Matthew: More Parables Of The Kingdom Of Heaven

Memory Verse: Matthew 13:45-46

13:31-33 The Parables Of: The Mustard Seed, The Leaven

  • 13:31a In between Jesus giving the parable of the tares of the field and its explanation, He gave two more parables to the crowd that gives more insight about what the kingdom of heaven is like.
  • 13:31b-32 The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed. This mustard seed was took by a man and sowed in his field. A mustard seed is one of the smallest of all seeds and was used proverbially as “the smallest” (the least) of all seeds (even though we know some seeds are smaller than it). But the smallness of the seed is contrasted to how large it becomes when it is fully grown (it is the greatest among herbs). It even becomes a tree that stands 8-12 feet tall where birds can lodge in its branches. Application: The kingdom of heaven might seem small and insignificant at first, but in the end it will be the greatest of all kingdom’s. Therefore, living for the kingdom of heaven today is of great significance.
  • 13:33 The kingdom of heaven is like leaven. This leaven was took by a women and she put it in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened. At this time, people often made their own bread. Leaven is a substance (often some of the dough from last week’s bread) that is used to produce fermentation in the dough and cause the bread to rise. The focus is on the changing power of the leaven in the meal. There was probably only a small amount of leaven used (customarily) and a large amount of meal, but the small amount of leaven caused the whole amount of meal to be leavened. Application: The kingdom of heaven might seem small and insignificant at first, but it will completely change your life. When God’s kingdom is establish in your hearts, it will completely transform you from the inside out.

13:34-35 Jesus Speaking In Parables Fulfilled Scripture

  • 13:34-35 Next, Matthew tells us that everything Jesus spoke to the multitude was in parables. Then he tells us one of the reason Jesus did this was to fulfill prophecy spoken by a prophet that said: “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” This means that Jesus is revealing new truth that God had not yet revealed to mankind through these parables.
    Psalm 78:2

13:44-50 The Parables Of: The Treasure, The Goodly Pearl, The Net

  • 13:36 Jesus sent the multitude away and went into a house. His disciples wanted to know the meaning of the parable of the tares of the field. After He explained it to them (13:37-43), He gave three more parables to His disciples that gave more insight about what the kingdom of heaven is like.
  • 13:44 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure. This treasure is hid in a field. When a person finds this treasure he covers it up and then in his joy he goes to sell all that he has and buys the field. At this time, it was common to bury your valuables in the ground as a safe place to hide them. Through a multitude of circumstances the original owner of the treasure would have passed on and it was left in the ground. If someone found such a treasure then it would legally be theirs. To guarantee it would be theirs without dispute, a person would hide the treasure until he could purchase the field the treasure was hid in. That is what the person in the story did. But his money wasn’t enough, so he had to sell everything that he had to be able to buy the land and acquire the treasure. Application: The kingdom of heaven is hidden from most people, but when a person discovers it, they realize that it is so valuable that they are willing to give up everything to obtain it. When we realize what God is offering us in His kingdom (forgiveness of sin; to be made righteous; escape from hell; eternal life) then we are willing to joyfully consider all lost for its sake. Salvation is freely given, but that is just the beginning of the Kingdom of God. As we live out God’s kingdom on this earth, we will experience affliction, trials, and persecutions as part of this life. If we understand the greatness of salvation and the life we are to live thereafter, then we will willingly and joyfully give all up for it.
  • 13:45-46 The kingdom of heaven is like a pearl of great price. A merchant man goes about seeking goodly (fine) pearls. When he finds one pearl of great price he goes to sell all that he has and buys the pearl. Application: The kingdom of heaven can be sought for and found, but when people find it they have to be willing to give up everything to obtain it. Salvation is completely free, but living the Christian life may cost everything.
  • 13:47-50 The kingdom of heaven is like a net. This net was cast into the sea and gathered every kind of fish. When the net was full they drew it to shore, sat down and gathered the good fish into vessels, but cast the bad fish away. At this time, this was the common way to fish. They would use a dragnet between two boats and sweep it toward the shore, gathering everything in its path. Once they got the net on shore, they would separate the valuable fish from the invaluable fish. In this parable, Jesus gives us the spiritual meaning: Just like the good and bad fish were separated, so at the end of the world or at the final judgement, angels will come forth and separate the wicked from among the just. The wicked will be cast into the furnace of fire where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Application: Believers (the just—those who have been justified by faith in God) will be separated from unbelievers (the wicked—those who have rejected God’s salvation). The unbelievers will be cast into a place of great torment being eternally separated from God. But believers we eternally be with God. This shows the great worth of the kingdom.

13:51-52 The Parable Of The Householder

  • 13:51 Finally, Jesus finished his teaching (13:36-50) and asked His disciples if they understood everything. They said they did so He gives them another parable.
  • 13:52 “Therefore,” because the teaching of the kingdom of heaven is new and understandable, every scribe who has become instructed in the teachings of the kingdom of heaven is like a person who is a householder. This householder brings out of his treasure things that are new and old. A scribe often became an authority concerning the law. For a scribe to also be discipled in the kingdom of heaven, meant that he understood the kingdom as a fulfillment of the old. Application: The new and the old testament are both treasure that are to be equally important—the treasure box contains both.

Review Questions

  • What are the parables of the mustard seed and the leaven?
  • Jesus spoke in parables to fulfill what?
  • What are the parables of the treasure, the goodly pearl and the net?
  • What is the parable of the householder?
  • How do you better understand the great worth of the kingdom?

Mind Dump: Christian Bookstore Pics

  • If you haven’t listened to our latest podcast (Episode 11) then check it out and you will better understand these pictures.
  • For more information about this topic, check out my past posts “China & Bible Smuggling” or “Bibles in China?“.
  • Also, you can check out my other teammate’s post about this topic: here or here.

Bibles at a Christian bookstore in China.

A Christian Bookstore in China.