By John Foll
, 9/2/2018 to 9/3/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
They Were Offended by Jesus’ Rebuke:
“Then the disciples came and said to Him [Jesus], ‘Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?’ But He [Jesus] answered and said, ‘Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.’” Matthew 15:12-14 NASB.
The Pharisees had a lot of pride which caused them to be offended by Jesus’ rebuke to their sins. They were wrong, but their pride wouldn’t let them see it. What happened that caused Jesus to rebuke them?
Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, ‘Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.’ And He answered and said to them, "Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, 'HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,' and, 'HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God, he is not to honor his father or his mother.' And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'" After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, "Hear and understand. It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man." Matthew 15:1-11 NASB.
We will only go into the main point of this passage. So don’t relax thinking that this article is not a lesson for you, since you are not a Pharisee who lived back in the days when Jesus walked this earth with His disciples. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for holding the tradition of ‘the elders’ above the requirements of God, and in some circumstances ignoring the requirements of God. Their sin was pointed out, and it offended them. Why? Because they did not want to admit they were wrong. Jesus proved to them from the Bible they were wrong. This is the main problem here! We are all sinners and have sinned and maybe have had wrong beliefs at one point, but if anyone refuses to listen to the truth, when their sin or wrong view of the truth is pointed out, then this is a big problem. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18 KJV. So what is the answer to the question what defiles a man? It is what comes out of his mouth. Is it not pride and all sorts of hurtful words? It is pride and sin on the inside that defiles the man, producing all kinds of evil.
An Enemy Has Done This:
Who planted these plants that Jesus said that the Heavenly Father didn’t plant, that He would uproot? Pride and disobedience to God are fruits that the Heavenly Father did not plant. An Enemy hath done this!
Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' And he said to them, 'An enemy has done this!' The slaves said to him, 'Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?' But he said, "No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn."' Matthew 13:24-30 NASB.
The devil is the enemy that did this! Jesus only plants the good seeds! But some people do not keep Jesus in their heart, and some have never known Him. These received the seed from the enemy of righteousness, who planted the bad seed in their heart. If they do not let God uproot these plants, they grow up unchecked and produce a harvest of tares. Which in turn causes other people to have tares growing in them too.
“Then he [Jesus] left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field." He answered, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age [the end of the world], and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. [The end of the world.] The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.” Matthew 13:36-42 RSV.
Let the tares and the wheat grow together until the harvest. Within each person’s heart they can be either a wheat or tare, and sometimes both at one time in their life. Every one is born a sinner, but this is no excuse for anyone allowing the devil’s seed to grow in their heart. God has provided a way for us to overcome and be protected from all of the darts of the devil. See the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18 for more on this.
What is the harvest and when will it be? The harvest is the close of the age (RSV), or the end of the world (KJV). As Jesus said, at the end of the world, He will send His angels and they will ‘gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and evil doers’ (RSV), they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks and those who commit lawlessness (NASB), and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity (KJV). So there you have it from three different Bible versions, the Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible and the King James Version.
What are these bad seeds that God didn’t plant that He will uproot? Pride, doubt, suspicion, temptations to sin, sinful entertainments, etc. We listed many of the plants that Jesus or the Father didn’t plant below. The seeds may have been planted, but have they been watered and nourished until they grow up and fully manifest their evil? You can water and nourish and cultivate the plants growing out of these bad seeds, or you can allow God to uproot them from you. The choice is yours.
Plants Which Your Heavenly Father Didn’t Plant:
17) Lack of Self Control or Intemperance
22) Putting off doing what God has asked you to do
This is not a complete list, but it gives you the idea.
Dear reader, do you have any plants growing in your life that the Heavenly Father didn’t plant? God may have spoken to you and asked you to do something or to get rid of something. Have you taken care of it yet? Or did you put it off? Have you allowed Him to deal with it yet? Maybe you were reading your Bible one day, and a text in it pierced through your very being, as you realized it was talking about you! Or maybe you have forgotten what God had asked you to do, and your spiritual ears have grown dull or deaf. (We hope not.) If you are hearing what we are saying now, and your conscience is bothering you, even if you are not sure what is wrong, there is still hope, if you would pray to God and beg Him to reveal it to you! Be like David who wrote: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 KJV. Or ‘try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me’ Psalm 139:24 NASB. If you pray this prayer and mean it, God will hear it. You can also pray this prayer from David too: “Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.” Psalm 19:12-13 NASB.
Of all of the plants planted by the enemy, pride is probably the worst one. Pride will get you lost, unless you let God help you get rid of it. It was what caused the Jewish leaders to reject Jesus, because He rebuked their sins. This is what He always will do at some point, rebuke sin. He may let someone point out your sin or you may read about it in the Bible. It is your choice what you will do when your sins are pointed out. But every plant that your Heavenly Father didn’t plant will be uprooted, as Jesus plainly declared. So you have a choice: you can allow God to uproot them from your life now, while there is still hope, through confession and repentance with the help of the Holy Spirit, and submit yourself to Him. Or you can allow these evil plants to grow unchecked, until they choke out the good plants that were growing in you, which were planted by Jesus when you gave your heart to Him, and then you will be uprooted at the judgement, unless you repent quickly while there is still time.
John declared, ‘The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.’ 1 John 3:8 NASB. Since Jesus came for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil, you have two choices: allow Him to destroy all of the works of the devil in your life, during your life’s probation: your bad thoughts, your bad words, bad deeds and bad habits, etc., or He will deal with it at the end of the world, and you will be lost. Sorry if this is too candid for you, but these are the only two options. If you are already clean with God, we are happy for you, then you have much peace! Make Jesus your friend while there is still time, confess your sins, give your heart to Him, and allow Him to destroy the works of the devil in your life: to uproot all of the bad plants that have been growing there. Do not wait until tomorrow, tomorrow may be too late. Give your heart to God now, all-the-way, and plead with Him to help you make the changes that are needed. He will help you if you will let Him and want His help. If you have already given your heart totally to God today, and for awhile, then we are very happy for you, because this means that you have the Holy Spirit in full and are happy, with no guilt! This is the way everyone should be!
Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the Deeds of the Flesh:
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:16-21 NASB.
If you confess all of your sins and allow God to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), you will receive the Holy Spirit to help you be good, as long as you continue to cooperate with Him and do whatever He asks, without dragging your feet or being stubborn and doing your own thing again, against His will. You can and should ask for the Holy Spirit: Jesus said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" Luke 11:13 NASB. Why not take up Jesus’ promised offer here for the Holy Spirit? If you ask and want this wonderful gift, it will be given to you. Amen. If you ask for the Holy Spirit, He will help you to live a righteous life, and will help take away your shame that sinning again and again brings.
No matter how hard it is to do what God has asked you to do, if you humble your heart before Him and plead for His help, He will help you to do what He has asked you to do. If you feel like you are losing your faith again, as storms of doubt seem to sweep you away, you will need to keep praying over and over again: “Lord, help me to be more willing.” “Lord, save me before I perish.” If you will continue to pray like this every time you have this need, God will save you every time! Jesus and His Father love you and know that you are but dust. Psalms 103:14 NASB. Don’t let go of their mighty hand to save! They will help you with your pride and embarrassment, if you have something particularly nasty to make right, but you will feel better once you have done it. It is not worth it to have those nasty weeds planted by your enemy growing in your life, choking out the very life of your soul! If you want to have peace, be truly happy, filled with much love and joy, allow God to do some weeding in the garden of your soul! He is the Husbandman, the true Vine Dresser. John 15:1-8. Allow His kind and tender hands to prune away all of the dead growth and sinful things that have attached themselves to you like leeches, and all of the evil plants that need uprooting. Allow Him to give you a new heart and a new life, life more abundantly. He will help you greatly if you allow Him to do all of this for you, and you will wonder why you took so long to let Him do it for you! And always stay connected to the vine, Jesus! You will lose your strength the minute you lose your connection to Him. Stay connected to Him at all times.
Please allow God to uproot these noxious, poisonous plants from your life if they are still growing there before it’s too late! If you want to be free from these bad plants in your life, Jesus will make you free indeed. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 KJV. If you need extra help, pray this prayer: ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’ Luke 18:13. If you pray this prayer and mean it, you will go home justified or made righteous as Jesus promised in Luke 8:14. But don’t we all need extra help? The Bible says that all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6. And not one of us is good, not even one. Psalms 14:3. We have no hope of being good apart from God or cleared from our sins apart from confessing them to Him and receiving forgiveness. 1 John 1:9. So you might as well pray that prayer, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’ Why not? You have nothing to lose!
May the grace of God be with you and help you to uproot all of the evil plants growing in your life! May you receive forgiveness for all of your sins, and a cleansing from all unrighteousness. May you receive God’s precious gift of the Holy Spirit to help you to be good and to be pleasing to God. Then your life will sing for joy! And you will have wonderful peace, and will get God’s righteousness that flows like the waves of the sea! Isaiah 48:17-18. Amen.
May the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all! Amen.
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