To what does Jesus refer in Mat 13:12? I.e., “whoever has, to him shall more be given”: but has what, and what is it that more shall be given to him? See Mat 13:11 and think: besides to see and to hear, what word occurs three times in the next three verses? By what means does one obtain that understanding which if one has it shall more be given of it? Cf. again Mat 19:27, Luk 5:11,27-28 from our preceding discussion and see also Pro 2:2-5, 4:5-7, Mat 13:44-46. For what reason and by what means is the little under-standing taken away from those multitudes (on the broad road to destruction) who are attracted to Jesus’ ministry and yet unwilling to forsake all else to come to the knowledge of the truth? See 2Th 2:10-12. What does this teach us about the central importance to salvation of having a sincere love for the truth?
What does Jesus mean in Mat 13:13 concerning the multitudes that “while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear”? See and hear what? Consider that scientists can “see” and “hear” light and sound waves using electronic instruments like an oscilloscope, but is that the same thing as seeing and hearing in the sense we understand these terms as the meaning we assign to the light and sound waves? I.e., can scientists by means of an oscilloscope see a sunset or hear a sermon? Though “seeing” would they perceive its beauty, though “hearing” would they understand its meaning? As we perceive a deeper physical reality through the meaning we assign to the complex sequences of light and sound waves that constitute seeing and hearing, such that in fact we understand seeing and hearing to be our perceptions of this deeper reality, is it possible that there is an even deeper spiritual reality to be perceived from the meaning we assign to the complex sequence of events that compose our lives, that would in the fullest sense be understood as truly seeing and hearing? Where within us do we perceive this deeper reality? See the last part of Mat 13:15. Why according to Isaiah’s prophecy in Mat 13:15 were the multitudes unable to “see” and “hear”? What does Isaiah mean that their hearts had become dull? Cf. Heb 3:7-8,15, 4:7, Mar 8:14-21, esp. Mar 8:17-18. What does this again teach us about the importance of having a love for the truth and a good and honest heart to understand it? What apologetic value would Matthew’s use of Isaiah’s prophecy have had for those Jews who were in danger of falling away from their faith in Jesus as their Messiah because of the increased persecution by the unbelieving Jews?
What blessing is found in Isaiah’s prophecy for having a good and honest heart that is not hardened by unrepentant sin so as to be able to correctly perceive and understand the truth? See Mat 13:15 and think: If a car is having problems and isn’t running properly because of a bad battery connection or a loose ground, what is the result if the owner does not have a correct perception of the problem and supposes it needs a new battery or alternator, or is led to believe that the car needs a new power control module (computer), or is perhaps even deceived that he needs a new transmission or is low on headlight fluid!? In this same way, if a person is having problems and his life, whether spiritual, mental or physical isn’t running properly because of a bad connection to God or he is not securely grounded in the truth, what is the result if he does not have a correct perception of the problem and supposes he needs medication, or a therapist, or is led to believe that he needs major surgery, or is even deceived by a false religion, empty philosophy, or quack remedy?
What does Mat 13:17 teach us about the depths of man’s darkness due to our fallen, sinful nature? What do Mat 13:16-17 teach us about how essential to a full and complete salvation is the light of the knowledge of the truth that only the Savior could impart? What do these verses teach us about how blessed we are to have not only the teachings of Jesus recorded for us to meditate upon, but also the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit to teach us all things (Joh 14:26, 1Jo 2:27), as well as the teachings of the inspired apostles themselves? In light of all this as well as the abundance of additional resources from the collective wisdom and insights of nearly 2000 years of godly saints, in the day of judgment will the excuse that “we didn’t know” or “we didn’t understand” hold up before God’s righteous throne, or will it be clear that we didn’t love the truth so as to be saved (2Th 2:10-12)? Cf. Heb 2:1-4, 1Pe 4:18. Are we guilty of neglecting the great salvation wrought for us by God by not forsaking the world and the things in the world to spend the time necessary to come to understand the knowledge of the truth that is according to godliness?
The Atonement of Christ's Blood: Understanding How the Blood of Christ Saves and Reconciles us to God
- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
- What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?