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Some Seed

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Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Some Seed

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat 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, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear…”

“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” [1]

U

ndoubtedly, most of you will be familiar with this story that Jesus told concerning a farmer and his crop.  Jesus frequently used illustrations from the world of agriculture.  His listeners were mostly people acquainted with rural life and familiar with agriculture, especially horticulture.  However, just to ensure that each of us knows the account, consider again the story Jesus told.

A farm worker went out to sow his seed.  As the seed was scattered, some fell on the travel-hardened path where the birds feasted on some seed.  Other seed was scattered onto rocky ground.  The soil was thin there.  The rocks underlying the thin soil warmed the seed so that it quickly sprouted, but because there was scant soil to hold the moisture, the sun scorched the seedlings and they quickly died.  Other seed was strewn among thorns, and though they tried to grow, the briars and brambles outgrew the good seed and choked the plants.  Other seed fell on good soil and produced a harvest.  Not all the soil was of equal worth, for the same seed produced varying amounts of increase.

Of course, Jesus was using a parable—a story designed to convey spiritual truth.  Later, the disciples asked him, Why do you speak to them in parables [Matthew 13:10]?  Listen carefully to the response that the Master gave them.  To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:

“You will indeed hear but never understand,

and you will indeed see but never perceive.

For this people’s heart has grown dull,

and with their ears they can barely hear,

and their eyes they have closed,

lest they should see with their eyes

and hear with their ears

and understand with their heart

and turn, and I would heal them.”

But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it [Matthew 13:11-17].

Parables, then, are for the spiritually perceptive.  This does not mean that the parables Jesus told are necessarily easy to understand simply because one is a Christian.  The Master found it necessary to continue by explaining what He intended to communicate through this particular parable.  The question of Jesus’ meaning, though unspoken by the disciples, nevertheless weighed heavily on their minds.

Christians are Called to Plant Some Seed.  Hearing the parable without benefit of the explanation seems to place the emphasis upon planting seed.  Listening to the explanation, the emphasis would appear to be upon the fruitfulness of the seed as it falls on various types of soil.  Either emphasis is correct.  Christians are to plant the seed, but they are responsible to do so wisely, knowing that not all the seed scattered will take root.

Let’s establish that the seed in question is the Word of God.  In His explanation, Jesus spoke of the Word as the seed [Matthew 13:18].  That this is the case becomes yet more apparent in the accounts of this same parable provided in the other synoptics.  Mark quotes Jesus as saying, The sower sows the Word [Mark 4:14].  The definitive definition is provided through Luke.  There, Jesus is reported to have said, The seed is the Word of God [Luke 8:11].  By this criterion, it should be apparent that the sower refers to Christians.  Therefore, we can be certain that the responsibility weighing upon each Christian in the Kingdom of God is to sow some seed.  Tell others of the Good News concerning Christ.

I concede that there is no command to evangelise associated with this parable, but there are sufficient other Scriptures throughout the New Testament to enforce the knowledge that each Christian is responsible to tell others the Good News.  Underscore in your mind this vital truth that all Christians are responsible to serve as evangelists—we are responsible to tell others where life may be found.

The command of Christ demands that we tell others of His sacrifice.  How else are we to understand the Great Commission than that we are responsible to point others to life?  If we take seriously the words of Jesus, we are to compel people to come [Luke 14:23].  Salvation is not something that the Lord offers in a casual fashion.  It cost Him His life—separation from the Father, torment in our place, and at last the offering up of Himself because of our sin.  Therefore, it is irresponsible to think that we can be casual about telling others of His sacrifice.  We must be focused on bringing others to life.

A literal translation of Matthew 28:19, 20 states, [h]aving gone, then, disciple all the nations, (baptising them—to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all, whatever I did command you,) and lo, I am with you all the days—till the full end of the age.[2]  The emphasis is that since the disciple is already going, he is to disciple all nations.  Jesus assumes that disciples will be going throughout their world.

This command is repeated in the other synoptic Gospels as well.  In Mark, Jesus commanded to those who are His disciples, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation [Mark 16:15].  In Luke, Jesus is recorded as providing the following charge to all disciples.  Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things [Luke 24:46-48].

Those were certainly powerful words that the Master spoke prior to His ascension into the heavens.  You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth [Acts 1:8].  We err if we imagine that these words applied only to those gathered on that mountain from which the Lord ascended.  The words reveal the command of Christ to all disciples, a command that shall of necessity be imposed upon the faithful until the end of this age.

We too frequently forget the purpose of Christ’s incarnation.  Jesus Himself said, the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost [Luke 19:10].  Just so, the Master has sent forth those who are His disciples, expecting that they will sow His seed wherever they go.  To disciples Jesus said, As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you [John 20:21].  Of necessity, if we count ourselves disciples, we are compelled to tell others about the love of God and of the mercies of Christ the Lord, for so we are commanded.  There is no question but that the will of the Master, expressed repeatedly through His command, is that those who claim discipleship will reveal their relationship through obedience in testifying to the truth of His love and sacrifice.

The conviction of the New Testament demands that we tell others of Christ the Lord.  The whole of the New Testament account demands that we tell others of the salvation that is found in Christ the Lord.  There were no silent witnesses during the days of the apostolic church.  Those who believed the message of salvation were transformed and openly proclaimed their faith.  They did so at great risk to themselves.

We forget the passion and ardour that characterise the apostolic appeals.  Consider one such instance of apostolic fervour.  Paul, initiating the letter to the Roman saints, speaks on behalf of all Christians when he says, I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek [Romans 1:16].

To the Corinthians, Paul stated a principle that yet applies to all Christians.  If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says,

“In a favourable time I listened to you,

and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, now is the favourable time; behold, now is the day of salvation [2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2].

Every child of the King set free from sin and delivered into the light of Christ the Lord exults with Paul in his glorious doxology.  The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen [1 Timothy 1:15-17].

The compassion of God demands that we tell others of life in Christ.  One of the moving passages found in Peter’s Second Letter points to the compassion of our God.  The Lord … is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance [2 Peter 3:9].  God sent His Son into the world to present Himself as a sacrifice for sinful man.  The greatest example of love ever provided to the whole of mankind is that the Son of God would willingly take upon Himself the sin of the world and offer His life as a sacrifice in the place of man the rebel.

Again, Paul speaking of God’s mercy says that God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth [1 Timothy 2:4].  The evidence that God so desires life for all mankind is that there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time [1 Timothy 2:5, 6].  This God, the Living God, is declared to be the Saviour of all people, especially of those who believe [1 Timothy 4:10].

If God yearns for people to come to the knowledge of the truth, it should follow that His people must reflect that compassion.  It has pleased God to employ the touch of your hand, the sound of your voice, the wetness of your tears to lead the repentant seeker to faith and to life.  When a song has moved an individual to ask, tell that one of the love of God and point them to Christ the Lord.  When a motion picture portrayal of some event has generated questions, be prepared to tell the interlocutor the reason for your faith.  This is nothing less than fulfilment of the command of God as given through Peter’s First Letter.  In your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you [1 Peter 3:15].

The Growth of Seed Depends upon the Soil.  The parable assumes that Christians will disciple others.  Only a rebellious age would see disciples who refuse to scatter seed.  Only an illiterate church would seek an easier means that would avoid personal responsibility.  What is vital for our understanding is that the focus of the parable is on the soil upon which the seed is scattered.

How do three children growing to adulthood in the same home receive the same love and devotion, receive the same careful instruction, and yet turn out so different?  How can three people attending the services of the same church, receive the same biblical instruction and receive the same careful training in righteousness, turn out so different? 

At issue is one truth—the character of the individual is ultimately his or her own responsibility.  Certainly we can, and should, carefully seek the development of character, but in the final analysis, the individual must assume responsibility for his own character.  Whether in the home, whether in the realm of the spiritual, ultimately, each individual bears responsibility for himself or herself and for the choices they make.

Long years ago, the great London preacher, Joseph Parker (1830-1902), spoke of this issue.  “I have uttered common prayer, I have spoken to the congregation, as a whole, year after year, I have done my best to arrest attention and satisfy pious expectation—what is the result today?  …Some seed has fallen by the wayside, and has been picked up; some in the stony places, a joy for a moment or two, great delight while the service lasted, but there was no deepness of earth, and it soon withered away.  Some has fallen among thorns, and some of the seeds have fallen upon good ground.”[3]

Hearts may be hard, represented by the hard ground along the footpath.  The sower does not deliberately sow upon the footpath, but in strewing the seed on good soil, some inadvertently falls upon the path.  There, on soil that is hard and impenetrable, the seed is vulnerable.  The evil one comes along, and he cannot abide the threat of the Word, even for a moment.  So, he snatches away that which threatens him—the Word.

Even among us are individuals who hear the Word preached and yet have proven themselves to be impervious to that same gentle call to life.  They hear of the mercies of God and they hear of the compassion of Christ, but they will have nothing to do with it.  Almost as soon as the thought forms in their minds, they reject it.  The preached Word does not long abide in their mind, for it is so quickly rejected.

It would be one thing if we could actually tell who is so hardened.  Some are indeed transparent in this regard.  They are deliberate in their rejection, even rude in their refusal to hear any appeal for life.  I well recall a man who stood throughout the invitation as I pleaded for the lost to come to Christ that He might give them life.  Tears stained his weathered cheeks, and I saw him shake his head.

I was compelled by the Spirit to walk back to him as the congregation sang and as people prayed.  I asked that gentleman if he was ready to believe the message and come to life in Christ.  He shook his head and said, “Young preacher, I made a bargain with God long ago.  I wouldn’t bother Him if He would leave me alone.  I cannot believe.”

The words were spoken with such force and with such vehemence that it was obvious that nothing I might say could change his mind.  This was a man who had passed beyond God’s deadline, and there was no turning back.  Perhaps there had been a day when the heart had been tender and the Word might have found lodging, but now that same heart had grown hard and the Word was snatched away almost as soon as it dropped.  Don’t let your heart grow so hard.  Don’t let the Word be snatched from you.  To permit such a thing to happen is to sentence yourself to eternal condemnation.

Hearts may be shallow, such as represented by rocky ground.  Again, the seed is the same and the soil is the same.  There is sufficient soil to cover the seed and the heat of Christian fervour demonstrated in the presentation of the Word and in the pleas of God’s people makes that seed grow quickly.  The hearer seems glad to accept the Gospel; perhaps he is even eager and enthusiastic.  His demeanour is marked by apparent joy.  We would assume this to be very promising, but the story is not told in how one begins.

The soil was thin and the seed had no root, so the individual is demonstrated to have never been born from above and into the Kingdom of God.  There are those professed saints who flourish for a time—whether for a long time or a short time is immaterial.  Such individuals likely even appear to prosper and are assumed to be examples of the believers because of their showy profession and apparent zeal.

Spurgeon notes that ultimately, the character and depth of the soil is revealed.  “When matters grow hot with Christians, either through affliction from the Lord, or persecution from the world, the temporary believer is so sapless, so rootless, so deficient in moisture of grace, that he dries up, and his profession withers.”[4]  Alas, how many of the professed saints of God prove themselves to be momentary wonders in the house of God.  They seem to grow quickly and even flourish, only to die out when the demands of the Faith are placed upon them.

Far too many of the professed saints of God are surface Christians.  I have throughout the years of my service before God witnessed far too many that made a glorious confession only to finally prove there was no depth to their heart.  Many were finished with their faith within a matter of months.  Others took some years.

I could preach in such a way that you would feel good about yourselves, leaving each service with a warm feeling and yet unchanged in the production of godly fruit.  Too often I have felt that a congregation considered me much as the people of Israel regarded Ezekiel.  Behold, you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument, for they hear what you say, but they will not do it [Ezekiel 33:32].

What I would stress as important to note is that the sower does not deliberately sow on such shallow soil, but it is not always possible to distinguish the depth of the soil.  In fact, if the sower had avoided the hardpan he might well have missed some of the good soil.  Thus, the sower must always know that some seed will flourish immediately, only to be scorched soon.

Hearts may be grown over, and therefore the seed is easily strangled, as was the seed among the thorns.  These are those individuals who are consumed with the cares of this world or the deceitfulness of riches, and they are at risk of being self-deceived.  Cutting apparently cleared the thorns and the seed was planted quickly.  However, the old roots quickly sent out new shoots and other weeds also grew up with them.  The tangled beds of thorns, nettles, thistles, and native weeds outgrew the good seed.  Finally, the weeds choked the Word, rendering it unfruitful.

This presents a danger that must be acknowledged.  Those individuals who merely attend the surface issues without touching the root of evil, are susceptible to destruction.  Evil, left unaddressed, finally claims a monopoly on our nature.  The heart cannot be divided, as we have seen in a previous message.  An individual can have but one master.  An individual is setting aside treasures in only one treasury.  An individual can have but a single vision.

I caution you that these individuals are not said to fall from the practise of their religion.  The Word simply says that they become unfruitful.  These individuals, sad to say, too frequently occupy positions of power and persuasion among the saints of God.  They frequently hold wealth and position; they may be people of influence and means.  However, when we ask for the evidence of fruit, there is none.

I recall confronting just such an individual who was a leader in a church I pastored.  “Other than the fact that you are a liar, a thief and a manipulator,” I stated, “I have no doubt that you are a good person.  However, there is no place for such a person as you in this congregation.”  He was utterly consumed with promoting himself and controlling the church because of his wealth and position within the community.

Hearts may be fertile, and just as was the seed that fell on good ground grew a crop, so prove fertile.  It is this good soil that will repay all the disappointment of seed sown on ground that proves unsuitable for reproduction.  Here, in the good soil, the increase of the fruit more than justifies the disappointment arising from lost seed on the footpath, or seed which fell on the hardpan and seed which fell among the thorns.

No heart of man is good by nature.  Our blessed Lord Himself prepared this heart, making it into good soil.  Both mind and heart are engaged about the heavenly message and the man hears and understands.  The result is that he bears fruit.  The amount of the fruit is perhaps less a concern to the sower than is the fact that the seed proves fruitful, though we pray for those who bear fruit a hundredfold.

Seed Planted in Fertile Soil Must Produce Fruit.  Perhaps the most important point of this parable is that seed planted in fertile soil must of necessity produce fruit.  I agree with Bishop Ryle that “the fruit here spoken of is the fruit of the Spirit.  Repentance towards God, faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ, holiness of life and character, prayerfulness, humility, charity, spiritual mindedness—these are the only satisfactory proofs that the seed of God’s Word is doing its proper work in our souls.  Without such proofs our religion is vain, however high our profession: it is no better than sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.”[5]

We must never be content with cold orthodoxy.  The professing Christian can be as straight as a gun barrel theologically, and just as empty.  We must not be content with warm feelings or even a good understanding.  We must seek to cultivate fruit.  The Master has said, You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide [John 15:16].  Each of us is responsible to see that the Master Gardener has complete freedom to ensure that our own hearts are fruitful.

The emphasis of the message to each professing Christian, has been to impose the responsibility to distribute the Word of God.  Christians are responsible to sow some seed.  Is there no one to whom you may prayerfully tell of the love of God?  Is there no one for whom you will pray continually, asking that Christ prepare his or her heart to receive His Word?  If you are unconcerned for the eternal welfare of others, beginning with your own family, how can you say that the love of Christ lives in you?  For if Christ dwells in you by faith, you cannot help but be concerned for the salvation of the lost.

As a servant of the Risen Son of God, I long to witness the growth of fruit in your lives.  Assuredly, I rejoice when such fruit becomes evident and I see Christ glorified among us.  Such fruitful individuals are progressing in holiness and in love, though they would protest that they are not perfect.  These blessed saints present prayers that are powerful and they walk in humility before the Lord their God.  I grieve at the lack of fruit in the lives of others as I seek fruit, and I pray for God’s Spirit to root out the thorns and to break up the stony ground so that fruit will be brought forth.

However, more than anything else, I long for the day when souls are brought to the Faith of Christ the Lord, not occasionally, but frequently, through the witness of the people of God.  I long for our experience to be that of the saints in the days of the apostolic church and the Lord add to our number day by day those who are being saved.

This need not be a mere dream, rather it can become reality.  I’m asking that each of you who profess faith in the Living Christ to take an unprecedented step.  No one will check up on you, but before God, you will know whether you are honouring Him or not through keeping the commitment I am now asking of you.  I am asking that each of you write down the name of one somebody you know is not a Christian.  Perhaps God at this moment will lay on your heart one someone whom you know is unconcerned about the things of God.  I am asking you to write the name of that individual in your Bible where you will see it each time you read the Word.

Then, having written down that name, I am asking that you give yourself to prevailing prayer for life for that precious individual.  I challenge you to ask God to save that person, asking especially that He will let you be the one to sow a seed.  Perhaps it will be that God will open an opportunity at an unexpected moment, and because you have prayed, His Spirit will prompt you to speak.  Perhaps it will be that God will direct you to boldly reach out in a spirit of tender compassion to that individual.  However He should work in answering your prayer, I know that God will honour the request that you make for His glory and for His honour.  Do not content yourself to fling a quick plea heavenward, but instead commit yourself to prevailing prayer until God gives an answer.

How glorious if God permits you to be present when that one for whom you are praying is at last born into the Family of God.  Even if you should not be permitted to witness the harvest, but you can know that you planted.  If you discover that you were not the first to deliver the Word, you can take solace in knowing that you watered the implanted seed.  Some of you—and I pray all of you—will reap a harvest.

You do believe the promise of God?  The Psalmist has written.

He who goes out weeping,

bearing the seed for sowing,

shall come home with shouts of joy,

bringing his sheaves with him.

[Psalm 126:6]

For each one who is a child of the True and Living God, I covet this for you, that you will have the joy of leading some beloved family member, some beloved friend, or some colleague at work, to faith in the Living Christ even in this week.  If we go, He will bless.  If we speak, others will hear.  If we are willing, God will direct many into our paths so that we are enabled to be mighty instruments of grace.  This is my prayer.

Some listening to this message cannot tell others of Christ because they have never received Him.  The Lord Jesus was crucified because of your sin.  He gave His life in your place, taking your sin upon Himself.  That awesome sacrifice has no meaning until you personally receive it for yourself.  The evidence that His death is expiatory is witnessed through the fact that He raised from the dead, thus proving Jesus to be the Son of God with power.  As the Risen, Living Saviour of all who call upon Him, He will receive all who seek Him.  This, then, is the call of the Word of God to you.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” [Romans 10:9-13].

We invite all who are willing to come confessing Christ as Lord of life and Saviour that together we may rejoice in His grace.  Amen.


A literal translation of Matthew 28:19, 20 states, [h]aving gone, then, disciple all the nations, (baptising them—to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all, whatever I did command you,) and lo, I am with you all the days—till the full end of the age.[6]  The emphasis is that since the disciple is already going, he is to disciple all nations.  Jesus assumes that disciples will be going throughout their world.

Long years ago, the great London preacher, Joseph Parker (1830-1902), spoke of this issue.  “I have uttered common prayer, I have spoken to the congregation, as a whole, year after year, I have done my best to arrest attention and satisfy pious expectation—what is the result today?  …Some seed has fallen by the wayside, and has been picked up; some in the stony places, a joy for a moment or two, great delight while the service lasted, but there was no deepness of earth, and it soon withered away.  Some has fallen among thorns, and some of the seeds have fallen upon good ground.”[7]

Spurgeon notes that ultimately, the character and depth of the soil is revealed.  “When matters grow hot with Christians, either through affliction from the Lord, or persecution from the world, the temporary believer is so sapless, so rootless, so deficient in moisture of grace, that he dries up, and his profession withers.”[8]  Alas, how many of the professed saints of God prove themselves to be momentary wonders in the house of God.  They seem to grow quickly and even flourish, only to die out when the demands of the Faith are placed upon them.

I agree with Bishop Ryle that “the fruit here spoken of is the fruit of the Spirit.  Repentance towards God, faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ, holiness of life and character, prayerfulness, humility, charity, spiritual mindedness—these are the only satisfactory proofs that the seed of God’s Word is doing its proper work in our souls.  Without such proofs our religion is vain, however high our profession: it is no better than sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.”[9]


----

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Ó 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

[2] Robert Young, Young's Literal Translation of the Bible, (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI 1977)

[3] Joseph Parker, Servant of All: Studies in Matthew Chapters 8-16 (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN 1998) 184-5

[4] Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The King Has Come (Fleming H. Revell Co., Old Tappen, NJ 1987) 170-1

[5] J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Matthew (Marshall, Morgan and Scott, London, UK 1989) 133

[6] Robert Young, Young's Literal Translation of the Bible, (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI 1977)

[7] Joseph Parker, Servant of All: Studies in Matthew Chapters 8-16 (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN 1998) 184-5

[8] Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The King Has Come (Fleming H. Revell Co., Old Tappen, NJ 1987) 170-1

[9] J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Matthew (Marshall, Morgan and Scott, London, UK 1989) 133

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