THE PARABLES OF MATTHEW 13

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN – THE KINGDOM OF GOD

 

Matthew 13:1-53 In that day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the seaside.

2  And great crowds were gathered to Him, so that He went into a boat and sat. And all the crowd stood on the shore.

 

(1)PARABLE OF THE SOWER

3  And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, Behold, the sower went out to sow.

4  And as he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside, and the birds came and devoured them.

5  Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth. And they sprang up immediately, because they had no deepness of earth.

6  And the sun rising, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they withered away.

7  And some fell among thorns. And the thorns sprung up and choked them.

8  And some fell on the good ground and yielded fruit, indeed one a hundredfold, and one sixty, and one thirty.

9  He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

10  And the disciples said to Him, Why do You speak to them in parables?

11  He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them.

12  For whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance. But whoever does not have, from him shall be taken away even that which he has.

13  Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not; nor do they understand.

14  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which said, "By hearing you shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see and shall not perceive; (ISA 6:9-10)

15  for this people's heart has become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and they have closed their eyes, lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

16  But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.

17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard them.

 

JESUS EXPLAINS THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

18  Therefore hear the parable of the sower.

19  When anyone hears the Word of the kingdom and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown by the wayside.

20  But that which was sown on the stony places is this: he who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy.

21  But he has no root in himself, and is temporary. For when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, he immediately stumbles.

22  And that sown into the thorns is this: he who hears the word; and the anxiety of this world, and the deceit of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

23  But that sown on the good ground is this: "he who hears the Word and understands; who also bears fruit and produces" one truly a hundredfold; and one sixty; and one thirty.

 

(2) PARABLE OF THE TARES

24  He put out another parable to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.

25  But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares (darnel) among the wheat and went his way.

26  But when the blade had sprung up and had produced fruit, then the darnel also appeared.

27  So the servants of the householder came and said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then where have the Tares (darnel) come from?

28  He said to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and gather them up?

29  But he said, No, lest while you gather up the tares (darnel) you also root up the wheat with them.

30  Let both grow together until the harvest. And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my granary.

 

(3) PARABLE OF THE MUSTARD SEED

31  He put out another parable to them, saying, The kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, (Mustard Plant is 6’ to 8’ at maturity. What is described here is a monstrosity.) which a man took and sowed in his field;

32  which indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown it is the greatest among herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.

The mustard plant had its roots in the earth. 1Peter 2:11   “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;” Regarding our relationship with the world – 1John 2:15-16 and 1John 5:4 Our roots are not to be in this earth. We are to be rooted in the vine: John 15:1-5 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

2  "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

3  "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

4  "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

5  "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

 

Verses 4 and 32 must agree. If the birds of the air snatch away seed that is fallen on the wayside, the birds are agents of evil. This symbolism is consistent with Genesis 15:10-11 where Abraham has to drive them away from the articles to be used for the covenant with God. This large monstrosity with its roots in this earth and which offers comfort and home to birds of the air is not the Bride of Christ but professing Christendom whose heart has turned from the Bridegroom. However such a church has all of the appearance of the spiritual harlot of Revelation:

Rev 18:2 “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”

(4) PARABLE OF THE LEAVEN

33  He spoke another parable to them: The kingdom of Heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened.

34  Jesus spoke all these things to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable,

35   so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world." (ISAIAH 42:9)

 

Many Bible commentators ignore the fact that leaven always symbolizes corruption and evil in the Scripture. Used as a symbol of evil 20 times in Scripture, it is never used to depict anything good. Those who oppose the literal Scriptural interpretation do so in order to see a victorious church taking over the world. This view contradicts the teaching of Jesus regarding the Tares in the Kingdom of Heaven and Jesus’ Words: Matthew 7:14 “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.”

 

Three Loaves: some have explained as symbolic of Noah’s three sons. Others say it represents triune man, body, soul and spirit (1Thess 5:23). To anchor this symbolism in the Word of God: These three measures of meal are representative samples of the meal offering:

a. Gen 18:6  “And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.”

 

b. Lev 14:10 “And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, and three tenth deals (distributions) of fine flour for a meal (footnote 1) offering, mingled with oil, and one log of oil.”

 

c. Num 15:9 “then shall be offered with the young bull a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah (one bushel) of fine flour mixed with half a hin of oil”

 

d. Num 28:12  “and three tenth parts of flour for a food offering, mixed with oil, for one bull, and two-tenth parts of flour for a food offering, mixed with oil, for one ram;”

 

Three loaves of meal with leaven – listen to the warnings of Jesus regarding leaven from three groups:

Matthew 16:12  “Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the (1)Pharisees (ritual, legalism and works) and of the (2)Sadducees.”(unbelief in Resurrection, God’s Word and miracles)

Mark 8:15  And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the  (3)leaven of Herod. (rooted in the earth, compromise with the world and it’s political systems.)

 

36  Then sending the crowds away, Jesus went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, Explain to us the parable of the tares (darnel) of the field.

37  He answered and said to them, He who sows the good seed is the Son of man;

38  the field is the world; the good seed are the sons of the kingdom; but the tares (darnel) are the sons of the evil one.

39  The enemy who sowed them is the Devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

40  Therefore as the tares (darnel) are gathered and burned in the fire, so it shall be in the end of this world.

41  The Son of man shall send out His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who do iniquity,

42  and shall cast them into a furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

43  Then the righteous shall shine out like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

 

(5) PARABLE OF THE TREASURE IN THE FIELD – HOUSE OF ISRAEL (LAND)

44 Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which when a man has found it, he hides it, and for the joy of it goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.  The field represents the House of Israel who always identifies itself with the land God gave them. Again, Israelis in the end of the age are viewed as the treasure. Only Jesus could sell all He had to buy the land housing the treasure. We cannot sell all we have and acquire anything of supernatural value.

Psalm 135:4 “For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.”

 

Exodus 19:5 5  Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:”

 

The Treasure lies hidden in the field until the man who bought the field with all he had chooses to redeem it.

Romans 11:26-29 “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

27  For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

28   As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching

the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.”

 

There are 48 Scripture references to the House of Israel including as an example:

Psalms 98:3  “He has remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.”

 

(6) PARABLE OF THE PEARL OF GREAT VALUE – GENTILES (SEA)

The sea is a symbol of Gentile nations. As an example:

a. Ezekiel 26:5  “It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations.”

b. Revelation 13:1  “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.”

 

45  Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls;

46  who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.  An oyster begins to develop a pearl when a foreign irritation enters its system. The oyster then secretes several coatings around the irritation until it becomes a pearl. We are the pearl. Jesus is the merchant man who sold all He had to acquire the pearl.

 

Remember how this chapter began: 13:1 Jesus went out of the house to teach by the sea. Consider that Jesus has just been rejected as Messiah by the religious leadership of Israel in Matthew 12. When Jesus returns into the house in verse 36, He is making a prophetic gesture to the time He will return for Israel and His brethren in the flesh. Romans 11:24-36

 

Zech 12:10  “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

 

Romans 11:26  “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:” (All Israel saved after Tribulation)

 

Zechariah 13:9  “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” (One-Third of all Israel entering the Tribulation endure to the end and are saved).

 

Regarding the man who bought the pearl of great value and the field that held the treasure:

1Cor 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”

1Peter 1:18-19 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

 

(7) PARABLE OF THE DRAGNET

47  Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered some of every kind; (the Gospel preached throughout the world to Gentiles)

48  which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.

49  So it shall be at the end of the world. The angels shall come out and separate the wicked from among the just,

50  and shall cast them into the furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

51  Jesus said to them, Have you understood all these things? They said to Him, Yes, Lord.

52  Then He said to them, (NOTE: Some see an 8th Parable here with the man who has old & new doctrines)Therefore every scribe who is instructed to the kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings out things new and old out of his treasure.

53   And it happened when Jesus finished these parables, He departed from there.”

 

Tares (counterfeit wheat) and leaven (symbolic of sin & corruption) are found in the Kingdom of Heaven (Israel & the professing Christian Church). Only holiness & purity are found in the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “ Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, 1.)nor abusers of themselves with mankind 2.), Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

(Footnotes: 1. 3120 malakos mal-ak-os'  AV-soft 3, effeminate 1; 4 of a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man, of a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness, of a male prostitute.

2. 733 arsenokoites ar-sen-ok-oy'-tace defile (one's) self with mankind, one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual)

 

1 Corinthians 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.

 

 

Kingdom of Heaven used 32 times in the Bible, all in the Gospel of Matthew.

Kingdom of God is used 67 times. Used extensively in Luke, (5 times in Matthew), (John 3:3, John 3:5)

 

 

1. The Gospel of the Kingdom:

2098 euaggelion yoo-ang-ghel'-ee-on

the glad tidings of the kingdom of God soon to be set up, and subsequently also of Jesus the Messiah, the founder of this kingdom.

“Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Preached when Jesus, the Messiah offered Himself to Israel as the Messiah.

Matthew 3:2  “And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

 

After the death of Christ, the term comprises also the preaching of (concerning) Jesus Christ as having suffered death on the cross to procure eternal salvation for the men in the kingdom of God, but as restored to life and exalted to the right hand of God in heaven, thence to return in majesty to consummate the kingdom of God.  

The Gospel of Grace

Acts 15:7  "And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe."

 

Acts 20:24  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

 

Ephesians 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

 

Acts 20:24  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God

 

The message: Acts 16:31  “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

 

This Gospel of Grace was that which was entrusted to Paul, who, on occasion called it “my Gospel”:

Romans 2:16  In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

 

Romans 16:25  Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

 

2 Timothy 2:8  Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

 

The Everlasting Gospel: entrusted to an angel and not to men:

 

Revelation 14:6  “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” The last outreach to sinful man testifying that the hour of judgment is at hand.

 

ANOTHER GOSPEL: a false gospel condemned by Paul.

 

Galatians 1:8-9  “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

 

(footnote 1) The Five Sacrificial Offerings Leviticus 1 – 7:

Burnt Offering Lev 1:1-17            Sin Offering Lev 4:1-35

Meal Offering Lev 2:1-16            Trespass Offering Lev 5:1-6:7

Peace Offering

(Lev 7:13 included a grain offering with leaven in thanksgiving for the peace offering. The leaven symbolizes sinful man and is sprinkled with blood by the priest during the offering as a type of the Precious Blood of Jesus covering and cleansing us from sin.) 

Concurrence on the Parables of Matthew 13 are:

 

Authors Favoring This Presentation of the Mustard Seed & the Leaven:

Bullinger, E. W. Commentary in  The Companion Bible (AV-1611). Grand

        Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1990  p.1338

 

Dake, Finis J. Dake’s Annoted Reference Bible. Lawrenceville, GA: Dake

          Sales, 1963.

 

Lockyer, Dr. Herbert. All the Parables in the Bible. Grand Rapids:

                  Zondervan Publishing House, 1963

 

McGee, J. Vernon. Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee.

          Pasadena:Thru the Bible Radio, 1983, Volume 4, pp.72-81

 

Against this interpretation:

Jamieson, Robert, Fausett, A. R., Brown, David. Commentary on the New

       Testament, Volume Three. Peabody, MA, 1997.

 

Pentecost, J. Dwight. The Words and Works of Jesus Christ.

Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981. pp. 215-219.

 

Walvoord, John F. and Zuck, Roy B. The Bible Knowledge Commentary

          Colorado Springs: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1984. Vol 2, Page 50.

 

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