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Little Books #13
THE WORD OF GOD
Scripture: Modified King James Version
The Parables of Christ
Matthew 13:1-58 etc.
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Parables:- A way of learning about the unknown (heaven) through the known (earth) using familiar pictures. They are also a means of awakening inquiry which Jesus has always been willing and anxious to answer.
Christs object lessons in nature have not been obliterated by sin, for rightly understood, it still speaks of its Creator. However, the words of Jesus placed the teachings of nature, as well as of the Bible, in a new aspect and made them a new revelation. For instance, He said,
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow [in the simplicity of natural beauty]. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say to you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these".
"Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, "What shall we eat?" Or, "What shall we drink?" Or "How shall we be clothed?;" (for after all these things do the Gentiles [nonChristians] seek); for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you". Matthew 6:28-33
The kingdom of God prevails
by implanting living principles in the mind.
THE WORD OF GOD
Matthew chapter 13
The Parables of Christ
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Nothing is hidden by God (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 02 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
The first parable
The first work in the kingdom is to teach the word
3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, a sower went forth to sow" [scattering his seed from side to side as he walked].
The effect on four different soils
4 "And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up.
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth, 6 and when the sun was up, 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 "But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold".
9 "Who has ears to hear, let him hear" [pay attention!].
Why apparently obscure the truth?
10 And the disciples came, and 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 [if you really want to know], but to them it is not given [because they will not work for it]. 12 For whoever has [commitment], to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whoever has not [a desire], from him shall be taken away even that he has". [He was not speaking of heart conversion, but of learning the truths of God].
13 "Therefore speak I to them in parables [to arouse their interest]: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand [but it is their choice]. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias [Isaiah 6:9], which says,
By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive. 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 [have to] be converted [from their way of life], and I should [be able to] heal them [from their errors]".
Understanding is progressive
16 "But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily 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 those things which you hear, and have not heard them".
Four kinds of hearers
Laziness never succeeds
18 "Hear you therefore the parable of the sower" [and note that in every case the seed and the sower are the same, only the soil changes]. 19 "When any one hears the word of the kingdom [the doctrines of the Bible - See Luke 8:11; Mark 4:14], and understands it not [by not trying to, or by criticising it], then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side".
Arguing over doctrine causes loss
20 "But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and anon [immediately] with joy receives it. 21 Yet has he not root in himself, but endures [only] for a while, for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended".
Worry and wealth draw away
22 "He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful".
23 "But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word [in an honest and good heart - Luke 8:15], and understands it; which also bears fruit [by doing what has been learnt], and brings forth [the fruit of obedience], some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty". [There are great differences even among believers!]
The next group of parables (2-4)
The second parable
But after the truth enters
24 Another parable put He forth to them, saying, "The [truth of the] kingdom of heaven is [or can also be] likened to a man which sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares [false doctrines] among the wheat, and went his way". [A common practice in those days].
26 "But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also [they were then easily seen by the servants]. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said to him, Sir, did not you sow good seed in your field? From where then has it tares? 28a He said to them, An enemy has done this".
Let heretics remain!
28b "The servants said to him, Will you then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, No; lest while you gather up the tares, you root up also the wheat with them [error often has many sympathisers]. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather you together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn".
The third parable
Truth often starts out in a small way
31 Another parable put He forth to them, saying, "The [word of the] kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, 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 the branches of it".
The fourth parable
Truth spreads into all areas of the life
33 Another parable spoke He to them. "The [word of the] kingdom of heaven is [also] like leaven [yeast], which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal [flour], till the whole was leavened [from within]".
The purpose of parables
34 All these things spoke Jesus to the multitude in parables; and without a parable spoke He not to them, 35 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 [i.e. unasked] from the foundation of the world". [Psalm 78:2]
A deeper explanation sought
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and His disciples came to Him, saying, "Declare [or explain more] to us [about] the parable of the tares of the field". 37 He answered and said to them,
"He that sows the good seed is the Son of man.
38 The field is the world;
the good seed are [also] the children of the kingdom;
but the tares are the children of the wicked one.
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil.
The harvest is the end of the world;
and the reapers are the angels".
40 "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 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, 42 and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall wailing and gnashing of teeth".
43 "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who has ears to hear, let him hear" [note this prayerfully].
The last group of parables (5-7)
The fifth parable
It "costs" to get truth
44 "Again, the [truth of the] kingdom of heaven is like treasure hid in a field. The which when a man has found, he hides [again, temporarily], and for joy of it goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field" [and thus makes the treasure his own].
The sixth parable
Truth is worth everything we own
45 "Again, the [truth of the] kingdom of heaven is like [the experience of] a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price [not a gift], went and sold all that he had, and bought it". [It is the full truth that sets us free to be fully obedient, but it costs a lot. John 8:32. If we are willing to give "all of self" (i.e. total willing obedience) in exchange for "all of Christ", (i.e. total overcoming), we may have it. Revelation 3:21].
Another single parable
The Seventh Parable
Separated by obedience to the truth
47 "Again, the [truth of the] kingdom of heaven is like a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind, 48 which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked [rejecters] from among the just, 50 and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth".
Easy to understand
51 Jesus said to them, "Have you understood all these things?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord".
The eighth parable
Both Old and New Testaments
52 Then said He to them, "Therefore every scribe [or teacher] which is instructed to the kingdom of heaven is like a man that is a householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old" [to be used].
Not wanted at home
53 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, He departed [from] there. 54 And when he was come into his own country [Nazareth], He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where has this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Where then has this man [learnt] all these things?" [Where did Jesus learn them? He had lived beside them all of His life.]
57 And they were offended in [at] him [because His learning made them feel inferior]. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house". 58 And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. [See Matthew 23:37].
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