Choose a passage from the book of Matthew and identify the literal sense and spirtitual sense of the passage.
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SORRY: I just posted this as an answer to a question as it got moved to a discussion. Didn't mean to repeat.
I'm assuming your teacher picked Matthew for this assignment because it's full of parables--short stories told by Jesus which have spiritual application. The parable I think of first is found in Matthew 13:1-9, a story about seeds and soil. Jesus was in a boat talking to multitudes of people on the shore.
Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.
Your question asks for literal and spiritual, and this story has both. The literal is easy--real seed which fall on each of these kinds of soil will literally either grow or not, just as the parable indicates. In other words, seeds without good soil may grow, but they will not endure (live long) because there is nothing to sustain them. The literal lesson is that seeds need good soil in which to grow. The spiritual application is also relatively simple, and Jesus says in verse 9: "He who has ears, let him hear." This refers to "hearing" on a spiritual level. Each of the examples is explained later in the chapter (verses 18-23).
The seed sown by the side of the road is representative of the Word of God (the seed) not growing but being snatched up by birds before it could grow. This is a picture of Satan snatching away the Word of Gad which was heard but not understood.
The seed sown in the rocky places is a picture of someone who has heard and received the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm but has no real "roots." When times get difficult, then, he is easily discouraged and gives up on Christianity.
The seed sown among the thorns is symbolic of someone who hears the Word of God but that "seed" is choked out by the weeds and the thorns (the troubles and the distractions of the world). This seed will bear no fruit--no evidence of a life lived for God.
Finally, when the Word of God is planted in good soil, it grows and bears fruit. When a person accepts and understands the Word of God, he will grow and his faith will not be distracted or destroyed because his roots are deep and the seed has been planted in good soil.
In the book of Matthew, there are many parables, but in particular, the Sermon on the Mount takes place during chapters 5-7. You have much to choose from.
I would recommend looking at the parable of the sower in chapter 13. Jesus told a story about a farmer who went to sow seed. (This is the literal meaning.) The farmer's seed ended up in four places: some birds ate some seed, some seed fell on rocky soil, some fell of fertile soil, and some fell among thorns. Only the seed on the fertile soil grew well.
SPIRITUALLY, this means that we need to be careful where we invest ourselves. The fertile soil represents time spent in the word and prayer. All of the other places represent where and how we get off track.
In reply: I've chosen the illustration of the expensive pearl. Mat. 13:45,46. A pearl merchant on his quest to find choice pearls literally finds a pearl of great value. He sells everything he has, to own that one pearl. He places the most value in owning that one pearl than to all of his possesions.
Spiritually the pearl of greatest value represents the Kingdom of God or discovering Jesus. In order to be part of God's Kingdom, it will cost you everything ;sometimes even your life. Giving up all that we hold dear in life is what it will cost to follow Jesus because He is worth more than everything in life.
It is quite obvious that the merchant derives great joy in owing that one pearl and this joy is so great that it will carry him through life than any of his possesions.
thanks ya'll ;)
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