Matthew 13:1–9 (ESV)
The Parable of the Sower
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And
he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky
ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other
seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
The beauty of this parable is that I don’t have to explain it, because Jesus explains it!
The Parable of the Sower Explained
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When
anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the
one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As
for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one
who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Matthew 12:46–50 (ESV)
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.
48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and
my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
things are going on. Number 1) This passage says “his mother and his brothers”. The Roman Catholic church says that Jesus didn’t have any brothers. They claim they are step brothers. This is a text that does
not really clarify, but adds confusion to the RC claim. I believe that Jesus mother (Mary) did in fact have other children. Jesus gives the importance of spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ. Instead of pointing to his mother and
brothers… he points to his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and says: “Here are my mother and my brothers!” Faith in Christ is thicker than blood… Jesus is our greatest love.
I pray: O Lord, I love my mom and dad, but you are a higher priority. Let nothing come between you and me. Amen.
Matthew 12:43–45 (ESV)
Return of an Unclean Spirit
43 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which
I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person
is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”
When an unclean spirit leaves a body, you better fill the void with the
Holy Spirit, otherwise… more demons will return. Jesus describes how a person delivered from a demon becomes worse when there is failure to fill the emptiness with goodness. We can also relapse into old and habitual sins when we fail to nourish
our spiritual lives through Word and Sacrament. Only the Holy Spirit can replace the evil spirits that are constantly “seeking someone to devour” (1Pt 5:8). With words from Luther’s baptismal service, we cry out: “Depart thou unclean
spirit and make room for the Holy Spirit” (AE 53:107). •
I pray: Come, Holy Spirit, and make my heart Your dwelling place.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The
Lutheran Study Bible (p. 1606). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
Matthew 12:38–42 (ESV)
The Sign of Jonah
some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to
it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The
men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment
with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
is an interesting passage. The scribes and Pharisees want a “sign” (a miracle) from Jesus. Why? They have had miracle after miracle, after miracle. They have had plenty of signs, yet they still were nonbelievers. Would
one more sign make them change their minds? I don’t think so… and neither did Jesus. He wouldn’t give then another sign. When will it be enough. Jesus says that they had their sign from the prophet Jonah. He
was three days in the belly of a great fish. Jesus is alluding to his death and resurrection. Three days… Jesus was dead, but rose again to life . The difference between the scribes/Pharisees and the people of Nineveh is that the people
of Nineveh repented. They were restored into the kingdom of God. Well, something greater than Jonah is here… Jesus!
I pray: O
Jesus, my Prophet, Priest, and King, accept the praise I bring because You revealed to me the sign of salvation. Amen.
Matthew 12:33–37 (ESV)
A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit
33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when
you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I
tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Have you ever wondered whether someone is a Christian or not? I will tell you that such questioning can lead you into a lot of trouble. For no one knows your heart like God. This
is true! But we should be able to tell whether a person is a Christian by what comes out of the mouth and by their actions. These testify to our faith. I think of the James passage that says “faith without works is dead.”
I pray: O Lord, help my heart to proclaim praise with my mouth and my heart reach out to help others through action. While we are justified by faith alone,
help us to let our faith produce good works. Amen.