Matt. 13:12…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.
In this day and age, we hear lots of talk about how unfair our society is to the different classes of people. We have all heard or may have even said things like: “It is not fair.” “Life is not fair.” “Why do they have all the good stuff, I don’t have what he has and it is not fair.” Too much emphasis is placed on having “stuff.” Jealousy and envy are at the root of a lot of problems we face today.
Sounds like I should be writing about “Thou shall not covet.” But I have chosen this verse for another reason. At first glance this verse would seem to be embracing a popular phrase of the day. “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Is this really a verse that supports that thought? To draw that conclusion you must take the scripture out of context. I will show, Lord willing, that this verse does not teach that thought. Instead, it is teaching a lesson on obedience and not possessions.
We always have to rightly divide the scriptures. In order to rightly divide, we have to use the context in which the scripture was written. Many of the teachings of the gospels are found in more than one place. To have the best understanding possible, we should look at all accounts. The other accounts may give us more light on the thought being presented. As we look at the whole picture of this gospel teaching, we will see what Christ was teaching.
Many of the teachings of Christ are done in parables. This verse is part of the teaching from the parable of the sower. The parable of the sower is taught in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. There are many things that we can learn from the parable and its explanation. I want to bring out a few points that help to make the point about our verse. In Mark’s account, Christ said unto them, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” The born again child of God has the ears to hear. In the explanation of the parable you will notice that in all four situations the people heard the word. These are all children of God and they all have ears to hear. Each area represents a different situation in life that a child of God may be found. We may find ourselves in each of the different areas at different times in our life.
In Mark and Luke, Christ gives more instruction to those that have ears to hear. We are told by Christ to “take heed.” When we are blessed to hear the gospel, we need to take heed. The things that we hear are special and important. They are for the child of God. That is a special blessing that should not be taken lightly. We need to handle with care. In Hebrews 2:1 we are told, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.”
In Luke, Christ said to “take heed therefore ‘how’ ye hear.” When you go to church to listen to the preaching, what mindset are you in? Do you pray that the Lord will bless you to “hear” the message that day? Do you go to church with all the cares of the world on your mind or do you put them aside during the service? How we hear is just as important as what we hear. That is exactly the thought that Christ presented in Mark, “Take heed ‘what’ ye hear.” Are we hearing the truth and letting it slip? Are we holding on to all we hear? The main point is to TAKE HEED. You must take heed to what and how you hear. You don’t want to be as those that hear in the wayside, stony places, or among thorns. You want to be in the good ground. You want to be fruitful. You want the word to be fruitful. When you hear the word, you want to understand it, you want to receive it, and you want to keep it.
Christ told the hearers to take heed. He then told them why they should take heed. “For whosoever hath,” – taken heed. “Whosoever hath not,” – taken heed. If you have taken heed to what you hear, to you shall be given and you shall have more abundance. If you have not taken heed to what you hear, from you shall be taken away even that you hath. Just like those that were in the wayside, stony places or among thorns, if you don’t take heed, you could lose what you have. To be like those in the good ground, you must take heed to what you hear to be fruitful. If you are obedient to the command to take heed, you will be blessed with even more and that in abundance.
“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.”