PLUS Resource: 6 Prayers for When You Are Fighting Anxiety

Matthew 13

SUMMARY.--Parable of the Sower. Why He Spoke in Parables. The Parable of the Sower Explained. The Parable of the Tares. The Mustard Seed. The Leaven. The Parable of the Tares Explained. The Hidden Treasure. The Pearl of Great Price. The Fish Net.

      29. Nay; lest . . . ye root up the wheat also with them. The roots of the wheat and tares were often so intertwined that one could not be pulled up without the other.

      30. Let both grow together until the harvest. The time of separation will come at last. The righteous shall not always be vexed by the presence and deeds of evil doers. Harvest time will come, and that is the time of separation. The tares, ripened and manifest, can easily be sifted out from the wheat. For the application of the parable see note on verses 36-43 below.

      31. Like a grain of mustard seed. Compare Luke 13:18-21 . The Jews grew mustard in their gardens. Its round seed was previously spoken of as the smallest thing, as it was the smallest seed planted.

      32. Which, indeed, is the least of all seeds. The least of all the field or garden seeds sown in Palestine. But when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs. All herbs cultivated in the fields or garden of Palestine. Dr. Hooker measured a mustard-plant in the Jordan Valley ten feet high. Thus, the kingdom, from an insignificant beginning, grows to a mighty magnitude.

      33. The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven. In those days a piece of the leavened dough from an unbaked loaf was put among the new dough to cause fermentation. Three measures of meal. The usual amount for one baking, an ephah (see Gen. 18:6 Jdg 6:19 Jdg 6:1 1 Sam. 1:24 ). The leaven is taken from without and "hid" in the meal, or flour. The hidden leaven, though only a small quantity, imparts its qualities to the large mass, till all was leavened. The Parable teaches that the Gospel is the leavening influence of the world.

      34, 35. Without a parable spake he not. On that occasion. His whole discourse to the multitude was made up of parables. Which was spoken by the prophet. Psalm 78:2 .

      36-43. Declare unto us the tares of the field. The parable in verses 24-30 above. By a comparison we may learn: 1. The kingdom is likened to a man sowing good seed in his field. 2. The Sower is the Son of man, who sows by means of his kingdom. 3. The good seed is the word of God as seen in its fruits, Christ's followers. 4. The field is the world. It is Christ's field. All power is given to him in heaven and in earth. His kingdom is rightfully the whole earth, but much of it is held still by the enemy, who has to be conquered. He will prevail finally, and the kingdoms of the earth shall become the kingdom of the Lord and his Christ. 5. The wheat raised from the good seed is the "children of the kingdom," the disciples of Christ converted by his word. 6. The tares are not bad church members, but bad men; those who have been under the influence of the wicked one. 7. The righteous and wicked are to remain in the earth together. The righteous are not to exterminate the wicked. The evil and the good will be mixed until judgment day. 8. Then all shall be gathered at the throne of judgment. The righteous shall "inherit the kingdom." All that are wicked shall be cast out of the kingdom. An eternal separation shall take place.

      44. The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hidden in the field. Valuables which, with us, are entrusted to banks, are in the East buried in fields and gardens to save them from robbers and accidents. This parable teaches the immense value, priceless, of the gospel; and that one who finds out that value will give up everything else in order to possess himself of the privileges and hopes of the kingdom.

      45. A merchantman seeking goodly pearls. Pearls were then esteemed as the most valuable ornaments, and were sought by merchants on distant shores, the most valuable being brought from the Indian Ocean.

      46. Having found one pearl of great price. He was willing to invest everything he had in this pearl of surpassing beauty and worth.

      47. The kingdom of heaven is like a net. The Savior's illustrations all come home to his audience. Many were husbandmen; many were women familiar with the culinary art; some were merchants; many were fishermen. A drag net or seine is meant. Gathered every kind. Here again, as in the parable of the Tares, it is taught that, at the end of the world, the angels shall sever the wicked from the just.

      48. When it was filled. The fishermen cannot stop to sort while they are drawing the net. Nor can the preachers of the gospel always distinguish.

      49. So shall it be at the end of the world. Then, not men, but the angels, under the direction of the Son of Man, shall sever the wicked from the just.

      50. Shall cast them into the furnace of fire. Here is repeated, word for word, the language of verse 42 . The tares, the chaff, the corrupt trees, the barren tree, are all represented as burned, and here also the wicked are cast into a furnace. While I suppose that the language is a figure, it can only be understood as indicating that the sufferings of Gehenna, the abode of the wicked, are intense. See Matt. 8:12 .

      51, 52. Every scribe instructed unto the kingdom. Such will be able to furnish rich and suitable spiritual food. Scribes were theological teachers.

      53, 54. When he was come to his own country. To Nazareth, where he was brought up. Compare Mark 6:1-6 and Luke 4:14-29 Mark 6:1-6 and Luke 4:14-29 . He taught them in the synagogue. On the Sabbath day ( Mark 6:2 ). Whence hath this man this wisdom? While admitting it, they were offended at it ( verse 58 ).

      55. Is not this the carpenter's son? Joseph. Jesus was a carpenter also ( Mark 6:3 ). His mother called Mary? She is named, Joseph is indicated by his trade. His brethren, James and Joses, Simon and Judas? Sons of Joseph and Mary. For a full discussion of their relationship, see note on John 2:12.

      57. And they were offended in him. Made to stumble. Led into error. They could not see how one so humble, and of so humble a family, could be so great a teacher. Jesus said, A prophet, etc. A proverb that is quoted and applied.

      58. Wrought not many mighty works, etc. Faith was the usual condition of his miracles. Where there is persistent, obstinate unbelief, Christ works no mighty moral works now.

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