Now Matthew presents us with a series of Jesus’ parables about the Kingdom of God. The disciples are permitted to hear the explanations of the parables, but Jesus does not explain them to the crowds around.
The crowds of listeners are left to interpret the parables for themselves, but their indifference to Jesus’ message, and their lack of faith in him as the Messiah has made it more difficult for them to grasp what he is saying. As Jesus explains, those who have will be given more, and those who do not have will lose what little they do have.
Taken out of context, Jesus’ words here might seem harsh, but as we have followed Matthew’s account of Jesus’ ministry, we can see that the people have been given so many opportunities to respond to Jesus. His coming was heralded by a prophet. He has spoken to them and performed many miracles in front of them, but they have not accepted him.
Those who have accepted Jesus and his message – his disciples – are now permitted to learn the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. Those who have rejected him are left confused by his words.
We cannot afford to become complacent in our relationship with Jesus. We cannot afford to allow apathy to dull our spirits and our minds. He is constantly at work among us by his Holy Spirit and those of us who accept him and follow him will receive more. Those who do not respond will lose even the little they have. Let us continue to run the race, to work out our salvation, and to pursue the kingdom of God. We haven’t seen even a fraction of what he can do among us.