BIBLE: Matthew Chapter 13 – Headline “PURPORTED PURPOSES OF PARABLES”

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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Matthew 13

The Parable of the Sower

Matthew 13:1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.
Matthew 13:2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
Matthew 13:3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow.

► The Farmer:

A man had a dream of living out west. He saved all he could and when he encountered a traveler from Oregon he bought ten acres of land sight unseen. He then eagerly wrapped up his family and headed out west to claim his deed.

Once they arrived they noticed a beaten down horse-road leading up and through the land. As they continued on in exploration it appeared most of the land was overtaken by thorns and jagged rocks.

The man rolled up his sleeves and began immediately preparing the land for a crop. At first it was a failure. The birds ate the seed on the horse-road. The seeds among the stones were scorched by the heat, and the seeds among the thorns were choked out.

The following year the family began cutting the thorns and digging out their roots. They also were able to clear away some of the stones. That year they had a small crop to carry them through.

When the winter snow melted and the daffodils bloomed, it became a joy to finish preparing the land. He proceeded to turn the soil upwards where it absorbed and welcomed the warm sun. Trees were planted forming orchards. Flowers adorned the house and meadows.

 Like the Garden of Eden, it produced fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers. It produced heavenly food, food from the ground, medicine for healing and beauty.

►Note: There are four types of ground to receive the seed. The ground is the attitude of man’s heart.

PARABLE OF THE SOWER

PARABLESEEDFRUITINTERPRETATION
WaysideFowl devoured themThe Seed is the Word of GodThe bird is the evil one, He is fowl (and foul). He snatches the Word away before it can take root in the hearer’s heart. (There is no time to bear fruit.)
Stony PlaceScorched-no rootHe receives the Word with joy but the Word does not take root. When persecution arises, his joy withers.A withered tree does not bear fruit.
ThornsChoked outHe receives the Word but the cares of the world choke the Word out of his life.There will be no fruit.
Good GroundYielded a CropHears the Word, and understands it.Bears much fruit

►What is fruit?

  • Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
  • Ephesians 5:9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
LoveJoyPeaceLongsufferingKindnessGoodness
FaithfulnessGentlenessSelf ControlRighteousnessTruth
Fruits of the Spirit

WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO DO NOT BEAR FRUIT:

Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares (unfruitful weeds) and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat (fruitful) into my barn.” ’ ”
 John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Matthew 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Luke 13:9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’

HOW TO BEAR FRUIT:

 John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing (fruitless).
 John 15:8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
 John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
Malachi 3:11“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
Says the Lord of hosts;
Luke 8:15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
  • Psalms 1:1-4 The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly – Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Matthew 13:4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds (fowl) came and devoured them.
Matthew 13:5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.
Matthew 13:6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.
Matthew 13:7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.
Matthew 13:8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Matthew 13:9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The Purpose of Parables

Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries [secret or hidden truths] of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

THE PURPOSE OF PARABLES:
Judgment on unbelieving Israel. Withholding mysteries. The same with tongues which are words they cannot understand.

Matthew 13:12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
  • Daniel 2:21 He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.
  • He does not give wisdom to a fool because the fool will refuse it or abuse it.
    He does not give knowledge to the ignorant, because they will IGNORE it.
    Those who have will get more. Those who do not have will get less.
Matthew 13:12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
  • Matthew 25:29 The Parable of the Talents – ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

God gave Daniel wisdom and strength because Daniel was already wise.

  • Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.
  • Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
  • Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Matthew 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

A promise made by God is literal. A parable is symbolic.

Matthew 13:14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
Matthew 13:15
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I (would) should heal them.’
Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;
Matthew 13:17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

The Parable of the Sower Explained

Matthew 13:18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower:
Matthew 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
Matthew 13:20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
Matthew 13:21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
Matthew 13:22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
Matthew 13:23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

Matthew 13:24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
Matthew 13:25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
Matthew 13:26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
Matthew 13:27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
Matthew 13:28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
Matthew 13:29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,
Matthew 13:32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”

The Parable of the Leaven

Matthew 13:33 Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three (Gr. sata, same as a Heb. seah; approximately 2 pecks in all) measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

Prophecy and the Parables

Matthew 13:34 All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them,
Matthew 13:35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
“I will open My mouth in parables;
I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”
  • Ezekiel 17:2 “Son of man, pose a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel,
  • Ezekiel 20:49 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! They say of me, ‘Does he not speak parables?’ ”
  • Psalm 78:1-2 Aseph – Give ear, O my people, to my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark (hidden) sayings of old,
  • Speaking in Tongues and Speaking in Parables are a judgment against those who refuse to believe. Jesus is saying, “I am now speaking in terms that they cannot understand.”; including the Day of Pentecost.  First, He spoke in stories they couldn’t understand, and then He spoke in a language they couldn’t understand.  This is a judgment. 
  • The Jews didn’t receive His CLEAR understanding. Their culpability is increased.
  • To he who is given much, much is expected.
  • Concealing truth is a judgment tempered with mercy. Even the disciples wouldn’t have understood if Jesus hadn’t explained them.
  • All judgement is given to the Son. Only Jesus spoke in Parables.

The Parable of the Tares Explained

Matthew 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
Matthew 13:37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
Matthew 13:38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
Matthew 13:39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.
Matthew 13:40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.
Matthew 13:41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
Matthew 13:42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 13:43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

Matthew 13:44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

ALL that he has.

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price

Matthew 13:45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,
Matthew 13:46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Which one is it?
Is the merchant Jesus who gave everything He had to acquire His bride? or ….
Is the merchant a believer who, when he discovered Truth, gave up everything to follow Jesus?

The Parable of the Dragnet

Matthew 13:47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind,
Matthew 13:48 which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.
Matthew 13:49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,
Matthew 13:50 and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Matthew 13:51 Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?”
They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”
Matthew 13:52 Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe (A scholar of the Old Testament) instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

Matthew 13:53 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there.
Matthew 13:54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?
Matthew 13:55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses (Joseph), Simon, and Judas?
Matthew 13:56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?”
Matthew 13:57 So they were offended at Him.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.”
Matthew 13:58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
  • Since they chose not to believe, Jesus withheld mighty works for the same reason He used parables.
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