The Gospel Draws and Divides
1/13 Reading Portions: Genesis 14; Matthew 13; Nehemiah 3; Acts 13
Online Bible Audio/Readings Links (ESV)
Listen to the audio devotional above, and/or read the written devotional below.
But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. Acts 13:45
While the gospel draws sinners to salvation, it also brings division. It’s a given. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, brought the sword of the Word upon the earth, which divides (Matt 10:34; Heb 4:12). The Old Testament foreshadowed this— following Solomon’s death, the kingdom was divided between Israel in the north and Judah in the south (1 Ki 12:16-24).
Jesus presented this reality of the kingdom in several of His parables from today’s readings. He spoke of three instances of rejecting the gospel in the parable of the Sower and the Seed (Matt 13:3-9, 18-23). Christ also taught of the enemy sowing weeds in the wheat field (Matt 13:24-30, 37-43). The Lord Jesus also taught in another parable (Matt 13:31-32) of the eventual habitation of fouls of the air (devils) in the tree (doctrine of Christ’s cross), which begun from a grain of mustard seed (gospel faith). Jesus also spoke in another parable (Matt 13:33) of a woman (a religious system resembling Christ’s bride) who hid leaven (sin) in three measures of flour (resembling the thrice holiness and hospitality of Christ’s church), which leavens the whole lump (a doctrine of pride and boastful works of the flesh). Yes, this is a reality to which the truly redeemed must be aware (Matt 13:51-52).
The Lord Jesus Christ also presented a snapshot of the gospel in His parables. Jesus spoke of treasure hidden in the field (Matt 13:44), which tells of God’s eternal plan of the cross (1 Pet 1:18-20), covered in mystery through the Law and the Prophets, yet dedicated in all Scripture to testify of Christ (Psa 40:7-8; John 5:39). The pearl of great value (Matt 13:45) represents the Father’s glory, which Jesus obediently gave all that He was in order to purchase that glory through the cross (Phil 2:6-8). Finally, the truth of this gospel treasure and precious pearl is used as a net cast into the sea (Matt 13:47-50), bringing to shore both genuine confessors and hypocrites; and though many were drawn, the redeemed and reprobates will be divided; and the wicked will be sent to eternal torments, while the ones saved by grace through faith will spend eternity with Christ. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Jon J. Cardwell's Daily Devotionals & Commentaries is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.