Matthew 13:1-58 - Outline of Matthew (Book Notes menu page)
13:1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
13:2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him,
so that he went into a ship, and sat;
and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
The great multitudes which followed Him (mostly for cures and out of curiousity) had not been receptive to the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Therefore, at the end of ch. 11, Jesus, the King, began to redirect His message, from a national offer of the Kingdom, to a personal offer of salvation. Although the purposes of God remained hidden from most people, the Father would reveal the Son to some (Mat 11:25-27). To these, Jesus called, "Come unto Me, all ye who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest..." (11:28-30).
     While the people had been unreceptive, the political and religious leaders were in outright opposition. They sought to discredit His ministry, and were conspiring to destroy Him. They rejected, not only His words and miraculous works, but also the testimony of the Holy Spirit (12:24,31,32).
The same day...- At the end of ch. 12, His mother and brothers had sought to speak with Him.
Even His family and friends did not understand. Some thought He was crazy. Most did not believe. Yet, the Holy Spirit was working in hearts. His true spiritual family would hear, believe and follow God's Word (12:46-50). Therefore, He proclaimed the Word to all who would listen.
...he went into a ship, and sat...-
The crowd was clamoring to be close to Him, because there were many who sought to be healed. But their great need was to hear the Word of God. As He drew back from them, the people quieted themselves, and waited. Jesus, knowing that the nation had rejected Him, presented seven parables concerning the character of His Kingdom, during the King's absence.
Seven Parables: The Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven (ch. 13)
Parable #1- The Sower and the Soils (v.3-9, explained in v.18-23)
13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying,
Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
13:4 And when he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side,
and the fowls came and devoured them up:
13:5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth:
and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
13:6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched;
and because they had no root, they withered away.
13:7 And some fell among thorns;
and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
13:8 But other fell into good ground,
and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
He spoke in parables {GK=parabole, lit., 'a placing beside,' a comparison}.-
He used analogy from the natural world to 'measure out' spiritual truth.
he that hath ears to hear...-
It is one thing to hear. It is another to hear with understanding.
It is one thing to listen to words. It is another to allow those words to take root and bring change to your heart and life.
...let him hear.- Jesus did not leave us to speculate about the meaning of the parables in this chapter.
As we will see shortly, all seven parables are clearly understood by the keys which He provided in His interpretation of the first two parables.
13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him,
Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
13:11 He answered and said unto them,
Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,
but to them it is not given.
13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance:
but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not;
and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith,
By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand;
and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross,
and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed;
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.
13:16 But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
13:17 For verily I say unto you,
That many prophets and righteous [men] have desired
to see [those things] which ye see, and have not seen [them];
and to hear [those things] which ye hear, and have not heard [them].
it is given unto you to know {ie., to understand}... but to them it is not given.-
His people ('them,' the Jewish nation) had not been willing to receive the truth which they had heard.
Therefore, they would hear truth that they would not understand. cp. Mark 4:24,25; Joh 7:17
This blindness to truth came as a judgment upon them, in fulfillment of prophecy. cp. v.14,15; Isa 6:9,10
it is given unto you {ie., to Jesus' disciples} to know 'the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.'-
What does this mean?
  1. The kingdom of heaven, in Matthew, is primarily God's rule as it influences the earth.
    It is the reign of heaven's King over the affairs of earth. cp. Mat 6:10; see Notes at Mat 3:2
  2. Mysteries, in Scripture, are truths which remain hidden until God makes them known.
    cp. the word 'mystery' in Eph 3:1-12; Rom 11:25; Col 1:26-27; 1Cor 15:51-52.
  3. The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, therefore, describe aspects of the kingdom which previously were not understood by the OT prophets.
    1. The OT prophets foretold the Messianic Kingdom as:
    2. The OT prophets did not understand (cp. v.17; 1Pet 1:10-12)...
      1. The rejection of the King.-
        Although, the prophets foretold the Messiah's suffering and death, this seemed so incompatible with His glory as King, that some rabbis taught that there would be two different Messiahs (a suffering Servant and a glorious King).
      2. The interval of time between the King's rejection (at His first coming),
        and His enthronement (at His second coming).
    Therefore, in these seven parables, the King reveals the condition of His Kingdom during the period of His absence. (cp. Mat 25:14)
    • The 'mystery' period of 'the Kingdom of Heaven' is not synonymous with 'the Church.' Rather, the term describes 'Christendom,' which covers the entire earthly realm of the King's influence, which includes unbelievers, counterfeit believers (mere professors), and true believers. This mystery period, which spans the time between Christ's ascension into heaven and His return to earth, includes the Church Age and the seven year Tribulation period.
Jesus interprets the parable of the Sower and the Soils (v.18-23):
13:18 Hear ye therefore {cp. v.16} the parable of the sower.
13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not,
then cometh the wicked [one], and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.
This is he which received seed by the way side.
13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places,
the same is he that heareth the word, and anon
{ie., immediately} with joy receiveth it;
13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth
{ie., endureth} for a while:
for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word;
and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word,
and he becometh unfruitful.
13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is
he that heareth the word, and understandeth [it];
which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
The sower is the Son of man {ie., Christ} (cp. v.3 and v.37).-
The field {in which he sows seed} is the world (cp. v.38).-
Note that during this 'mystery' period, the King is not on His throne in Jerusalem,
nor does He limit His labors to God's vineyard (Israel, Isa 5:1-7) as He did during the period of His earthly ministry (Mat 10:5-7).
Rather, the Lord Jesus is sowing seed in the world {GK=kosmos} (ie., to all humanity).
  • A hint of this transition may be seen in 13:1, where Jesus...
    1. ...went out of the house...
      (symbolic of the house of Israel, which had rejected Him, in ch.11-12; cp. 12:43-45).
    2. ...sat by the sea... (symbolic of the sea of humanity, including gentiles).
  • He involves His children (His disciples) in this work of sowing, but it is the labor of His heart,
    for the seed and the harvest belong to Him. (Note the pronouns 'they' and 'He' in Psa 126:5,6.)
    • The work of a sower is not easy. It is engaged with 'tears' and 'weeping.'
    • The work of a sower requires faith that God will give the increase and a joyful harvest. The season for sowing passes quickly. The laborers must not allow discouragements and hindrances to keep them from the task. Prov 20:4; Ecc 11:4-6
The seed is 'the Word' (Mark 4:14), 'the Word of God' (Luk 8:11), 'the Word of the Kingdom' (v.19).
The seed is not the 'Gospel of the Kingdom' (ie., the offer of the Kingdom to Israel, cp. Mat 4:23; 9:35), but rather the invitation of the King to individuals, to become His subjects (cp. 11:28-30).
The soil is the hearts of men (v.19).- Soil is a fitting analogy for sinful hearts (Rom 3:9-20).
Men's hearts vary as to their receptivity to the Word of God.-
  1. by the wayside (v.4; v.19)- ie., on the hard packed pathway.
    The birds (ie., Satan and his emissaries) snatch the Word out of hardened hearts before it can sprout. cp. Luk 8:12; 2Cor 4:3,4; Joh 3:19,20
  2. the stony, shallow ground (v.5,6; v.20,21)- These receive the Word with initial enthusiasm,
    but their response is based on fleshly emotionalism, rather than being rooted in God's promises. When opposition arises, "because of the Word," their faith cannot endure, because they do not fully know and trust God's Word.
    They turn away, because they are 'offended' {GK=skandalizo, to stumble at a stumbling block}. Mat 13:54,57; 11:6
       cp. Mark 4:16,17; Luk 8:13; 1Joh 2:19
       (cf. those who are well 'rooted', Psa 1:2,3; Eph 3:17-21)
  3. the thorny ground (v.7; v.22; cp. Mark 4:18,19; Luk 8:14) -
    These receive the Word but...
    • their spiritual life cannot thrive due to worldly distractions,
      which may take the form of 'want' ('the cares of this world'),
      or 'prosperity' ('the deceitfulness of riches'). cp. 1Tim 6:9,17
    • they become spiritually unfruitful (GK=akarpos, without fruit, barren).
      A lack of fruit indicates, either...
      • Worldly distractions, like weeds, absorb a believer's spiritual nourishment,
        and crowd out his growth, leaving him stunted, immature, and purposeless. cf. Col 3:16,17
      • Spiritual disconnection, of one who professes to believe, while lacking a vital relationship to the Vine. Joh 15:4-6
  4. the good ground (v.8; v.23; Mark 4:20; Luk 8:15) - ie., those individuals who...
    1. hear the Word, cf. v.15,16; cp. Joh 8:47; Acts 17:11; 1The 2:13
    2. understand the Word - 'understand' is GK=suniemi, to put or join together.
      This is more than mental assent. It is the bringing together of Truth, with Trust in the Truth. Joh 1:11,12; Eph 3:14-19; 1Joh 5:20
    3. bear fruit, cp. Mat 3:8; Joh 15:1-8; Col 1:3-6
      • Fruit: The purpose, for which the Sower sowed the seed.
      • Fruit: God's purpose for your life, which the flesh cannot produce. Rom 8:5-8; Gal 5:19-21
      • Fruit: What the Holy Spirit brings forth in the lives of those who receive God's Word, and feed upon it. Gal 5:22,23
    What is the response of your heart to God's Word? cp. Jam 1:21-25; Psa 1:1-6
   Parable #2- The Wheat and the Tares {weeds} (v.24-30, explained in v.36-43)
13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying,
The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came
and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit,
then appeared the tares also.
13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him,
Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this.
The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
13:29 But he said, Nay;
lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest:
and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers,
Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them:
but gather the wheat into my barn.
Jesus interprets Parable #2 after He gives Parables #3 and #4.
We will consider His interpretation, when we come to it in the order of the text (in v.36-43).
     However, notice that the analogy has changed. The good seed in this second parable, is not the Word of God, but rather those who have been born again through receiving the Word of God. These are the children of God, in whom the life of God has taken root (1Joh 3:9). The Lord Jesus will make this clear to us, when He interprets this parable, a little later in the text.
     Parables #2, #3 and #4, all involve the influence of the seed which the Sower sowed in His field. He sows only good seed. But the influence of the good seed is diluted and distorted by the corrupting influences of an enemy.
   Parable #3- The Mustard Seed (v.31,32)
13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying,
The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed,
which a man took, and sowed in his field:
13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds:
but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree,
so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
This parable shows ''the rapid but unsubstantial growth of the 'mystery' form of the Kingdom
from an insignificant beginning (Acts 1:15; 2:41; 1Cor 1:26) to a great place in the earth.'' [ScofRB]
mustard seed... among herbs... a tree...-
During Messiah's future reign on earth, His Kingdom is like a solid cedar. Eze 17:22-24
In contrast, during the mystery period, the Kingdom is like an overgrown 'herb.'
    'Mustard' {GK=sinapi} may refer to sinapis alba or sinapis arvensis. These are annual plants, common to the region. From a relatively small, and rapidly germinating seed, the plant can reach the height of a small tree (around ten feet) in one season.
    This is a picture of the church, not the true church, but that which the world sees as the church (ie., Christendom, the counterfeit church).-
  • It looks like a tree, but it is not strong.-
    Its rapid growth and size are impressive. But its woody stem is unable to bear much weight.
  • It provides a 'flavor' of spirituality (mustard is a seasoning), but it produces no lasting 'fruit.'
  • It harbours birds, rather than over shadowing them.
birds... lodge {GK=kataskenoo, pitch their tents, find a place of rest} in the branches.-
In Parable #1, 'birds' are symbolic of the Devil and his emissaries, who pluck away the seed, as the Sower sows the Word of God (Mat 13:4,19).
     During the mystery period, Christendom hosts apostate leaders who do Satan's work from within the 'church.' These enemies claim to speak for God, but deny the Gospel of Christ (2Pet 2:1-3; 2Cor 11:13-15). At the end of the age (in the Tribulation period), the spiritual harlotry of the apostate church, will foment severe judgment at the Lord's return (Rev 17:1-6; 18:1-3).
     Like the mustard plant, the duration of this roost for wickedness is limited to one season, after which it will be displaced by the Kingdom of Christ, which is the everlasting tree of God's planting. eg., Eze 17:24; Isa 60:21; 61:3
   Parable #4- The Leaven (v.33)
13:33 Another parable spake he unto them;
The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven,
which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal,
till the whole was leavened.
leaven - a catalyst of fermentation, is symbolic of evil and corruption throughout the Scriptures.
cp. Mat 16:6,12; 1Cor 5:6-8; Gal 5:9
a woman - when mentioned in regard to religious doctrine, is often symbolic of
evil, error & deception. cp. Rev 2:20; 17:1-7; 18:1-5
three measures of meal - Meal (flour) is grain (seed) prepared for human consumption.
The Word of God (the seed, Luk 8:11) is the source of spiritual nourishment. Mat 4:4; 1Tim 4:6
'Three measures' suggests a full supply, all that is needed. cp. 2Pet 1:2-4; 2Tim 3:16,17
hid... until the whole was leavened.-
During the mystery period, false teaching is stealthily and increasingly mixed with God's Word, until false doctrine and false practice characterize all of Christendom.
     Because of the rapid rise of error, in the early church, large portions of the NT epistles were written to combat heresy and loose living. eg., 1Cor 5:1-13; Gal 5:1-9; 1Tim 4:1-7
     Many teach that the world will be converted to Christianity and the Church will take dominion, purifying the earth prior to the Lord's return. They would like to identify the Church as 'the Mustard Seed' and as 'the Leaven' which fill the whole world with good.
     However, Parables #3 and #4, in harmony with the consistent testimony of Scripture, indicate that apostasy will overtake the Church (eg., Luk 18:7,8; 2Tim 4:3,4; 2Pet 2:1-3; 2The 2:3,4). Jesus' interpretation of Parable #2 (the Wheat and the Tares) is consistent with this understanding. After considering His interpretation (below), take time to review Parables #3 and 4, asking Him to give you understanding.
   Jesus interprets the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Parable #2, v.24-30)-
13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables;
and without a parable spake he not unto them:
13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet,
{cp. Psa 78:2}
saying, I will open my mouth in parables;
I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house:
and his disciples came unto him, saying,
Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
Jesus gave His interpretation to His disciples (ie., to those who would be receptive to His Word).
But to the multitude of people, who would not receive the truth, He spoke truth in parables so that they would not understand. (As explained in the Notes at v.10-17, above.)  In v.35, He quotes from Psalm 78, showing (again) that the spiritual blindness of Israel was in fulfillment of prophetic Scripture.
13:37 He answered and said unto them,
He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
13:38 The field is the world;
the good seed are the children of the kingdom;
but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];
13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil;
the harvest is the end of the world
{GK=aion, age};
and the reapers are the angels.
13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire;
so shall it be in the end of this world
{ie., age}.
13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels,
and they shall gather out of his kingdom
all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire:
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
The Sower is the Son of man (ie., Christ) (v.37).
As noted in the discussion of the first parable, Christ involves believers in the work of sowing His Word in the world (eg., 1Cor 3:6-9; 2Cor 5:20).
the field is the world.- 'His field' (v.24) became corrupted...
while men slept... (v.25)- The Sower is the Lord, who ''neither slumbers nor sleeps'' (Psa 121:4).
But He has entrusted His Word to men, who, being inattentive, allow entrance to error.
cp. Mat 25:5; Isa 56:10; Acts 20:30,31; 2Tim 4:3-5; Heb 12:15; 1Pet 5:8; Eph 5:11-17
The good seed are 'the children of the kingdom' (v.38).-
In the first parable, the seed is 'the Word of God' (v.19; Mark 4:14; Luk 8:11).
Here, the good seed are people who have been transformed by the Word of God, which has taken root in receptive hearts. These are 'born again' believers. cp. 1Pet 1:23; 1Joh 3:9
The tares are the children of the wicked one.-
tares {GK=zizanium} - probably referring specifically to a weed called 'darnel' which is virtually identical in appearance to wheat before the grain heads appear.
     Likewise, to human eyes, which look on the outward appearance, the children of the Christ's Kingdom and the children of the devil are nearly indistinguishable. Whenever Jesus spoke of the children of the devil, He was referring to people who were cloaked in counterfeit religious activity (rather than overt unbelievers, whose way of life would be expected to differ from that of His people). eg., Joh 8:38-45; Mat 23:15
The enemy... is the Devil (v.25, v.39)-
The devil has planted 'professing believers' among the 'true believers.'
These false believers are -
The primary point of this parable: The 'mystery' period of the Kingdom is characterized by a mingling of counterfeit believers among the true believers.
A secondary point: Believers are commissioned to proclaim God's Word, which separates truth from error, and which is able to convict and exhort the hearts of men. But God, who alone sees the heart, has neither equipped nor commissioned us to remove professing (false) believers from the congregation of true believers. The danger is that we may inflict damage to an immature believer by identifying him as among the false. (v.27-30; Rom 14:12,13)
     (Yet, separation, from those who unrepentantly proclaim false teachings and/or who promote ungodly living, is both required and enabled by the standard of God's Word. eg., 2Cor 6:14-18; Rom 16:17; Php 3:17)
The harvest (v.30) is the end of the 'age' (v.39)- ie., the end of the 'mystery' period of the Kingdom,
at the time when Christ returns to establish His Kingdom on earth.
The reapers (v.30) are the angels (v.39)- cp. Mat 24:31
The Lord will commission His angels to do the work of separation, in a specific order...
  1. First, the tares are gathered and bundled for burning (v.30; v.40-42).
    As Christ begins to establish His Kingdom on earth, the tares and "all things that offend" will be "gathered out of His Kingdom." With the exception of some notable leaders, the actual burning of the tares does not occur until long after the wheat is gathered into the barn (ie., into the Kingdom). See Mat 25:31-34,41; Rev 19:20,21; 20:1-15
  2. Then, the wheat is gathered into the Kingdom (v.30; v.43). cp. Mat 25:34; Dan 12:3
This order is also reflected in the order of the other parables:
  1. First, the corrupting influence of the tares is described.- Parables #3 (Mustard Seed) and #4 (Leaven)
  2. Then, the value of the wheat is given.- Parables #5 (the Treasure) and #6 (the Pearl)
The final outcome for the wheat versus the tares is re-emphasized, in - Parable #7 (the Dragnet)
     In which category are you? 2Cor 13:5
   Parable #5- The Hidden Treasure (v.44)
13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field;
the which when a man hath found, he hideth,
and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
the field - is the world (v.38). Therefore...
  1. The buyer cannot be a sinner seeking Christ, because...
    1. The sinner does not buy, but forsakes the world, for Christ.
    2. The sinner has nothing to sell.
    3. Neither Christ nor salvation are for sale. Acts 8:20; Rom 6:23; Eph 2:8,9
    4. Christ is not hidden, and is not to be hidden by the believer. Mark 7:24; Acts 4:20
  2. The buyer is Christ, who came to seek His lost people. (v.44)-
    1. The purchase price was His own blood ('all that He had'). 1Pet 1:18,19; Isa 53:8,12
    2. The price paid was sufficient to buy the whole world. 1Joh 2:2
    3. The treasure is Israel, in two aspects...
      1. National Israel -
        In the NT, the Church is referred to as the Lord's 'peculiar people,' but the word 'treasure' is never applied to the Church. The OT applies the word 'treasure' specifically to Israel (Ex 19:5; Psa 135:4).
        This peculiar treasure...
        • was hidden in the earth through their diaspora. Deu 30:1-6
        • will be hidden from total destruction during the Tribulation. Rev 12:6,14
        • was blinded, such that the truth concerning Christ was hidden from them (Joh 1:11; Luk 19:42; Rom 11:25).
      2. The believing remnant of Israel -
        The believing remnant, of 'this present time' (Rom 11:5-11), are Jewish people, who, having received Jesus as their Messiah, are included in the Church of Christ (see parable #6, in v.45,46). Prior to the Tribulation period, Christ will come 'in the air' to take Church Age believers home to Himself in the Father's house (Joh 14:1-3; 1The 4:16,17). Therefore, having been taken to heaven, these will escape the Time of Jacob's Trouble (the Tribulation period) on the earth.
           At the end of the Tribulation period, Christ will return to the earth to establish His Messianic Kingdom. The believing remnant, at that time, will include 'all Israel' (ie., those Jewish people, who, having turned to Christ during that time of trouble, will be preserved to enter Christ's earthly Kingdom). Rom 11:25-27; Zech 12:10; 13:1,8,9
   Parable #6- The Pearl of Great Price
13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price,
went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Again, this is not the sinner seeking Christ (see point 'A' at v.44 above).
The merchant man - is Christ, who...
...sold all that He had...- The great price that He paid for this 'pearl' is
the same price that He paid for the 'treasure in the field' (v.44): His own blood.
Christ gave Himself to redeem and purify a people for Himself. Titus 2:14; 1Pet 2:9,10
the one pearl - is the true Church
(the one body consisting of all true believers in Christ, 1Cor 12:12,13; Eph 1:9,10; 2:11-18)
  1. As natural pearls are formed by a living process of accretion,
    so, Christ adds to His Church. Acts 2:41,47; 5:14; Eph 2:19-22; 4:15,16
  2. As natural pearls are formed to remedy contamination from foreign matter (eg., a grain of sand),
    so, Christ is purifying His Church for His presence. 1Cor 6:15-20; Eph 5:25-27; Titus 2:11-14
  3. As natural pearls come out of the 'sea,'
    so, the Church, consisting of believing Jews and Gentiles, is largely composed of Gentiles
    (who have been gathered out of the 'sea' of humanity). Eph 2:11-13
[notes on v.44-46 adapted from ScofRB]
Note the order of parables #5 and #6 - The one price ("all that He had") is applied first for the Treasure, then for the Pearl. Likewise, the gospel of Christ "is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek {ie., Gentile}." (Rom 1:16)
   Parable #7- The Dragnet
13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net,
that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
13:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore,
and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels,
but cast the bad
{ie., corrupt, rotten} away.
13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world
{ie., age}:
the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire:
{Rev 19:20; 20:11-15}
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
{Luk 13:28}
the net... gathered of every kind.- As in the parable of the Wheat and the Tares...
  1. The mystery form of the Kingdom contains unbelievers, false believers (mere professors), and true believers.
    According to outward appearances, there are many honorable people in each of these groups. But at the end of the age, all will be caught in the net of judgment, to be examined by the One who sees the hearts.
  2. In the final analysis, there are only two categories: the saved and the lost...
    • The 'bad' {ie., worthless, corrupt, rotten} are 'wicked', for they are dead in their trespasses and sins. Rom 3:10-20
    • The 'good' {ie., worthy, virtuous, valuable} are 'just' {righteous}, for Christ has made them alive. They have been regenerated (the new birth) through faith in the Savior, who gave Himself for them (v.44-46; Rom 3:21-26; 2Cor 5:21; Eph 2:1-6).
  3. The angels will sever {divide, separate} the bad from the good. (cp. v.30; v.40-43)
    • the bad will be consigned to the fire. Luk 13:24-28; Rev 14:10,11
    • the good will be gathered into vessels {ie., kept, saved}. 2Tim 2:19; 2Pet 2:9
      These will enter into the Messianic Kingdom.
      (The Lord provides further explanation concerning the end of the age, in Matthew ch.24-25.)

13:51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things?
They say unto him, Yea, Lord.
13:52 Then said he unto them,
Therefore every scribe [which is] instructed unto the kingdom of heaven
is like unto a man [that is] an householder,
which bringeth forth out of his treasure [things] new and old.
ie., Every interpreter of the Bible, who properly understands the Kingdom of Heaven will apply from his treasure (God's precious Word)...
  • things old: the teachings of the OT prophets who foretold the Messianic Kingdom.
    (eg., Isa 2:1-5; 11:1-16; 12:1-6; 32:1,2; Jer 23:5,6)
  • things new: the NT teaching of the King who revealed 'mysteries' previously hidden. eg.:
    • the character of the Kingdom during the period of the King's absence:
      It is a time for proclaiming the seed of God's Word.
      Yet, there would be a mixture of truth and falsehood, wheat and tares, good and bad, in increasing apostasy.
    • the purpose of His first coming: to pay the price {"all that He had"} to secure His own,
      who are in two groups:
      1. the peculiar treasure of an Israelite nation, purchased and securely kept through great trouble,
        to enter His earthly Kingdom at His second coming to earth (parable #5, the Hidden Treasure).
      2. the Church consisting of Jews and Gentiles called out of the world to faith in Christ, during His physical absence.
        The Pearl of Great Price (parable #6) refers to the Church, the Bride of the Lamb, purchased, called, and prepared, to await her heavenly marriage to the Lord at His return, in the air, for her (1The 1:9,10; 1Pet 1:8; Rev 19:7-9). While briefly foreshadowed here, the Church would not be fully revealed until the apostolic era, following Christ's ascension. Eph 3:1-6
    • the end of the 'mystery Kingdom' age would be marked by the return of the Son of man,
      to judge wicked men, and to establish His Kingdom on the earth (eg., v.40-43).
13:53 And it came to pass, [that] when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.
13:54 And when he was come into his own country,
he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said,
Whence hath this [man] this wisdom, and [these] mighty works?
{cp. Joh 7:15,16}
13:55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary?
and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us?
Whence then hath this [man] all these things?
{cp. Joh 6:42; 7:41,42,48}
13:57 And they were offended in him.
{cp. Mat 11:6; Luk 2:34; Isa 8:14,15; 49:7-9}
But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour,
save in his own country, and in his own house.
13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
whence hath this man these things? - They thought they knew Him.
But familiarity breeds contempt.
The answers to their questions were readily available.
But they disregarded Him as a nobody, undeserving of their attention.
How were they to know that He had come from Heaven to give Himself to purchase their salvation?
The Word of God had foretold His coming. His 'mighty works' confirmed that Word, which is still proclaimed for all to hear... to benefit whosoever will receive it. Joh 3:13-18,36
...unbelief.- This tragic word, which closes this chapter, also characterizes the age in which we live.
Does unbelief hinder His work within you? 1The 2:13; Heb 2:1-4

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