Join us today for an episode about the real message of the both/and...
Today's episode is focused on Matthew 13: 31-33, 44-52...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about Matthew 13: 31-33, 44-52. I talk about how Jesus often challenges us to give up our desire to categorize things. I also talk about how being able to see the both and rather than the either or of the world is so important.
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Episode 1343: Hidden & In Plain Sight
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1,343 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. Hey,
[00:00:08] Roger Whitney: I'm Roger Whitney. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to work for your future is a key.
[00:00:24] Having the ability to work for one more sec, having the ability, I'll pause a second. Having the ability to work for your future is key, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this the Inspired Stewardship podcast with my friend Scott Maderer,
[00:00:50] Scott Maderer: to see the everyday struggles of living life in a complicated and broken world, and yet to respond to it with love. [00:01:00] God brings hope even in situations that are messy and confusing, that are big and that are small, and we are redeemed by God's presence In those moments of both. And welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:01:19] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you. Can impact the world.
[00:01:45] In today's spiritual foundation episode, I talk about Matthew chapter 13, verses 31 through 33, and verses 44 through 52. I talk about how Jesus often challenges us to give up our desire to categorize things, [00:02:00] and I also talk about how being able to see the both and rather than the either or of the world is important.
[00:02:08] Matthew chapter 13, verses 31 through 33, and verses 44 through 52 says he put before them another parable. The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown, it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and make nest in its branches.
[00:02:32] He told them another parable. The kingdom of heaven is yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened. The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone found and hid then his, in his joy, he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
[00:02:53] Again. The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls on finding one pearl [00:03:00] of great value. He went and sold all that he had and bought it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind. When it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down and put the goods into baskets, but threw out the bad.
[00:03:16] So it will be at the end of the age, the angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Have you understood all of this? And they answered, yes. And he said to them, therefore, every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out his treasure.
[00:03:38] What is new and what is old. I think most of us have had those times in our life, maybe after a move, maybe doing something else, maybe just looking in a room that we haven't looked, or in a drawer that we haven't looked in for a long time, where we suddenly discover something that. [00:04:00] We forgot that we had we, we'd maybe put it away there for safekeeping and then forgot about it.
[00:04:06] We stumble across these ordinary things sometimes right under our noses, things that are hidden in plain sight, so to speak. And this is what this gospel text is reflecting on a little bit. Jesus is saying that right under our noses is something of just incredible incalculable value. This style where there's parable after parable is based on a teaching method that the rabbis used that would be referred to in Hebrew as a word that means stringing pearls.
[00:04:47] This is where the teacher would share image after image wisdom saying, after wisdom saying parable after parable in a way that may seem random, but was designed to tell a larger truth [00:05:00] by focusing on small details or to look at the whole picture by looking at all of the parts it was used to look at a picture or a view, but showing it from a variety of perspectives.
[00:05:16] And I don't know about you, but that method of teaching, I think I would probably find a little. Frustrating because it feels like, wait a minute, the kingdom of God is and then all of these disparate images that don't seem to fit together. Is it a pearl? Is it a net? Is it yeast? Is it treasure in a field?
[00:05:35] Do we stumble across it or do we go out and intentionally find it? Does it work in secret hidden away from our eyes, like yeast in the dough, or does it sprout up like a plant, like the mustard shrub? Is it a something common like a seed or is it something like ye or like a treasure that's valuable?
[00:05:56] What? What is it? And [00:06:00] Jesus would probably look at us and smile and nod and say yes, we are like the scribes bringing out the treasure, something old and something new. And then we. Would go, wait a minute, what? What do you mean? Yes. Which is it? Is it this or is it that? And yes, it's that exactly. And it's this.
[00:06:25] Exactly. And that's not frustrating. That's not meant to be frustrating. It's not meant to be funny. It's not meant to be a joke. It's the truth. It's the best answer. Is it a pearl or a net or a seed or a treasure hidden in a field or yeast hidden in three measures of flour? Yes, it is that exactly. And it's more as well, I know about you, but I would probably find that conversation a bit exhausting.
[00:06:54] Maybe it's out to confuse us. And in fact, [00:07:00] sometimes back in the past when I've sat down to read the Bible and I've come to passages like this, I've almost skipped over them or read through them very quickly because it doesn't make sense to me. It's confusing. But what Jesus is challenging us to do is think in a way that we don't usually think, looking both under our noses and off at the horizon, seeing the ordinary.
[00:07:27] And the spectacular in every moment. Learning to experience the every day and yet the once in a lifetime opportunity that occurs in the same moment of time, see deeper question more, and yet trust more completely value what the world throws away and throw away what the world values this. Challenge is to turn the world upside down, to stop [00:08:00] categorizing things into either or, and begin to look at the world as a both, and to see the wonder of the universe in that tiny little seed, to look at something that seems like it's so tiny and unimportant and yet, See that it is some of the most important things, and we're supposed to see that with joy.
[00:08:28] These parables start with descriptions and end with emotional connections. These things that Jesus is telling us are maybe giving us clues of how we're to respond, how we're to commit ourselves to the search. I in his joy about the man who finds the treasure, the merchant sells everything just to possess this new pearl, he sets aside everything he once thought important and goes and finds a [00:09:00] new way in a new, exciting land or place.
[00:09:05] Settling in could be tedious and time consuming, but it's also a place of newness and joy. That's the choice that Jesus is saying. We have a choice to look at this moment in joy or tedium and worry. All of this is an invitation to find the treasure in the midst of the ordinary, to look for glimpses of the kingdom alongside or even within the mundane.
[00:09:36] To see the everyday struggles of living life in a complicated and broken world, and yet to respond to it with love. God brings hope even in situations that are messy and confusing, that are big and that are small, and we are redeemed by God's presence. In those moments of both, [00:10:00] and thanks for listening, thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor. Go over to facebook.com/inspired stewardship.
[00:10:33] And like our Facebook page and market that you'd like to get notifications from us so that we can connect with you on Facebook and make sure that we're serving you to the best of our abilities with time and tips there. Until next time, invest your time. Your talent and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.[00:11:00]
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And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old." – Matthew 13: 52