Responding to Christ with Understanding (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)

Speaker: Rev. Jon Herr
Date: 7/16/2017
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Parables
Price: FREE

See attached Outline for more information!

Matthew 13 is the third larger discourse given by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. In it, He leaves a "house" (13:1) which is possibly Peter's mother-in-law's house, since we know His "home base" for His ministry in Galilee is Capernaum (Mt 8:14-16, cf. Mk 2:1-4), and sits beside the sea of Galilee. Many have questioned whether Jesus was really speaking to crowds of thousands as taught by passages like the Feeding of the 5000, from the desire to denigrate the impact of His ministry, and using the argument that crowds that size could not possibly hear Him without amplification. Benjamin Franklin estimated that George Whitefield, on a good day, could have been heard by 20-30,000 people, so there is no reason Jesus could not have been heard by thousands. Moreover, He speaks from a boat on the seashore (traditionally located in the so-called "Sower's Cove" after its natural amphitheater shape, proximity to Capernaum, and local tradition of its use by Jesus), which naturally amplifies His voice. The Parable of the Sower shows us 4 different responses to the "Word of the Kingdom" (vs 19), pictured by 4 different soils. But the message is far more than simply, "Be the Good Soil". The Word of the Kingdom is the message that the kingdom of God is amon, despite its simplicity and humility. Accepting Christ isn't just "accepting Christ", it's accepting who He is as King, and doing so despite the possibility of persecution and death (chs 10-11), forsaking the distractions of the "cares of the world" (13:7, 22), and allowing it to take root in our hearts. 

Jon Herr Jon Herr (MATS, Reformed Theological Seminary; BS Bible, Philadelphia Biblical University) is Pastor of Christ Covenant Church of Chicago (CREC). Previously he served as a deacon and ministerial student at All Saints Church (CREC, Lancaster PA). He and his wife Jackie live in the Chicago suburbs with their two daughters and three sons.