Thursday, May 28, 2009

Matthew Section 4: The Parables

After a couple of days of graduation obligations, a holiday, and a couple of days of conferences, I am trying to get back on track with my overview of Matthew. The forth section of Matthew is a little hard to summarize. The title (not original with me) is "The Program of the Messiah Explained." This is not real helpful when reading just the title. However, this section starts with John sending his disciples to ask Jesus if He is the one they had been waiting for or is their someone else coming. Jesus answers them by saying:

Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me. Matthew 11:4-6
After this, Jesus shows through actions and short speeches explaining His purpose. For example, Matthew 11:30, 12:8, 12:50. Then, Jesus gives word pictures (parables) of what His Kingdom is like. All of this helps us see clearer what is was Jesus was accomplishing through His ministry.

The main discourse of this section is the parables, which is really more like several short speeches put together. But again, this shows Matthew "editing" Jesus' parables for a purpose. Matthew 11:28 provides the reader with a challenge to accept Jesus and His purpose and Matthew 13:51 provides the reader with a challenge to understand Jesus' purpose.

Here is the visual aide for this section (click picture for larger image):

I would expect about 20 sermons from this section, although some of the shorter parables will be taught together to get the thrust of overall message conveyed through them.

In the forth section, we get a clearer picture of Matthews purpose of His Gospel. Jesus fulfilled the Messianic predictions, and He taught the principles of the new Kingdom. He showed He had the authority He claimed He had. He now begins to communicate why the Messiah was sent.


Mark said...

This section has seemed to be the hardest to preach through to me. I have looked through Matthew as if I was going to preach through it and the parables, while enjoyable and filled with a lot of meat to preach on, seems difficult. How can I preach on the Lord's words!? This, more so than the Sermon on the Mount, seems the hardest of the book. I am hoping your sermons will be recorded and available to listen to!

Rolland said...

I agree. I think this will be a tough section and mainly because the parables. We are so far removed from the Ancient Near Eastern mindset, that we many times miss the whole point of the parables.

I am hoping that I will be able to post at least outlines (or whatever) of my sermons. I realize narrative is not as easily outlined as Paul's epistles, but I personally still will need a structured plan for my sermon which I will call an outline. As far as listening to them, I am hoping to work with the church on that one...maybe by the time I get to Matthew, we will have some of those issues worked out.

Mark said...

Cool, I hope that works out. I think you will do a great job with this Gospel!