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Parables-of-the-Kingdom-of-Heaven-Matt-13

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					Parables of the
Kingdom of
Heaven
Matthew 13

     The Parable of the Sower: 13:1-23
Parable of the Sower, the               “many things in parables”
                                        Here we have a sampling:
Seeds, the Soils
                                        1. Parable of the Sower
Matthew 13:1 ¶ That same day Jesus      2. Parable of the weeds
went out of the house and sat beside    3. Parable of the Mustard
the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered       Seed
about him, so that he got into a boat   4. Parable of the Yeast
and sat down. And the whole crowd       5. Parable of the Hidden
stood on the beach.  3 And he told them
                                           Treasure
many things in parables, saying: "A
                                        6. Parable of the Pearls
sower went out to sow. 4 And as he
sowed, some seeds fell along the path, 7. Parable of the Net and
and the birds came and devoured            Fish
them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky
ground, where they did not have much      What is a parable? A story for teaching one decisive point. A
soil, and immediately they sprang up,     parable is “ a metaphor or simile drawn from nature or common
since they had no depth of soil, 6 but    life, arresting the hearer by its vividness or strangeness, and
when the sun rose they were scorched.     leaving the mind in sufficient doubt of its precise application to
And since they had no root, they          tease it into active thought.” (C.H. Dodd, NT scholar)
withered away. 7 Other seeds fell
among thorns, and the thorns grew up
and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on                                           This better expresses
good soil and produced grain, some a         The one who has ears
hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9
                                                                                 the force of the 3rd
                                               had better listen!
He who has ears, let him hear."                                                  person imperative;
                                                                                 listen and heed
                                                                                 carefully.
3And he told them many           Notice that the
things in parables, saying: "A   sower, the seed,
sower went out to sow. 4 And     and the method of
                                 sowing are the
as he sowed, some seeds fell
                                 same in each case.
along the path, and the birds    What is different
came and devoured them. 5        is the soil upon
Other seeds fell on rocky        which the seed is
ground, where they did not       cast. Jesus is
have much soil, and              describing the
immediately they sprang up,      present response to
since they had no depth of       his message
soil, 6 but when the sun rose    regarding the
                                 kingdom of God.
they were scorched. And
since they had no root, they
withered away. 7 Other seeds
fell among thorns, and the
thorns grew up and choked             Though there is a lot of failure, there is also success.
them. 8 Other seeds fell on           Note, there are three kinds of failure but three
good soil and produced                degrees of success:
grain, some a hundredfold,                                 A hundred fold
some sixty, some thirty.                                        Sixty fold
                                     “kept producing”                Thirty fold
This parable is really an
explanation for the varying
responses(illustrated by the
different kinds of soil) to Jesus’
message of the kingdom of
God. The long awaited
expectation of God’s kingdom,
as taught by Jesus, did not fit
within the mindset of many of
the Jewish people. This parable
expresses the mixed response
of God’s people (the Jews) to
the kingdom message of Jesus.
All of these parables describe
Israel’s response to the
kingdom message of Jesus.
                                       •   We should probably understand a “divine passive”
                                           here, i.e. “God has granted..” It adds an air of
                                           mystery to a mysterious process of how God’s
ESVMatthew 13:10 ¶ Then the                kingdom will come. This ties in with what Jesus
disciples came and said to him,            had said at 11:25-27: At that time Jesus declared,
"Why do you speak to them in               "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
                                           that you have hidden these things from the wise
parables?" 11 And he answered              and understanding and revealed them to little
them, "To you it has been given            children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious
to know the secrets of the                 will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by
kingdom of heaven, but to them             my Father, and no one knows the Son except the
it has not been given. 12 For to           Father, and no one knows the Father except the
                                           Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to
the one who has, more will be              reveal him.
given, and he will have an
abundance, but from the one            •   The word here is “mystery” in the sense of
who has not, even what he has              revealing that which had previously been
will be taken away. 13 This is why I       concealed of the ways and plans of God with regard
speak to them in parables,                 to his kingdom.
because seeing they do not see,        •   A person’s receptivity to Jesus’ message enables
                                           him/her to receive more.
and hearing they do not hear, nor
                                       •   Jesus speaks in parables as a way of acknowledging
do they understand.                        and preserving a division; this division is traced
                                           back to God’s own decree.
                                                • This quotation from Isaiah 6 clarifies
                                                  Jesus’ allusion to that passage in vs. 13.
14Indeed, in their case the prophecy of           The negative reaction of the Jewish
Isaiah is fulfilled that says: "'You will         people to Jesus’ message is in line with
indeed hear but never understand, and             what God said would happen to Isaiah
you will indeed see but never perceive. 15
                                                  when he preached to Israel. This was as
For this people's heart has grown dull,
                                                  God had willed. For Matthew, Isaiah’s
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed, lest they        words express well the rejection of Jesus
should see with their eyes and hear with          by Israel in chapters 11-12.
their ears and understand with their
heart and turn, and I would heal them.' 16
But blessed are your eyes, for they see,
and your ears, for they hear. 17 For truly, I
say to you, many prophets and righteous
people longed to see what you see, and          Here is the reverse of the Isaiah 6 passage,
did not see it, and to hear what you hear,         describing the blessedness of those who
and did not hear it.                               have been granted the privilege of knowing
                                                   the mysteries of God’s kingdom.
                                                The disciples are not only blessed in comparison
                                                   with other Jews but even in comparison the
                                                   OT saints.
  Matthew 13:13-17 in Chiastic Structure
1 Because seeing they see not and hearing they hear not, nor understand
      2 And it is fulfilled to them the prophecy of Isaiah which says
            3 Hearing you shall hear and shall not understand
               4 And seeing you shall see and not perceive.
                   5 For this people’s heart has become dull
                      6 and the ears are dull of hearing
                          7 and their eyes they have closed
                          7’ lest they should perceive with their eyes
                      6’ and hear with the ear
                   5’ and understand with the heart, and should turn again and I should heal them.
               4’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see
            3’ and your ears, for they hear
       2’ For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men
1’ desired to see what you see, and did not see, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it



The context of the text is God’s commissioning of Isaiah to prophesy to his people with the
result being only a confirming of their hard hearts; this will continue until destruction and exile
occur and only a remnant of people remain. This quotation describes the phenomenon of
“hardening” on the people’s part and is used to describe what is happening to Israel again with
the preaching/teaching of Jesus and his announcement of the kingdom of heaven/God.
  Human Responsibility and Divine Sovereignty
                                                • Mark 4:11 And he said to them, "To
• Matthew 13:13 This is why I speak                you has been given the secret of the
  to them in parables, because          tension    kingdom of God, but for those
  seeing they do not see, and                      outside everything is in parables, 12
  hearing they do not hear, nor do                 so that "they may indeed see but not
  they understand. 14 Indeed, in                   perceive, and may indeed hear but
  their case the prophecy of Isaiah is             not understand, lest they should turn
  fulfilled that says: "'You will                  and be forgiven."
  indeed hear but never
  understand, and you will indeed          The hardheartedness, and also their own
  see but never perceive.   15 For this
                                           responsibility for that insensitivity, is presupposed
  people's heart has grown dull, and in our text. The root problem is the unwillingness
  with their ears they can barely
  hear, and their eyes they have           of the people to receive the message of Jesus.
  closed, lest they should see with        And that is why Jesus speaks to them in parables.
  their eyes and hear with their ears In Mark it is the purpose of Jesus’ parables to
  and understand with their heart          accomplish the blindness spoken of in Isaiah. In
  and turn, and I would heal them.'        Matthew Jesus speaks in parables because of
                                             willful blindness.
 We have similar language in Jer.5:21: “O foolish                 There is a typological
 and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not,                correspondence between the
 who have ears, but hear not…..a stubborn and                     day of Isaiah and that of Jesus:
 rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone                they rejected God’s messenger
 away.”                                                           in OT, and God’s Messiah now.
            Why Did the Jews in General Reject the Message of Jesus?
Mark 4:12 so that "they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn
    and be forgiven."
Luke 8:10 he said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in
    parables, so that 'seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.'

    Acts 28:23 ¶ When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From
    morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about
    Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 And some were convinced by what he said, but others
    disbelieved. 25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: "The Holy
    Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: 26 "'Go to this people, and say, You will indeed
    hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. 27 For this people's heart has grown dull, and
    with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear
    with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.' 28 Therefore let it be known to you
    that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.“
John 12:36 When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37 Though he had done so many
    signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be
    fulfilled: "Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" 39
    Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40 "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest
    they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them." 41 Isaiah said these
    things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.

 Isaiah’s words to his contemporaries about their unbelief is a fitting analogy for the Jew’s
   rejection of Jesus; even Paul later referred to this rejection of Jesus as a mystery :

    Romans 11:25 ¶ Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a
    partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
ESV Matthew 13:18 ¶ "Hear then the       Sower          Description     What          The end-
parable of the sower: 19 When            Sows           of soil         happens to    result of the
anyone hears the word of the             Seeds                          the seed      seeds
kingdom and does not understand
                                                                        sown?         planted
it, the evil one comes and snatches
away what has been sown in his
heart. This is what was sown along       Along the      Hardened,     Birds came      The evil one
the path. 20 As for what was sown on     path           trampled soil and ate         snatches
rocky ground, this is the one who                                     them            away the
hears the word and immediately                                                        Word
receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no
root in himself, but endures for a
while, and when tribulation or           On rocky       Rocky           Had no root   No root, falls
persecution arises on account of the     ground         shallow soil    and           away when
word, immediately he falls away. 22                                     withered      times are
As for what was sown among                                              away          hard
thorns, this is the one who hears the
word, but the cares of the world and
                                         Among          Soil good but   Plants from   The world is
the deceitfulness of riches choke the
word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As    thorns         plants          seed were     too much to
for what was sown on good soil, this                    crowded out     choked by     turn away
is the one who hears the word and                       by thorns       thorns        from
understands it. He indeed bears fruit
and yields, in one case a                On good soil   Good soil       Produced a    Spiritual
hundredfold, in another sixty, and in
                                                                        plentiful     growth with
another thirty."
                                                                        harvest       much fruit

				
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