The Twisting of Matthew 13:12 by Kari Trumbo

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“For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

So often I’ve seen this verse used as a reason to give of what you have or to explain how if you give away an abundance of what you have the Lord will give you more. There are many good verses that should prompt you to pray about your generosity; this isn’t one of them. It is one of those verses that, when pulled from its context, could mean any number of things, something Christians need to be infinitely wary of.

Here’s the scene, Jesus has just told a multitude the parable of the sower. The disciples ask him why he speaks to the masses in parables. He answers with: (Matt. 13:11b) “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” This gives us a little perspective. While at first blush verse 12 looks to be almost prosperity gospel, when you put it after verse 11, the meaning becomes more clear. Jesus was telling the disciples that the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven is not clear to all people at all times.

I don’t think Jesus was hiding the truth from them, I just don’t think that particular group was ready. Their hearts and minds had become dull to sin. In this particular gathering, it doesn’t even say that many heard and believed, in fact, it doesn’t mention much about the crowd other than that there was a multitude of them. Something had to yet happen that would open their eyes and hearts to Jesus’ life-saving message.

As a member of the body of Christ, it is our duty to verify what we hear other Christians say, even those in a leadership role, for accuracy. Hold what is being taught in context and see if it still holds true to the message being taught. If we speak scripture falsely, or twist it for our own devices, we become false teachers.

Is it a weighty task, to verify everything we hear against scripture and that it is used in correct context? Yes, but the more you do it, the better a grasp you will have on what scripture really says and that is a beautiful thing. No one man should ever be trusted completely with your spiritual growth. Even if your pastor or teacher is never guilty of twisting scripture, by revisiting it, you learn a little more. The message goes a little deeper. There is no part of that which could be construed as bad, it is, in fact, time well spent.

I encourage you in your reading and searching. The Lord never said we shouldn’t question man, man is fallible. Faith has nothing to do with who teaches you and everything about what you care to learn and how you live.

About the Author:

Kari Trumbo

Kari Trumbo is an aspiring author, freelance editor, wife and mother to 4 vibrant children. She homeschools, teaches 4-6th graders for Kids Club at the Paynesville Bible Church, crafts, and reads voraciously.

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  1. The same verse is used in War and Peace. A prior attachment to one woman is discarded and an attachment to another woman is entered by one (of the many) protagonists and his rationalization is that the first has little compared to the second. Not Tolstoy at his finest. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

  2. Kari Trumbo

     /  September 5, 2015

    Thank you for reading and the comment. I agree, not his finest moment or argument.


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