Today we talk about the intricacies of the Kingdom parables which Jesus gives to us in Matthew 13, the message we can get from them, and the nature of the church.
The Kingdom Parables
Matthew chapter 13 starts a new phase of the ministry of Jesus. At this point, he begins to teach the people using parables which seemed very confusing since he’d been very plain-spoken up to this point. He starts with a series of 7 parables which all point to the nature of the Kingdom of Heaven… the church. Today we want to look at them maybe in a different light than conventionally viewed. Additionally, we will visit the letters to the seven churches of Asia from the Book of The Revelation to help shed some light on the nature of the church. The parables are as follows:
- The Sower – In this parable, there is good soil and bad soil. Some will work hard to grow and others will leave the church or at least their faith.
- The Wheat and Tares – The good and bad are dwelling together here.
- The Mustard Seed – The seed grows into a mustard plant, which is normally a small plant. But this one grows into a tree where birds lodge. Birds according to the parable of the sower represent the wicked. This could be an analogy of how the church began to grow, but overtime was corrupted by the Roman Empire to be more than intended and a place where the wicked abided.
- The Leaven – Three measures of grain is an idiom from Genesis 18 where Abraham offers his three heavenly visitors three measures of grain in fellowship. This became a jewish tradition to make this offer of fellowship to one another. Leaven always appears as evil or sin in scripture. No doubt that the Jewish listeners would have been appalled that the woman in this parable would commit such a vile act. This parable seems to be suggesting that the fellowship of the church is being defiled by sin introduced by this woman whoever she is or represents.
- The Hidden Treasure – Note that the treasure needs to be found. And when it is found, every effort is made to obtain it regardless of cost. The treasure could be something precious but lying dormant. It must then be uncovered and made public.
- The Pearl of Great Price – The pearl is a jewel created by a living thing. It grows through the irritation of it’s host. Just as a good church grows by keeping itself known to the world that it dwells in.
- The Dragnet – This parable is real similar in nature to a couple of the others here that show examples of the good and the bad being together until separated in judgement. If you are the fisher, then would you think that this was a good catch or a bad catch. Sounds like it is both