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19: Parables of the Kingdom (2) (Mt 13:24-53)
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19: Parables of the Kingdom (2) (Mt 13:24-53)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

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.

B.     Key Verse

            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’” (13:35).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.       Tares/weeds (13:25): Darnel, a weed that closely resembles wheat. The two are almost indistinguishable until fully mature at harvest time. 1/1437

2.       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

3.       Three measures of meal/three satas of flour (13:33): probably about 1/2 bushel or 22 liters.

4.       “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

5.       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

II.    Observation

A.     Outline












B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. Segment Analysis

To better 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….

A.     13:24-30, 37-43

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)?

B.     13:31-33

6. Explain these analogies:

6a. Birds nesting in the branches.

6b. Leaven 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?

C.     13:34-36

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?

D.     13:44-46

10a. What can we learn here about the value of the gospel of the kingdom?

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?

E.     13:47-50

11. How is the parable of the dragnet similar to the parable of the wheat and tares?

F.      13:51-53

12a. What kind of “scribe” was the Lord referring to?

12b. What is the meaning of “bringing out things new and old”?

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