Ugly and unfixable marks puncture boards struck randomly by a hammer. Words rendered without thought leave permanent wounds.
A spider web backlit by the sun offers a beautiful picture of design – and the danger can be seen. So the Word of God lights the path to illuminate the danger of disobedience.
Spokes come nearer one another the closer they are to the hub. People grow closer the nearer the come to Christ.
Common occurrences and observations of the simple things yield frames for placing profound truth. Jesus masterfully cloaked the truth of the kingdom in parables based in familiar settings. Jesus saw opportunity in everyday interactions and events to communicate truth of eternal proportions. Action, humanity, interaction, intentionality, wisdom, discernment, and energy pack the first three verses of Matthew 13:
That same day Jesus went out of the house and say beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables.
What can we learn from the perfect man about using common occurrences of life to communicate profound truth of eternal consequence?
1. Obey God
Jesus lived in entire obedience to God. When he went out of the house the same day, he was obeying God. The years He spent submitted to His parents laid the foundation for obedience in public ministry. The foundation for applying profound truth and seeing it around along with the opportunities rests in obedience to God.
Disobedient people are selfish people. Selfish people fail to see the opportunities to serve others. Selfish people refuse to exercise the discipline necessary to find significant truth in everyday experiences.
2. Love people
Jesus went out among the crowds. These people worked hard, smelled bad, and were sick. Someone compared this crowd to a crowd of teenagers at the end of a week of summer camp. Excellent comparison. But He still went out among them because He loved them. He even knew many would reject Him and ultimately kill Him. But He still went out among them because He loved them.
Obeying God and loving people go hand in hand. Loving people means being selfless. The people God calls you to love are the ones laid out by the side of the road, robbed by sin of the meaning of life, and avoided by the religiously snooty. Jesus loved those people.
3. Make the most of every opportunity
“That same day.” Jesus and the Pharisees just finished a theological wrangle. False accusations that Jesus was a lawbreaker, an ally of Satan, and a fake had been defended. Instead of charging off to hang out with His buddies and revel in wit and wisdom, He went out of the house and taught the people – on their level! Jesus uses strong theological arguments rooted in the depths of Scripture all through chapter 12. Now, as He approaches the crowds, He uses accessible language and common pictures.
How often do we think that “making it” through one situation entitles us to ignore other opportunities for good. Jesus’ example strikes the heart of a self-centered philosophy and convicts us of the need to make the most of each and every opportunity – no matter when it comes.
4. Talk to people
Often what “goes without saying” gets left unsaid – and undone. Sometimes just a few minutes to show genuine interest in the life of another person will open an amazing opportunity for sharing profound truth. You show interest in people where they are and they will often be glad to pointed to a better destination. The disciples took the bait. They asked Christ what He meant. And He gladly explained.
Do the simple things. Break out of the shell of self-centeredness and look around for people who need a shoulder to lean on. Be the shoulder by offering a genuine greeting and sincerely asking how life is going.
5. Choose wise words
Jesus spoke in parables. He did so to obscure the obvious (v. 13) and to fulfill the Scripture (v. 35). The reasons for that are for another time. The point being that Jesus choose the right words at the right time. Choosing the right words at the right time comes with wisdom. Applying your heart to wisdom supplies a wealth of communication devices – and discernment regarding when and when not to use them.
Jesus is far more than our example. He bought our redemption with His precious blood. He reconciled us to God. We gained justification through Him. And so much more.
But He is our example. Paul encouraged the Corinthian believers to “be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” What common parts of life will wisdom from God allow you to use for communicating eternal truth?
For the full sermon, click here