19: Parables of the Kingdom (2) (Mt
In the first
parable, the parable of the sower, the Lord Jesus
spoke of the four different responses to the message of the kingdom. He also
explained that the effect of the parables is further hardening of heart for the
unbelieving. In the remaining parables, we will get a closer look at the
expansion of the kingdom of heaven and the final separation of the righteous
and the wicked.
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
Did You Know…?
Tares/weeds (13:25): Darnel, a
weed that closely resembles wheat. The two are almost indistinguishable until
fully mature at harvest time. 1/1437
Mustard seed (13:31): The
mustard seed is not the smallest seed known today, but it was the smallest seed
used by Palestinian farmers and gardeners, and under favorable conditions the
plant could reach some ten feet in height. 8/1458
Three measures of meal/three satas of flour (13:33): probably about 1/2 bushel or 22
“The kingdom of heaven is like”:
The kingdom of heaven is not “like a man” but “like the situation of a man…”: the “is like” formula reflects an Aramaic idiom meaning
“It is the case with X as with Y.” 6/316
Under rabbinic law if a workman
came on a treasure in a field and lifted it out, it would belong to his master,
the field’s owner. 6/328
understand the meaning of the term, “the kingdom of heaven is like,” read it
instead as “the kingdom of heaven is like the situation of.” For example, the
kingdom of heaven is not “like a man,” (24) but like the situation of a man who
sowed good seeds….
1. Who is the man that sowed the good seeds? How
did he sow the seeds?
2. What distinguishes the “sons of the kingdom”
and the “sons of the wicked one” in the same way that the wheat can be
distinguished from the tares?
3. What does the parable teach us about the
presence of wickedness in the world?
4. What is the kingdom of heaven? Put your
definition in relation to the parable.
5. Does the parable teach that we should tolerate
evil? If so, wouldn’t this be contradictory to the command to expel wicked
doers in the church (1Cor 5:1-13)?
6. Explain these analogies:
nesting in the branches.
hidden in the meal (flour).
7. What do these two parables teach us about the
expansion of the kingdom of heaven?
8. How is the kingdom of heaven different from
what the people of Jesus’ time thought?
9. What does Isaiah’s prophecy (35) tell us about
the function of parables? Compare this to the prophecies recorded in 13-15. Is
there a contradiction?
10a. What can we learn here about the value of the gospel of the
10b. What does the action of selling everything to buy the land
or pearl teach us about what we should do to inherit the kingdom?
11. How is the
parable of the dragnet similar to the parable of the wheat and tares?
12a. What kind of “scribe” was the Lord referring to?
12b. What is the meaning of “bringing out things new and old”?