Showing posts from October, 2017

Parable of the Drag Net

We have now come to the seventh parable (often considered the last by many), The Parable of the Drag Net. Note the specifics attached to this parable which will help us connect it to other things in the Book of Matthew.
“This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."-Matthew 13:49end of the ageblazing furnaceangelsseparating wicked and righteousweeping and gnashing of teeth
We see this language in The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares:
The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The tares are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. “As the tares are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom e…

Parable of the Hidden Treasure

I realized I didn't have an official post on The Parable of the Treasure. I did cover it, in contrast form, in the posts on the Peal and the Leaven. Here is a quick review from those posts:

Whereas the Treasure is set against the Leaven, the Pearl is set against the Mustard Seed. The Treasure is found in the land, the pearl is found in the sea. The treasure is whole, the pearl is found in the shell. The man buys the whole field to gain the hidden treasure, the pearl alone is worth all.

To the multitudes by the sea, Israel is a confusing mass of religious tradition, but the Lord sees a hidden treasure which we shall see in the next and corresponding Parable of the Hidden Treasure. The Lord always has his remnant, even if man cannot see it.

A The Sower
- B Wheat and tares
-- C Pearl
- B Drag Net
A The Scribe

The Parable of the Treasure is the first given inside the house. This is not meant for the multitudes. It is a message of hope f…

Parable of the Pearl of Great Price

We come now to the parable of the Pearl of Great Price. At first glance this parable might seem the same as the Parable of the Treasure. The do have this in common: they are both worth all the finder has. However, the Lord wants us to "compare the things that differ" in His word (Phil 1:10 YLT).

Whereas the Treasure is set against the Leaven, the Pearl is set against the Mustard Seed. The Treasure is found in the land, the pearl is found in the sea. The treasure is whole, the pearl is found in the shell. The man buys the whole field to gain the hidden treasure, the pearl alone is worth all.

A pearl is created through suffering. It is molded over time as an unwanted irritant. This is perfect picture of the scattered Jew among the nations (the sea). Through suffering, protected in the shell (clams are not kosher), the pearl is formed. The pearl is taken out of the shell and out of the sea.

Jews were scattered among the nations, but God has never forgotten his promises to them.…

A Note on the Context of Matthew and Acts

As we start on the final four parables of Matthew 13, I want to pause and add a note about the context of Matthew and the Acts age. We've covered this in previous posts, but it bears repeating.

Peter in Acts 5 teaching of the Lord's ministry and his purpose:

"God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins."
The Lord's ministry was to "confirm the promises made to the [Hebrew] fathers" (Rom 15:8). The Acts age was a continuation of the call for Israel to repent (as Peter preaches post-Pentecost in Acts 3 and 5). If she had, the kingdom of heaven would have come in then (it was "at hand").

"Now, fellow Israelites... Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore e…

Parable of the Leaven

We come to the fourth of the eight parables in Matthew 13, and the last given outside the house; the Parable of the Leaven.

Leaven in scripture is always presented as a polluting agent; that is, as a picture of sin. The sacrifices picturing the Lord Jesus are always without leaven. No offering by fire was to contain leaven (Lev 2:11; 6:17; 10:12).

E.W. Bullinger writes in Appendix 38 of The Companion Bible:  "In Lev. 23:17 [leaven] is used in that which symbolizes mankind, and in a proper sense of being corrupted. The sin-offering associated with the leaven in the two wave-loaves corresponds with this. In Amos 4:4,5 it is either the language or Figure of Irony; or, it shows that the 'thanksgiving with leaven' is symbolical of the sin which is ever present even in the worshipers of God. Thus in every instance it is associated with, and symbolical of, only that which is evil."
The Lord warns of "the leaven of the pharisees," indicating doctrine added to the p…

Parable of the Mustard Seed

We now come to the third kingdom parable of Matthew 13; the Parable of the Mustard Seed. We are still outside the house. We continue to have Israel's promises in sight.

The smallest of all agricultural seeds is planted in the field and grows into an unnatural, enormous tree; birds come and nest in it.

To better understand all the parables (the four outside the house and the four within) we must see the structure.

A Sower
- B Wheat and tares
--- D Leaven
--- D Treasure
- B Drag Net
A The Scribe

Israel was not the smallest of all the nations and this is the state in which God chose to use them.

"The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples."
-Deut 7:7

The plan for Israel was, and is, that she will be a kingdom of priests for the nations (Ex 19; Zech 8; 1 Peter; etc.). True Israel (the Israel of God), believing Israel, will be small. But she grew into an …

Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

We now move to The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. We note again that this parable was given to the multitudes, outside the house, as a judgment for unbelief, as prophesied in the Psalms (v.34).

When the Lord pulls his disciples aside to explain the parable, he notes that "the kingdom of heaven" seed represents "the sons of the kingdom." The good seed is scattered throughout the world, but the enemy sows tares ("sons of the wicked one") among the wheat.

In the epistles written in the Acts age by the "apostles to the circumcision," we have Peter writing to "the dispersion" and James writing to "the twelve tribes scattered abroad." As this parable deals with the "end" of the age ("so it will be at the end of this age" v.40), we look to a time ahead for its fulfillment.

As the Lord has begin to gather his people from out of the world and back into the promised land, we see a mix of genuine sons of the kin…

Parable of the Sower (Matt 13)

After laying some groundwork, we can finally move on to the first parable in Matt 13:1-23: The Parable of the Sower.

First we note that he goes out of the house and sat by the sea. There he addresses the multitudes. This is a judgment of Israel's unbelief from Matthew 12 (covered previously). In the Sermon on the Mount, he withdraws from the multitudes and speaks only to his disciples. he will speak to both groups in parables, but he will help his disciples to understand.

We know the seed is the word of God from later in the chapter. Specifically, "the word of the kingdom" (v.19) here. This is for Israel.

We see four sowings. There is a surface meaning which can apply in any age. There will always be those who reject scripture, those who accept gladly, but shrink away because of persecution or love of the world; and some who are radically changed.But here the meaning is deeper.

As we noted, the gospel of the kingdom is for Israel alone. In this parable we see the great proph…

Intro to Parables in Matthew

Why Use Parables?
Time to dip our toes into the parables in Matthew. Before we get to the text, a few things need to be considered.

First, we must understand that parables were not given as a blessing, but as a judgment. They are not children's fare, but only for those willing to do the hard work of study.

“Why do You speak to them in parables?” He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given... Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
-Matt 13:10-11,14

In Matthew 12, the leaders of Israel (to whom the Lord was sent) exposed their disdain for his message of the kingdom. The Lord condemns their rejection of his wisdom:

The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solom…