Keith Hunt - Bible Story, NT - Chapter Sixteen:   Restitution of All Things
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New Testament Bible
Story

Chapter Sixteen:

Parables and Miracles



FARMER SCATTERING SEEDS

     Later that same day Jesus left the house and went down and
sat by the sea. But the people followed and soon there was an
immense crowd all gathered about Him. It was too large a crown
for comfort as they say, so He got into a small fishing boat and
taught them as they listened on the shore. He told them many
stories such as this one.

     "A farmer went out to plant some seed, by hand as usual. As
he scattered it across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath,
and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on thin soil
with underlying rock. The plants sprang up quickly enough but
they soon withered under the hot sun and died because the roots
had no depth in the shallow soil and had no nourishment. Some
other seeds fell among the thorn bushes that engulfed the tender
shoots and choked them, so they died also. But some seeds fell on
fertile ground, with good top soil, and they flourished and
produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times
as much as had been planted. Anyone who has ears to hear with
should take note and listen and understand what this means"
(Mat.13: 1-9).

     Story after story  Jesus related to the people. His
disciples finally came to Him and said, "Why do you always tell
stories when you talk to the crowds of people?" (Mat.12: 10).

     Jesus answered: "It is you my disciples that have been
permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven, but
others have not been permitted. To those who are of a ready mind
to receive my teachings, more understanding will be given them,
and they will have an abundance of knowledge on spiritual
matters. But to those whose heart is not really acceptable of my
teachings, even what they have will be taken away from them. That
is why I tell stories to the crowds, because people see what I
DO, but they do not really see what they should. They hear what I
SAY, but they do not really hear what they should, and do not
understand the depth of true meaning I have for them. And
in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says, 'You will
hear my words, but you will not understand them: you will see
what I do, but you will not perceive its meaning. For, the hearts
of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and
they have closed their eyes, so they do not see, and their ears
cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot
turn to me and let me heal them' " (Isa.6: 9-10) (Mat.13: 11-15).

     Here is how Mark worded the last phrase, "...lest at any
time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven
them" (Mark 4: 12, KJV).

     It is quite a shock to many if they slowly read these words
of Jesus and just believe them for what they say and tell us.
Jesus here clearly proves to us that some in this physical life
time are NOT called by God, they are not given the spiritual eye
to see with, to comprehend, to understand the truths of the
Father. They are blinded by the way of their society they live
in, they are blinded by their own heart and mind that does not
want to really see God and all of His word and ways and truths.
And as shocking as it seems to many, God and Christ are leaving
them in their blindness. They are not being called to be
converted and to have their sins forgiven in this age they live
in. We have already seen that God has a plan of salvation, and
that such individuals will be resurrected in a large general
resurrection, with those of Sodom, Nineveh, the Queen of
the South, and millions of others, who also lived and died
without being offered salvation. Their day of salvation will come
at the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth, in
the period called in Revelation 20, the GREAT WHITE THRONE, and
Jesus we saw earlier called it "THE judgment" when people from
the past would rise with people of His generation.
     We see here that many of Jesus' generation were left in
their blindness of hard-heartedness. Jesus was not trying to
converted them and hence forgive their sins. This is very
difficult for some to understand and to believe, but it is
nevertheless a very true teaching of Jesus' and the New Testament
(see also how Paul wrote about it in Romans chapter 9 through
11).

EXPLANATION OF THE SCATTERED SEEDS

     Jesus then looks at His disciples and says, "But blessed are
your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. I
tell you for sure, many prophets and godly people have longed to
see and hear what you are seeing and hearing, but they could not,
it was not to take place in their life time. 
     Now, here is the explanation of the story I told about the
farmer scattering seeds of grain. The seed that fell on the hard
pathway represents those who hear the good news about the Kingdom
and just don't understand it. Then the evil one comes and
snatches the seed away from their hearts, as quick as the birds
come to eat it off the pathway. The seed that fell on the thin
rocky soil represents those who hear the message of the Kingdom
and receive it with joy. But like young plants in rocky soil,
their roots do not go down very deep. At first they grow some,
but then they wilt away when problems, trials, tests, or
persecution comes upon them. The seeds in the thorn bushes
represent those who hear and accept the word of the Kingdom, but
all too quickly the message and truths they have are crowded out
by the cares and concerns of this life and the lure of
physical wealth, so they produce no lasting crop. 
     Ah, but the good soil represents the hearts and minds of
those who truly accept God's message of the Kingdom and salvation
and produce a huge harvest - thirty, sixty, or even a hundred
times as much as had been planted" (Mat.13: 16-23).

     Once more Jesus teaches us that it is not just good enough
to start on the narrow road to the Kingdom and salvation, one
must stick with it, never give up, "endure to the end" as Jesus
said later in Matthew 24. Then we shall produce a crop that can
be harvested, we shall be saved, harvested into the Kingdom of
God.

STORY OF THE WHEAT AND WEEDS

     Another parable Jesus puts before them, saying: "The Kingdom
of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his
field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed
weeds among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up
and produced grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the
servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, did you
not sow good seeds in your field? How then are there these
weeds?' He answered them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants
said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and pluck them out?' But
he said to them, 'No; because in gathering the weeds you may root
up the wheat also with them. Let them both grow together until
the harvest time, and at the harvest I will tell the reapers to
gather the weeds first and bind them up in bundles to be burned,
but gather the wheat into my barn' " (Mat.13: 24-30).

EXPLANATION OF THE WHEAT AND WEEDS

     Jesus left the crowd and returned to the house. His
disciples were very puzzled about what the parable of the wheat
and weeds meant. "Master, please explain to us the meaning of the
parable you gave about the wheat and the weeds in the field,"
they said to Him. Jesus answered:

     "He who sows the good seed in the field is the Son of man;
the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons or
children of the Kingdom; and the weeds are the sons of the evil
one, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the
close of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Just as the
weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the
close of the age. The Son of man will send His angels, and
they will gather out of His Kingdom all causes of sin and evil
doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire. There will be
weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine
forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has
ears to hear with should make sure he hears" (Mat.13: 36-43).

     Jesus talks about His angels gathering the elect, the
saints, the children of God, together when He comes in Matthew
24: 29-31. Paul talks about this same event in 1 Corinthians 15.
It will be at the end of the age, at the "last trumpet" sound
(Revelation 11:15-19). We find from passages such as Revelation
19; Zechariah 14; and others that many of the wicked at that same
time will be cast into a lake of fire (Rev.19: 20; 2 Thes.1:
7-10). This harvest will continue through the 1,000 year reign of
Jesus on earth (see Isa. 66: 15-24). At the end of the thousand
years more harvesting of the righteous from the wicked will take
place as we have seen in the "White Throne Judgment" period (see
Rev.20:7-13). Finally all the wicked will be burnt up in the lake
of fire (Rev.20: 14-15; Malachi 4: 1-3 with 2 Peter 3: 8-13), and
then will come the new heaven and the new earth wherein dwells
only holy perfect righteousness (Rev.21; 22).
     The harvesting of the righteous wheat and the evil weeds
will start at the end of this age when the angels are sent forth,
at the coming of Jesus again to earth, but the harvesting of the
wicked and the righteous will continue until the final earth-wide
lake of fire and the new earth and heavens come into being.

GOOD SEED AND FERTILE EARTH PARABLE

     And He said to them, "The Kingdom of God is as if a man
should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise
night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not
how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear,
then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at
once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come" (Mark
4: 26-29).

     The Kingdom of God will take time to develop and finally be
harvested. God's seed, His word, will go forth into all the
world. Often people will not even know where and how it is
developing, and bringing forth mature grain ready for the
harvest, but it will be so. God's word will go forth and it shall
not return unto Him void of fruit. When it has accomplished what
God desires for His harvest, then as we have seen the sickle or
the angels will go forth and the harvest will be gathered in.

THE MUSTARD SEED AND THE LEAVEN

     And he said, "With what can we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of
mustard seed, which, when sown in the soil, is the smallest of
all the seeds on earth; yet when it is planted it grows up and
becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large
branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its
shade" (Mark 4: 30-32).
     He told them yet another parable, "The Kingdom of heaven is
like leaven which a woman took and hid in a large pan of bread
flour, till it was all leavened or risen up" (Mat.13: 33).

     The Kingdom of God and all within it may start out few in
number, just a small seed, or a small bit of leaven, but it will
grow and grow until the whole world is finally under its shade
and filled with it. This will not all come about until Jesus
returns to reign on earth for a thousand years. But as the
prophets have written, there is coming an age when the knowledge
of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea
beds.

JESUS ONLY USED PARABLES TO THE CROWDS

     Matthew and Mark once more make it abundantly clear to us
that Jesus only spoke to the crowds of people in parables, but in
private He explained what He was meaning in the parables,
concisely and clearly to His disciples. Matthew tells us that He
did this to fulfil what the prophet Isaiah had spoken, "I will
open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden
since the foundation of the world" (Mat.13: 34-35; Mark 4:
33,34).

THE HIDDEN TREASURE; THE PEARL; THE NET; TREASURES OLD AND NEW

     "The Kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field,
which a man found and covered up; then in his joy goes and sells
all that he has so he can buy that field. Again, the Kingdom of
heaven is like a merchant in search of a fine pearls, who, on
finding even just one pearl of great value, went and sold all
that he had to buy that pearl. And again, the Kingdom of heaven
is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of
every kind, when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and
sorted the good into baskets but threw the bad away. So it will
be at the close of this age. The angels will come out and
separate the evil from the righteous, and throw them into a
furnace of fire; and men will indeed weep and gnash their teeth"
(Mat.13: 44-50).

     The Kingdom of God and being a part of it, should be the
most valued treasure we have. We should be willing to give up
everything, or count everything we have in this physical life as
sellable, in order to be in the Kingdom of God. It should be in
our eyes as the hidden treasure in a field or the pearl of great
price. We should be doing as Jesus said in the sermon on the
mount, seeking God's Kingdom first and then knowing that all
the physical things we are in need of for this life time will be
given to us from the Father.
     And yes, the Kingdom of God will be offered to all people
eventually in God's time frame. The ones who accept it and live
within its framework will be the righteous who are brought into
the Kingdom, starting at the time when the angels are sent forth
to gather in the righteous, then the harvest will begin and will
continue for one thousand years plus the white throne judgment
period (Rev.20). Then all the bad, the wicked who would not
accept the Kingdom and repent and live within its precepts, will
be gathered and put into the lake or furnace of fire and will
suffer the punishment of the second death (Rev.20 last few
verses).

     Jesus looked at His disciples and said to them, "Have you
understood all this?" "Oh, yes," answered the disciples. "Then,"
He replied to them, "every scribe who has been trained for the
Kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out from his
treasure things that are new and things that are old" (Mat.13:
51-52).

     The Kingdom of heaven and all it stands for is the whole
Word of the Lord, from Genesis to Revelation, the Old and the New
Testaments. Those instructed in the Kingdom, who accept it, are
to do as Jesus said, live by EVERY WORD of God (Mat.4:4), live by
the Old Testament and live by the New Testament.

MORE GREAT MIRACLES - THE STORM IS CALMED

     Jesus had worked hard all that day. It was now evening time,
and exhausted and weary, He said to His disciples, "Come, pull
out and let's go across to the other side of the sea."  Other
boats of people went with Him for they did not want Him to
disappear from their sight. 
     The wind began to pick up its pace. The waves were splashing
pretty hard against the sides of the boat. The wind blew stronger
still. Smash, thud, smash, thud, came the sea waves against the
boat, with every increasing speed and power. Then the full force
of the storm came upon them, waves now higher than the sides of
the boat, throwing it around like a rag doll. Now, each time a
wave came it not only smashed into the boat  with a great
thunderous roar but quite a lot of the wave cascaded into the
boat itself, and within minutes the boat was filling with water. 
     The disciples looked around to see where Jesus was, and
found Him sleeping contently on a pillow in the back of the boat.
He seemed to not have a care in the world as to what was going on
all around Him. The boat was now dangerously close to sinking.
"Master, master," cried out the disciples into Jesus' ear, "do
you not care that we may perish in this storm?"
     Jesus awoke from His deep sleep, and rebuked the wind and
said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And immediately the wind
ceased its violent blow and the sea became quitetly very calm.
     Looking around at His disciples Jesus said to them, "Why is
it you are afraid? Have you not any faith?"
     The disciples were awe struck, for a few moments they were
speechless with wonder and amazement, and then finally began to
say among themselves, "Who then indeed is this man, that even the
wind and the sea obey Him?" (Mark 4: 35-41).

JESUS CASTS OUT DEMONS AND SENDS THEM INTO PIGS

     Arriving on the other side of the sea in the country of the
Gadarenes, and coming out of the boat, there met Him a wild
demonic man from among the tombs (Matthew records that there were
two men not just one, but even he goes on to speak in the
"singular" not the plural. Mark and Luke speak only in the
singular from start to finish. The answer probably is that of the
two men one was the leader and maybe the most demon possessed,
while the other, though also demon possessed stayed in the
background).
     Luke tells us that for a long time now he had worn no
clothes. Mark tells us that no one could bind him. Some had tried
to put chains on him but he just snapped them apart, and not even
a number of men could subdue him, he was too strong for them all.
He would constantly cry out and bruise himself with stones as he
lived among the tombs.
     This demoniac sees Jesus coming, even a long way off as yet,
but he sees Him and runs to be near Him and begins to worship
Him. 
     "Oh, what have you to do with me, Jesus, you Son of the Most
High God" the demoniac cries out with a loud wailing voice. " I
implore you by God, do not torment me before the time appointed,"
the wild man beseeched Jesus, who had commanded the unclean
spirit to depart from him.
     Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" 
     "My name is legion," replied the demoniac, "for we are
many."
     The demons through the man's voice begged Jesus not to send
them out of the country into thin air so to speak. Such demons as
these were, love to possess live flesh and blood creatures of
some kind.
     Now there happened to be on the hillside nearby a great herd
of swine or pigs. The demons begged Jesus to send them to the
pigs so they could at least enter into them. And Jesus complied
with their wishes and told them to go to the swine. Many indeed
were the demons in this man. The swine numbered about two
thousand. They entered the herd, and immediately the herd rushed
down into the sea and all of them drowned.
     The herdsmen, when they saw what had happened to all the
swine they were taking care of, fled as fast as their legs would
move. They ran into the city nearby and told the people all they
had seen. And the people came out of the city to see what all the
fuss was about. When they arrived they saw the demonic man
sitting there, clothed, and in his right mind. People who had
been there all the time through all the events, told the ones
coming later from the city what had happened to the demonic man
and to the herd of pigs.
     Such fear fell upon the people of that region that they just
wanted Jesus to leave and get away from them and from their land.
Jesus obliged them and was getting back into the boat when the
man who had the legion of demons cast out of him, came and begged
Jesus that he might follow Him, but Jesus refused saying to him,
"You go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord God
has done for you, and how He has had mercy upon you."
     The man went his way and began to do what Jesus said, and in
that area called Decapolis the people marvelled greatly at what
they saw and heard (Mat.8: 28-34; Mark 5: 1-20; Luke 8: 26-39).

     The question may be asked about a herd of swine, two
thousand, being allowed by Jesus to rush down into the sea and
drown. This was obviously a cultivated herd of swine because it
had herdsmen tending it. Swine were created by God to be the
wandering garbage cleaners of the land. Pigs are "unclean" as
classified in the "clean and unclean" food laws of the OT (Lev.11
and Deut.14). They were never intended by the Lord to be
cultivated and used for food or animal sacrifices in the Temple.
Obviously this herd of swine was for one or both purposes. One or
the other or both purposes would have been against the laws and
commandments of God. Jesus, hence had no trouble in allowing this
herd of pigs to perish in the sea, and so not be used for human
food or animal sacrifice.

     Did the demons who entered the pigs also drown in the sea?
The angel world (and demons are fallen sinful angels) is not
subject to physical laws as we are or physical substances such as
water. They did not drown in the sea with the swine. The Gospel
writers do not tell us what happened to them after the pigs were
dead. They probably went hurrying away to find another warm flesh
and blood body or bodies to dwell in.

JAIRUS' DAUGHTER AND THE WOMAN WITH HEMORRHAGE

     Jesus again crossed to the other side in the boat and a
crowd welcomed Him, for they were there waiting for Him as they
hoped He would return. Then came one of the rulers of the local
synagogue, Jairus by name, and he knelt before Jesus at the same
time he besought Him saying, "My little daughter is at the point
of death. Please come and lay your hands on her, so that she will
be made well and live." 
     Jesus said He would come and heal his daughter. The huge
crowd continued to follow Him, thronging about and sometimes
pushing and shoving so that Jesus was often being touched as He
walked along. 
     There was a woman in the crowd who had a flow of blood for
twelve years. She had been to many doctors who tried many of
their medicines to heal her. She had spent all of her money on
these doctors, but they had not been able to help her, and the
problem was just getting worse all the time. She had heard the
reports about Jesus and His healing powers from many in the
crowd, so she just came up from behind and touched Jesus'
garment, for she had said to herself that if she just touched His
garment she would be made well and healthy once more. And so it
was. Immediately her hemorrhage or blood flow stop, and she felt
in her body that she was indeed healed. 
     Jesus knew that power had gone from Him and straightaway
turned around and asked who had touched Him. 
     "Master, you see the crowd pressing in on you from all
sides, evening pushing you at times, and you ask who was it that
touched you" said His disciples with wonderment as to why He
would ask such a question.
     Jesus, said nothing more, but looked here and there in the
crowd.
     The woman was shocked that He knew someone had touched Him
for a special reason. She was fearful and trembling, but she came
forward and told Him the whole truth of why and what she did.
Jesus looked at her with great love and compassion and said,
"Daughter, your mighty faith has made you whole and well. Go in
peace, fear and tremble not, and be healed of your disease."

     Even while He was still speaking to the lady and telling her
to be at peace, there came someone from Jairus' house who said,
"I'm sorry to tell you but your daughter is dead. No need to
bother the Teacher any more."  Jesus, ignoring what was said,
simply looked at the ruler of the synagogue and said, "Do not
fear, only believe, have faith."
     Jesus then instructed that only certain ones were to follow
Him. They were Peter and James and John the brother of James. As
they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue there was
great weeping and wailing, very loud indeed was the moaning of
those present there.
     "Why do you make such a sorrowful tumult, the child is not
dead, but merely sleeping, " said Jesus in a calm and reassuring
voice. "Oh, what you say is crazy, we know enough about death to
know she is indeed very dead," said the people in the house, and
they just all started to laugh at Jesus. He told them to all go
outside, and with the child's mother and father and those
disciples He had brought along to the house, He went in where the
child was laying. He took her by the hand and said, "Talitha
cuni"; which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise." And
immediately the girl got up and started to walk around, as she
was twelve years old. 
     All five person present were (the parents of the girl and
the three disciples) overcome with utter amazement, as they stood
there speechless.
     Jesus told them in a no nonsense and serious tone of voice
to make sure they told no one about what they had just seen and
witnessed. And then He told the girls parents to give her
something to eat (Mark 5: 21-43; Luke 8: 40-56; Mat.9: 18-26).


TWO BLIND MEN AND A DUMB DEMONIAC

     As Jesus passed on from there, two blind men started to
follow Him, and began to cry aloud, "Have mercy on us, Son of
David." Jesus continued to walk on and finally entered a house.
The blind men came up to him, and Jesus said to them, "Do you
believe I am able to do this thing, and give you your sight?"
They quickly answered back, "Oh yes Lord, we believe you can." He
then touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith be it
done to you." And their eyes were opened and they who were blind
could see. Jesus sternly told them to tell no one about the
miracle. But they could not contain themselves with such a
healing that had been bestowed on them, and they spread His fame
all over that district.
     As they were going away, a dumb demoniac (some demons make a
person dumb, unable to speak) was brought to Him. And Jesus cast
out the demon and the man began to speak. The crowd marvelled at
what they had seen saying, "Never was anything like this seen in
Israel." But the Pharisees, always tagging along and watching,
once more exclaimed, "Oh, he casts out demons by the prince of
demons" (Mark 9: 27-34).

     Yes, some people it seems, just never learn, never learn the
truth. Paul, years later wrote about some people that "they are
always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the
truth" (2 Tim.3: 7).

JESUS RETURNS TO NAZARETH BUT IS NOT HONORED

     Jesus went from there, after doing all those great miracles,
and after the people gave Him such honor and glorified God, and
He returned to His home town of Nazareth.
     The Sabbath day came and He went to the synagogue and began
to teach the words of the Lord to all present. The people were
astonished, but not in the way you might think. They said among
themselves, "Where did this man get all this from? What
University did He go to? Which theologians have instructed Him in
this wisdom of theology? What mighty works are wrought by His
hands, we do not see them. Is this not just the carpenter, the
son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon,
and are not His sisters also here with us? This fellow is just
one of us, really a no body to speak of." They were greatly
offended in Him, and could not imagine He was someone special.
     Jesus knowing their thoughts and attitude towards Him, said
to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own
country, and among his own kindred, and in his own household."
     And He could do no mighty work there, except lay hands on a
very few sick people and heal them.
     He marvelled greatly because of their unbelief (Mat.13:
53-58; Mark 6: 1-6).

     Sad to say but it is often today the same. People can be
honored in their own town for being a great "sportsman" or
"musician" or "artist" or "filmstar" etc. but if they come
speaking the truth and words of the Lord God, with power and
conviction, calling people to repent of their sins, showing what
sin is, and what the true ways of God are, people  who knew them
as a child, or as a neighbor friend, will just not honor them, or
take much notice of them. They often cannot bring themselves to
realize and accept that God can be working through that
individual in a great and mighty way.  It is often true as the
old proverbs says, "familiarity breeds contempt." Even Jesus
found it coming His way, and had it flung in His face.
     We need to be careful that we never allow familiarity to
come into our mind to where we may make the biggest mistake of
our lives.

                 ...........................

Written September 2002


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