Matthew 13:12

For Fapstronauts who are disciples of Christ

  1. skibum71

    skibum71 Fapstronaut

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    "Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them."

    Can i start by saying yes, this isnt a reboot log - but to be honest i find the rest of the forum is generally populated by kids...kids who have spent much of their lives PMOing. So ive come here for a more mature audience :)

    I would identify as agnostic, but there is something about this passage that fascinates me. Ive been thinking about it continuously for days now. It seems what Jesus was talking about was faith. BUT - there seems to be a truth to this passage that goes beyond the issue of faith. It seem like this phenomenon, that those who have, who have money, respect, confidence, good fortune, prosperity, etc...seem to be gifted ever more while truly those who have little seem destined to lose what little they have. Think of some of the poorest people in the world, in India, South America who have next to nothing - and then comes the earthquake, hurricane etc...and they are left with literally nothing.

    Part of the fascination is that it is so wrong, so unfair - those who have, should show compassion and share what they have with those less fortunate and those who have little should recieve every possible help to improve their lives - but this is not what Christ said.

    The more you look, the more you see that this passage expresses a principle that seems to be at work everywhere.

    Its like a mystery that I am trying to unlock. If i can understand this principle, and align my thinking to the mechanisms that this principle works by, then maybe i can become one of those who have, and receive more of life's blessings.

    Anyway, im just throwing it out there for discussion. Thoughts?
     
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  2. crazyaf

    crazyaf Fapstronaut

    Well that's definitely not what he meant.

    If you are taking that scripture in some other terms than faith, then it could be stewardship.

    So if we take your example of people living in poverty- if they are a good steward, more would be given to them. (Which basically means following sound biblical principles on managing finances)

    But if they aren't, what they have will be taken away. I know I am giving a rather dumb explanation of this scripture though.
     
  3. skibum71

    skibum71 Fapstronaut

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    What do you mean by stewardship?
     
  4. crazyaf

    crazyaf Fapstronaut

    Using whatever gifts we have been given to glorify Christ. Could be financial, or could be any other talent.
     
  5. skibum71

    skibum71 Fapstronaut

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    Ok, it seems obvious to me this cannot be so - many who glorify Christ do not prosper, while many of those who do prosper are not remotely Christian.
     
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  6. crazyaf

    crazyaf Fapstronaut

    Alright, waiting for other members to share their views. I must admit I do not have a very sound understanding of this scripture.

    But it is nice to have a thread like this for a change here, thanks for starting it.

    Reminds me of the discussions I used to have in the Bible study group a couple of years ago.
     
  7. skibum71

    skibum71 Fapstronaut

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    Cheers. Maybe im completely wrong, it can onnly be understood in relation to faith but as i say - it seems to be a principle at work everywhere. You may or may not know it comes from the parable of the talents - which in itself is rather hard to grasp. The servant who burried his was afraid of his master, and when fear is your governing mindset, this affects everything you do. Maybe he didnt feel he had the entrepeneurial skills of the others, maybe he lacked confidence. He took no foolish risks with his talent, and yes he didnt make a profit like the other 2 but neither did the master lose anything. The moral teaching of this seems to completely lack compassion and understanding. So this is something im trying to get my head around too...
     
  8. Tao Jones

    Tao Jones Fapstronaut

    Wonderful stuff! Thanks for asking this question.

    It is important to look at this in context. When Jesus says "whoever has will be given more," what is he referring to? Whoever has *what*? If you can provide an answer to that, I think you will be well on your way to understanding what he means.

    You mention the parable of the Talents or Minas in relation to this teaching. I think you are exactly on the right track here. I think this parable can provide you with a clue what it is that Jesus means.

    I am curious to learn together with you! I'd love to hear your thoughts as you explore this question further. I agree with you on another point, too: If you can understand this teaching, you are indeed on the road to receiving the gift that cannot be taken away. Let's keep the dialogue going! :)
     
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  9. crazyaf

    crazyaf Fapstronaut

    Seems like in the context of this verse, it's talking about having an understanding of the scriptures.

    Jesus spoke this verse in response to the disciples asking why he started speaking in parables. Which was because the crowd wasn't really into understanding the word of God.

    So the more one desires for, and meditates on the scripture - the more understanding he is given.

    The materialistic ambitions like fame and wealth is not the criteria of measuring increase or decrease.
     
  10. Tao Jones

    Tao Jones Fapstronaut

    I think you touch on part of the answer.

    But let me ask you this: What understanding is given to a Christian who is mentally retarded? How is their understanding increased, when they cannot meditate on the Scripture or understand anything beyond "Jesus love me this I know for the Bible tells me so"? How about for someone who is illiterate? Or for someone who has no Bible? Or no Bible in their own language?

    How would the words of Christ in this passage apply in these cases?
     
  11. vicit_fidem

    vicit_fidem Fapstronaut

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    Have you been listening to Jordan Peterson by any chance? :D I've heard some clips of him speaking on the same thing, i.e. how this 'principle' seems to apply to things generally, as you say. This has been stuck in my mind too!
    (Personally, a fan of the Doc here, hoping to see him on the other side one day)

    Some ways I see this as a universal principle:

    Making gains at the gym. Keep lifting, and you will lift more, get stronger. Sit at home and veg out, and your muscles will atrophy. Basically the use it or lose it principle.

    Education.
    Teach a kid the alphabet. Then he can read. Then he can learn new things, function in society, do research,gain wisdom from others, and be a force for good. Snowball effect.
    vs
    Don't teach a kid the alphabet. Can't read. Can't communicate with others. Can't find a decent job. Can't eat right because he can't read food labels. Gets diabetes, obese. Feels isolated. Becomes bitter towards others and hates society. Snowball effect.


    In the battle against PM, I see this principle at work in myself, in terms of self control (actually noticed this just recently).
    The more I regularly employ self-control, the easier it becomes to resist tempting situations and maintain that self control
    ("Whoever has will be given more").

    At times when I was binging on PM, there was no self control. It was like I was (willingly) given over to raw & base animal instinct. The more I gave in, the less of me there was, and something else was taking over. So I was not only losing self-control, but losing who I was. Part of what it means to be human is the ability to act above instinct; a habit of indulging in PM chips away at that, and so in a sense chisels away at my very humanity. Now that's a scary thought.
    ("Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken").


    So true. Doesn't sound very fair here. It actually sounds pretty raw, harsh, and insensitive at face value. However, the way I see it, it seems like Jesus is stating something that "is", not something that "should be".
    I don't think he is prescribing something (ie "Let the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer") but describing it.



    Because of this point, I take the "what" in regards to "Whoever has [what?] will be given more" to be describing faith.
    Also, as crazyaf alluded to, context is key. verse 9 Jesus says "Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear".
    I take this to mean "whoever has faith to hear, let him hear".
    So I take it to mean the "what", as Tao Jones mentioned, is primarily faith.
    Because, as mentioned, what about those without mental capacity to understand?
    But even the mentally handicapped and illiterate can learn to trust, love.
    And to me, faith is ultimately trusting, loving :)

    Great thread!



     
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  12. Tao Jones

    Tao Jones Fapstronaut

    Well said! It is fascinating to read the Scripture in its entirety with this perspective. The "harsh" God of the OT becomes a Father full of love and grace when you realize most of the time he is simply telling his children the natural consequences that will result if they choose something other than him to sustain their lives.

    You say the gift given is faith. What is faith? What is its object?
     
  13. dcchristopher

    dcchristopher Fapstronaut

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    This is a great scripture to ponder. To me this is talking about a difference in knowledge. There is certain knowledge that comes from reading books that tends to be intellectual. Then there is certain experience and Doing that gives us knowledge and understanding of a different value. It's the DOING knowledge that primarily brings "life" and healthy first-hand Truth. Just having intellectual knowledge may not get you very far when challenges come. It may even keep you from understanding the Truth and being who God created you to be. It can make you Ridgid and religious for example. The reality of the laws in the world will eventually lead us to the experience whether we are totally prepared or not. But God can make all things for His glory.

    I think a good way to sum this up is to just Live, and learn to not be overly attached to anything. Value community, relationships and family. This is the ground where we truly learn the real knowledge and lessons.

    I would also say that reading till verse 23 in this chapter points a bit more at what Jesus is talking about.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
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  14. Tao Jones

    Tao Jones Fapstronaut

    The passage in question appears in more than one Gospel. Which chapter and which v23 are you referring to?
     
  15. skibum71

    skibum71 Fapstronaut

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    From Wikipedia:

    The concept is named according to two of the Parables of Jesus in the synoptic Gospels (Table 2, of the Eusebian Canons).

    The concept concludes both synoptic versions of the parable of the talents:

    For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

    — Matthew 25:29, RSV.
    I tell you, that to every one who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

    — Luke 19:26, RSV.

    The concept concludes two of the three synoptic versions of the parable of the lamp under a bushel (absent in the version of Matthew):

    For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away

    — Mark 4:25, RSV.
    Take heed then how you hear; for to him who has will more be given, and from him who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.

    — Luke 8:18, RSV.

    The concept is presented again in Matthew outside of a parable during Christ's explanation to his disciples of the purpose of parables:

    And he answered 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 him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

    — Matthew 13:11–12, RSV.

    Id be super interested to know if there were other teachings which Christ deemed so impartant that he voiced the same concept on 3 different occasions, in different contexts. The multiple use of this idea tells me this teaching is very, very important.
    I appreciate the comments so far. As I said I am agnostic, so im not seeing the teaching through the lens of a Christian world view. My world view, unfortunately at the moment is trying to get myself financially stable after years of having a very low income. So i tend to look at the teaching in a rather material way. This is an area where the teaching seems to hold truth. Children of wealthy parents, who never really understand the horrible vulnerability you feel when you are poor, go on to achieve even greater success than their parents. If you are born poor, it is overwhelmingly likely you will stay poor. Not always, but most of the time. My therapist introduced a very interesting concept to me during our last session - a mindset of abundance, where you assume whatever resource is plentiful , causing you to act positively so you do indeed recieve more of that resource; or, a mindset of scarcity, where you assume it is not plentiful, that there will be no more - causing actions which are governed by fear, which of course leads to the depreivation you feared. Your mindset affects your actions so your hopes/fears become self-fulfilling prophecies.
    I think these concept of abundance (To those who have...) and scarcity (those who have not...) are clearly tied into this teaching.
    Thats where I am at the moment :)
    Back to you!
     
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  16. Tao Jones

    Tao Jones Fapstronaut

    The teachings of Christ have wide appeal -- and wide application! I have found his instruction to be utterly dependable. If it is followed, the life of the one who exercises that discipline can be good indeed!

    You may be interested in Matthew 6, where Jesus speaks more about material things and a helpful attitude we can have toward them.

    And you may find this of interest: http://bobsorge.com/2014/11/jesus-most-common-teaching/
     
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  17. dcchristopher

    dcchristopher Fapstronaut

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    Matthew 13
     
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  18. MNWinter

    MNWinter Fapstronaut

    Pastor Kris Vallotton has a series of sermons and a book on the subject of these parables. They were transforming for me. I would encourage you to check them out. Sometimes the truth of God’s Word is surprising in ways that we don’t expect, or have been taught in ways that are not helpful.
     
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  19. dcchristopher

    dcchristopher Fapstronaut

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  20. dcchristopher

    dcchristopher Fapstronaut

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    I have never had one of these panic button reminders hit me so hard. This one above really helped me when I needed it. I am currently in a relationship and don't want to screw it up by spending my energy looking at porn and masturbating. I know things can be much better. I'm really ready to start a family and begin this next phase in my life. I know it's something I need so I can keep myself busy and focused on something meaningful and healthy.
     
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