Come Follow Me LDS- Mar 18-24 Pt 1, Matthew 13, Luke 8,13- Who Hath Ears To Hear Pt 1

‘Is Truth Fiction or Non-Fiction?’

– Why parables are so powerful

– Why no one is a prophet in their own land

– When others have faith in us, we can do mighty works

Podcast

Raw Transcript

 

Who Hath Ears to Hear. . .” Part 1

all right in this episode we are going

to focus on Matthew 13 we want to ask

just one simple question here is truth

fiction or nonfiction think about it

here we go alright so setting the stage

Jesus has called all of the Twelve

Apostles he has instructed them and sent

them forth then he has given many other

teachings and now here in Matthew 13 we

get this blitz of parables I’m not going

to go into most of these in detail I

want to talk about parables from the

proverbial 30,000 foot level first and

talk about why he’s doing this and why

this is so important and why parables

really are crucial to our learning and a

mirror reflection if you will of the

truth so Jesus goes out he has all of it

this crowd that has gathered around him

and he goes out on the shore out into a

boat a small boat and he sits in the

boat and begins to give these parables

out to everyone he starts off with this

parable and he says this is the parable

of the sower says a sore went forth to

sow and when he sowed some of the seeds

fell by the wayside so that’s one group

of people and the fowls came and

devoured them up some fell upon stony

places where they had not much earth and

forthwith they sprung up because they

had no deepness of earth and when the

Sun was up they were scorched him

because they had no root they withered

away

and then third and some fell among

thorns and the thorns sprung up and

choked them but other fell into good

ground and brought for

fruit some an hundredfold some sixtyfold

and some thirtyfold 160 and 30 different

levels some people take the word the

gospel and they magnify it some more

than others I think one of the keys in

these parables is recognizing who we are

and where we stand in each of these

areas and it might be that it’s not our

testimonies fully that are on the

wayside or in stony ground or among

the thorns but maybe there’s something

in our life that does stand in those

areas and I think that if we can stand

back and be aware of these issues that

makes us a lot more independent and a

lot more a lot stronger as these things

do come around in other words if I know

beforehand that okay these are the

experiences that people are going to go

through when the truth is presented to

them or to me then I can understand that

oh well this is this is one of the

things that happens to someone and

therefore maybe I can hang on a little

bit longer I can I can dig my roots in a

little bit deeper and then another thing

he says at the end of this parable that

I really like is he says what see those

that do go into deeper ground into

better ground he says some bring forth

fruit or they all bring forth fruit but

some a hundredfold some sixty and some

thirty fold so we’re all a little bit

different it’s not just good and bad

it’s not just okay I’m in the church

that makes everything good or I’m out of

it someone is out of the church for them

that’s everything that’s bad but I like

the fact that we can take a look at

those that are in good ground those that

are members of the church so I think is

what this is referring to there are

there’s a lot of progress for each of us

to make within the church and so we

certainly don’t want to be sitting back

on our laurels saying okay well we’re

members of the church and baptized and

everything’s hunky-dory right we want to

make sure that we are progressing and

that were serving those around us and

then in verse nine he says the following

who hath ears to hear let him hear

he’s referring back to a prophecy that

Isaiah gives about the Prophet giving

parables it’s also in Psalms and that

parables are a way to keep things dark

from those that aren’t ready to hear it

or they don’t want to hear it that’s

what it says in Psalms the dark things

and it’s a way to bring more

enlightenment to those that are ready to

receive more truth let’s go over why

that’s so important why parables are so

important here and why Jesus might use

these for the core of a lot of his

teaching first let’s go back and ask the

question that I asked at the

introduction of this episode is truth

fiction or is it nonfiction and you need

to really think about that because the

natural answer because I’ve asked us

several times in classes I may be giving

a class and ask this and the natural

reaction is to say it’s nonfiction of

course because fiction is fake and

nonfiction is real events but that’s not

necessarily the case and in fact it’s

not just not necessarily the case

but it may be that there is more truth

found in a bit of fiction now how can

that be well let’s talk about that first

of all in a parable what you are doing

is you are taking an example that could

be of many other types of experiences

that have happened practical

things that have happened and real

knowledge of truths through experience

that have happened to thousands tens of

thousands hundreds millions of different

people in this case those that are

involved with agriculture they know what

this is and just as you might get from

the classics of Stephen R Covey with I

think he calls it the law

of the farm or the law of the harvest

there are real truths there about wood

that you find within agriculture they’re

great metaphors for life

they are great parables that can there

are great parables it can be put

together based on not something that’s

happened once or twice but that has

happened over and over and over again

and you can take this practical

experience and bring it all together

into one little example and you have

this power behind it because this little

short story is an icon it’s a symbol of

all of this experience from you know who

knows how many people and so a symbol is

a representation of a can be a

representation of a great truth and here

a parable is like a symbol and it is a

representation of a great truth even

though what he’s bringing up here is

really a fictitious story I don’t know

that he’s really talking about some

solar because he’s actually talking

about himself that went out and

sprinkled seeds on the wayside and on

stony places and among the thorns etc

he’s bringing an example of a great

amount of truth of practical truth and

putting it into a short story and that’s

very powerful and we can think about

that also in terms of say for example

the temple and other scriptures where

there is a narrative that has created a

drama that is created that is put

together and in the case of the

scriptures is inspired by all of this

practical truth is experiential truth

that has happened among individuals

prophets interaction with the Lord and

is all brought together into the

small little drama that is incredibly

profound because it is a representation

a symbol of a very profound deep

amount of truth that is there and so

that is why we have for a symbolism in

the temple which is so powerful and

story that is so powerful in the

scriptures and in the temple that is why

we have certain stories that are

classics that because they have eternal

principles in them there are actually

eternal principles in a lot of safe

mythology a lot of eternal principles

that you would find in Aesop’s fables

mother goose I’ve noticed in our

generations our generation and beyond

that these things are being lost

actually think of how powerful those

stories are that and the lessons that

are learned and now we’re kind of trying

to turn them into even something

negative we’re taking truths great

truths that have been repeated for

generations and generations and we’re

turning them on their head and

dismissing them where these used to be a

big part of our culture and have been

for hundreds thousands of years these

stories that would be told to children

and end to adults and so those stories

are very very important they unify us on

certain truths and they bring to our

minds certain truths that have wisdom

within them and that through that wisdom

they show us consequences that’s why I

think we have started to take those

stories away from our culture is because

it is

their consequences people don’t like

consequences

people don’t like responsibilities now

the first thing we go looking for but

those consequences and responsibilities

that’s what those stories are about it’s

teaching you hey not great to go out

into the forest as a kid all by yourself

and follow the breadcrumbs it’s not too

smart to wander too far away have some

little bit of Independence but don’t

don’t travel too far away right there’s

a lot of truths in these stories and

this is what Jesus is giving us here a

number of parables and I don’t know that

they’re original to him even they don’t

need to be maybe some of them are maybe

all of them are I’m not sure I have seen

several examples of a few of these

parables actually in Egyptian ancient

Egyptian cultures as well because there

are eternal truths and that’s why

they’re powerful so one way to teach is

through story one way to teach truths is

through

stories that have been proven through

the test of time and so then the

disciples asked him they say why

speakest thou unto them in parables so

why are you doing this well based on the

background I just gave you here this

said this is his answer because it is

given unto you the disciples to know the

mysteries of the kingdom of heaven but

to them it is not given so that is the

first thing he goes to is the mysteries

of the kingdom of heaven what does that

mean well we’ve discussed this

previously when you talk about the

mysteries of the kingdom of heaven

those are rooted in the temple they are

rooted in the council in heaven those

are the mysteries they are the eternal

truths that the gods if you will have

spoken of in the council’s of heaven and

the providing the plan of salvation and

probably still in the council’s of

heaven that they discuss those are the

mysteries and their cover they’re

mysterious because they’re sacred and

they’re mysterious because we’ve talked

about veils but

they’re veiled from us in a sense

there’s a veil a metaphorical veil and a

non metaphorical veil actually between

us and those and those truths that’s

why they are mysteries and the more we

can pierce that veil the more we can see

and hear as Jesus talks about as Isaiah

had talked about as the Psalms have

talked about the more we can see in here

the message that is being brought

through those parables and if we are at

a level that is say at a three

spiritually we’re going to receive a

message with those parables of a three

just like we will when we go through the

temple and if we’re at a level of a five

we’re going to receive a spiritual

message of a five through the parable

just like we would through the through

the temple or through or through another

part of the scriptures and the more we

can grow and progress spiritually the

more these truths in the profound the

the profundity of these of these

parables and scriptures and

temple experience the more we glean from

it and the more it enriches us so they

give us that 100 fold 60 fold 30 fold

that Jesus talked about in the parable

of the sower that’s the way we are

spiritually also and we can receive

these truths from the same stories at a

level of a hundred 60 30 etc and he

follows that up in in verse 12 by saying

for whosoever hath to him shall be given

and he shall have more abundance but

whosoever hath not from him shall be

taken away even that he hath this is a

very very important practical principle

that we’re going to go in later on when

we get to the parable of the talents

it’s a truth that is being lost today I

believe and it’s something that we need

to understand I think a little bit

better I know that I as I have grown to

understand this all the principle a

little bit more I’ve had a better

understanding

of life and a better understanding of

the gospel so what I will say at this

point about that is that there is a law

a spiritual and a physical law in place

that says when you have more when you

have more abundance you will be given

more and when you have less you will be

given less and so the idea is to move

yourself through your free agency and

your will to a point where you are in a

little life of more spiritual abundance

because the rewards are many fold we

return to you based on where you are in

your life spiritually and that is what

he’s saying here if I’m going to give

you these parables and if you are more

enlightened spiritually you’re going to

receive a much larger message a much

greater message but if you are not then

you’re going to receive one that’s

much less it also goes back to the

higher in the lower law as I’ve spoken

of previously without the higher law the

lower law which is what the Pharisees

and the scribes and others are living

here it eats itself it it’s Auto Fujii

with the with the lower law if it

has nothing to look forward to if it is

not reaching for something of more

abundance spiritually it just eats

itself because it is only carnal and

that’s what’s happening with them they

hear this and they don’t have a full

message of what these parables mean he

can also use them in a sense where he

can I don’t know about attack but in

a sense attack them or call to

repentance certain people without

speaking directly to them and we see

that in a number of the parables as he

as we’ll see later in these in the

Gospels here and then in verse 15 he

says for this people’s heart is waxed

gross because it’s their heart is

hardened and their ears are dull of

hearing and their ears and their eyes

they have closed lest at any time they

should see with their eyes and hear with

their ears and should understand with

their heart and should be converted

and I should heal them there’s your

healing their spiritual healing from

from the Savior this is what Joseph

Smith said about this and about these

parables here he said men are in the

habit when the truth is exhibited by the

servants of God of saying all is mystery

they have spoken in parables and

therefore are not to be understood and

so Joseph Smith backs up this principle

of saying that look the masses are not

typically going to see most of the truth

or perhaps any of the truth any of the

spiritual teachings of some of the

scriptures or they’re going to turn it

into something just kind of a nebulous

feel-good self-help or something that

doesn’t have that profundity behind it

right all of that truth and experience

that’s behind it and then Jesus

goes over several very short parables

about likening the kingdom of God into a

mustard seed and many other things and

just showing how you know again he’s

coming out he’s now teaching about the

kingdom of God and he’s saying this is

how this is going to work these are some

examples that you can see around you I’m

going to give you some temporal examples of

how spiritual things work and so he

likens the kingdom of God under a number

of these things so he’s trying to build

a brand in a sense he’s kind of building

the brand of the gospel and the fullness

of the church fullness of the priesthood

as he talks about what it is like the

church is like this it is like this you

know about this and this and this this

is what the church is like it’s like

these things and so he’s building up

this these parameters or this definition

of what the gospel is about and that’s

what the church is going to be about and

then he ends the chapter here by going

back into his own country we’ll go all

the way down to verse 54 and it

says that he had departed thence and

when he was coming to his own country he

taught them in their synagogues in so

much that they were astonished

there again they’re astonished with what

he’s saying and said whence hath this

man this wisdom so he’s in his own

country they may know of they know of

him and yet they’re asking where did he

get all of this wisdom from and where

all these mighty works coming from so it

seems based on what the authors of the

Gospels are saying here is that for the

first 30 years of Jesus’s life there was

not a lot of miracles there were

not a lot there was not a lot of

teaching of this type of doctrine from

him during this time it would seem right

because they’re all astonished on what’s

going over we do have the story of him

at the temple when he was 12 and they

were astonished at his doctrine then but

for whatever reason it seems like the

authors of the Gospels do not sense that

he was someone who had been bringing

these miracles and these teachings at

least not pervasively through

the country until this time now when he

is 30 years old and in beginning the

fullness of the gospel here the fullness

of the priesthood in the church but he

goes back to his own country and they’re

all astonished at him and they say isn’t

this the carpenter’s son isn’t this

isn’t his mother Mary and he talks about

his brothers James and Joseph and Simon

and Judas and his sisters even he’s like

okay wait a minute this is one of our

own here and isn’t it a funny thing that

we don’t seem to want to believe things

that are the most practical to us

sometimes in other words things that

come from our own geographic area in

fact how many times do people come up

with the most miracle potion and it’s

from some distant part of the world you

know it’s from an island somewhere or

it’s from you know the Far East or it’s

from the valley of who knows what and

who knows where but not anywhere close

and it seems that the further away we

are from it the more credibility it has

right and that’s Geographic and then it

also works that way with time so Joseph

Smith a couple hundred years ago I don’t

think so right that’s too close to me

Moses oh wait a minute now we’re

talking about you know what thirty five

hundred years ago thirty three hundred

years ago something like that hey that

works that’s fine with me I can believe

in that that’s far enough away from me

but here Jesus coming from his own in

his own country

and he tells us the principle here that

a prophet is not without honor save in

his own country so he doesn’t have any

honor in his own country because they

all know him right they saw him growing

up they know that he came by and maybe

he was with Joseph and they came and

built something for somebody and you

know he slammed his thumb with a hammer

and bled and everything else and you

know he’s a normal guy right but if

someone would have come from a distance

or if they want to believe in somebody

in the past that’s a much easier thing

to do prophets in the past great

prophets today for some people it’s not

so easy so that is a principle that’s

also in place I think that principle

works from another way also and that is

let’s say that you are a certain person

and you go away maybe you go on a

mission or maybe you move away somewhere

and you’re in a completely different

environment number one it’s a lot easier

for you to reestablish who you want to

be because you don’t have the ties and

bonds of friendship

mostly friendship and maybe some

relations some family relationships as

well so you can just say go off and you

can be somebody completely different if

you choose it’s a lot easier to do

that and so making maybe moving and

making that change we often some people

sometimes do that they move because of

that

and they wanted to change who they are

and so breaking the bonds of those that

friendship and maybe even some from some

family members they go off and they

change who they are because if they’re

at a distance they can receive it’s

more it’s easier for them to be accepted

for being different from people that

don’t know him or her right from you and

and so that’s one way that we might

follow this principle here the other

thing that’s difficult in this principle

is what if we came back and we’ve made

those changes and we are somebody

different and we’ve improved ourselves

greatly but let’s say you were put back

into those circumstance and now the

expectations you know what I’m saying

the feedback these people remember who

you were before or who this person was

before and they’re going to react more

to that persona into that person and so

now you’ve got a really difficult

situation is how do you step up and

commit yourself to being the new you and

to stand up for the principles that you

now believe in that’s a hard thing to do

it’s like in the last lesson with the

dry places where the man repents goes

off into the dry places for a while he’s

kind of uncomfortable and he ends up

going right back to his comfortable

house or to his previous life and

starts doing the same thing so none of

us are naturally none of us are

naturally honored in our own land

sometimes especially if we’re trying to

really improve ourselves so again just

taking a step back and understanding

that might help us to work through that

type of a situation with those around us

and maybe we just need to be with other

people and in fact in the last verse

here verse 58 it says and he did not

many mighty works there because of their

unbelief

so again

very difficult thing for him to do

because just as we’ve learned previously

or faith was given to him the woman with

the issue of blood those that believe

that they could heal their daughter or

their servant or others there was a lot

of belief from those people but here and

now these people do not believe in him

they don’t have the faith in him and he

can’t work through that that’s a great

lesson right he’s like look if you don’t

have faith then I cannot perform these

miracles and to some degree I know

that’s true even with me if I am around

people that have faith in me I can do

mighty works much greater than I could

if the people around me don’t believe in

me so there’s a principle there that’s

very practical I think for all of us and

that can be yes it can go all the way up

to something where there’s a miracle

that is performed but there’s a small

miracle in all of our daily lives that

happen within us when we are surrounded

by people that have faith in us and that

have a positive feedback about us make

sure that you watch part two of this

lesson where we focus on Luke 8 and Luke

13 I’ll talk to you next time

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