. “Preach it, brother!” we might say. But Jesus’ words are not only sobering for the Pharisees and any others who may have sinned in a particularly grievous way. They are sobering for us too, since in the last verses of this section Jesus speaks to people exactly like us.

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