The visionaries

There are some who see without perceiving, hear without listening, have a heart that does not receive and understand the truth. Jesus highlights who are those visionaries who can truly perceive and build the Kingdom of God.

Overview

Bible Passages: Matthew 12:46-50;Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21; John 15:14; 46

Introduction

Critical enemy anointed family

Condescending family – appointed family

Celebrating devotee – adopted family

Comparisons

Insiders or outsiders

Discussion

Objectives

To understand:

What Jesus meant by spiritual blindness and deafness

What it takes to get rid of it and get spiritual vision

Bible Passage

Matt 13:10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.

Bible Passage

Matt 13:12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;

You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;

Introduction

Matthew 13:15 For the heart of this people has become dull,

With their ears they scarcely hear,

And they have closed their eyes,

Otherwise they would see with their eyes,

Hear with their ears,

And understand with their heart and return,

And I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Introduction

Parable

  • a riddle few can solve
  • a mystery few can unravel
  • a maze few can pass through

Why, riddles, mysteries, mazes – why not clear and straight path?

Centuries before, Isaiah was anointed to give this message to the hardened people of Israel.

Isaiah 6:9,10a ‘You will be ever hearing, but never understanding; / you will be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ / 10 This people’s heart has become calloused; / they hardly hear with their ears, / and they have closed their eyes

God goes on to tell Isaiah that there is no stopping…“Until the cities lie ruined” with only the stump of the “holy seed” left. (Isaiah 6:11-13)

Introduction

God goes on to tell Isaiah that there is no stopping of preaching to the people…“Until the cities lie ruined” with only the stump of the “holy seed” left. (Isaiah 6:11-13)

Not all have the privilege of knowing the secrets of the kingdom of heaven

Categories

  • Those who have
  • Those who have not
  • Those who desired to have but could not

Introduction

Though they were heading straight to destruction:

  • Isaiah was never to stop warning them
  • Jesus did the same
  • God is doing the same with us today.
  • He provides adequate multiple opportunities to repent
  • It takes multiple acts of intentional disobedience to become callous towards the most amazing blessings possible.

Introduction

Not all have the privilege of knowing the secrets of the kingdom of heaven

Categories

  • Those who have
  • Those who have not
  • Those who desired to have but could not

Those who have

who are seeking, have a desire, hunger, asking, knocking, thirsting, mourning, reaching

will get more that what they are looking for – far more..

Matt 13:11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him

Those who do not have

Those who are not seeking, have not desire, no hunger, no questions, complacent, content with the world, seeking things of the world

They are following Jesus with other motives, not to learn.

To them, Jesus is not going to bother to even teach the great truths of the kingdom.

Most dangerously, they think they have

Those who desired but could not have

Matt 13:17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

They talked to God, experienced miracles, saw him in various forms yet, no one saw the full manifestation of God in human form living, breathing, an everyday.

Not applicable in the New Testament era.

We are so privileged to be in it.

Christ’s strategy

Given the situation he is in, what option does Jesus pursue:

  • Become a part – influence the influencers?
  • Ignore them and focus on disciples?
  • Teach and Warn them?
  • Demonstrate his upper hand?
  • Create new religious organization?

Christ’s strategy

Answer:

His primary response is to:

Teach and Warn them

Jesus has the unique capacity of engaging multiple audiences at their level simultaneously. For example:

  • Stories to the crowds
  • Old testament references to the more learned
  • Detailed explanations to the disciples – separately

Christ’s strategy

While he perseveres to give them a chance to repent, he doesn’t:

  • Waste words
  • Hang on to doors that are shutting in his face
  • Completely withdraw from the hardened people

Christ’s focus

Is on the truly blessed – his disciples, the small yet immensely powerful group that HAVE:

  • Eyes that see beyond the world – Christ Himself
  • Ears that hear Christ(God)’s voice
  • Hearts that perceive as Christ perceives
  • Lives that are willing to repent and be healed

The jackpot

Are you waiting for a multimillionaire to pick you up and say, he is ready to put his millions on you? That you are rare talent?

Your wait is over

You can have much more

Our best investments are for Him

  • Time
  • Talents
  • Money

We are always hungry for more

  • More souls
  • More word
  • More fellowship

More sacrificial service..

How to know we are productive (Cont’d)

Are we passionate about making disciples?

  • Not only being the good soil that produces returns but searching for good soil that produces returns?
  • Even when it costs?

Just as He is?

The catch here is we will never know how blind we are and how much potential blessing we are missing

Because we are sinners and part of us is already hardened

We can only tackle the un-surrendered parts of our lives by His power and with His grace

How to focus our heart?

  • By listening with our spiritual ears (His word)
  • By seeing with our spiritual eyes (His will)
  • By understanding with our spiritual heart (His plans)

That is receiving

  • And getting rid of any distraction in our life
  • prioritizing our lives around His priorities
  • Recharging our spiritual batteries continuously

That is focus

The core truths

1.Everyone gets opportunities, few are partners with Christ

2.Christ invests into those who are invested in Him

3.If our heart is in the world, it will choke or dry out our initiatives for Christ

4.The more Christ invests into us, the more we invest into others

What is our strategy with those who have not?

What is our focus with those who have or have the potential to have?

Where is our investment?

Remember our Blessing

Matt 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Discussion

1.Who specifically fall into the “have nots” in our circle. How do we give them warnings as Christ did?

2.List our focus people/ groups for discipleship. What are tangible results in these people/groups

3.In what ways have we invested into Christ? What are some returns we are enjoying?

4.Investing long term can sometimes be discouraging? What encouragement have we received in these endeavors?

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