Welcome to Episode #108 of Sunday Scripture Podcast!
Today we will read Matthew 13: 24-45, and it is Jesus sharing a series of parables that surprise and challenge our preconceived notions about God’s kingdom. Each of the parables have images that are simple to understand and easy to remember.
Our key verse is - Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing. - Matthew 13:34
Before we read the text, we have a quote from our materials from Spirit and Truth Publishing…
Quote # 1: This passage is a series of parables presented in a public discourse, along with an explanation of the parables offered in a more private setting with only the disciples. Parables in general, and these “kingdom” parables in particular, use imagery from daily life, but have unexpected elements that upset common sense.
They often exaggerate on purpose to push the audience into a different perspective on God’s activity in the world or on the coming of the kingdom. In the logic of the parable, we are forced to accept that God might not work according to human sensibilities. Stanley P. Saunders, “Matthew,” in Theological Bible Commentary, ed. Gail R. O’Day and David L. Petersen (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), 302.
Matthew Chapter 13 Verse 24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
Matthew Chapter 13 Verse 31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
Matthew Chapter 13 Verse 33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” 34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:“I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”
Matthew Chapter 13 Verse 36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
Quote # 2: The verb translated as “mixed in with” in v. 33 is actually the word for “hid” (Gk., enekrypsen, from the root word kryptō). This verb, instead of the more common “mixed in” or “kneaded,” emphasizes the hidden and unexpected nature of the kingdom, which will only be fully revealed with time.2 M. Eugene Boring, The New Interpreter’s Bible, Volume VIII, ed. Leander E. Keck et al. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996), 308.
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