Memory verses for
this week: James 5:17 Elias was a man
subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it
might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three
years and six months.
last week’s lesson, we studied the first two of the seven parables
concerning the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. We talked about
this new teaching by parables being another fulfillment of prophecy.
We go into the explanation of the third parable on the mustard seed as
we begin down in verse 31 of Chapter 13.
I. Parable of
the Mustard Seed
Mat 13:31 Another
parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like
to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
Mat 13:32 Which
indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the
greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the
air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Our understanding of this third parable hinges upon us
correctly interpreting the three central figures in the parable.
1. The mustard seed
2. The great tree from which it sprang from
3. The birds of the air which came and lodged in its
Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a grain of
mustard seed. In this parable, the kingdom of heaven speaks of
Christendom. This is the combination of all people who profess to be
Christians. That which is represented by the seed and it becoming a
tree is not a people who are strangers and pilgrims down here, but a
system whose roots lie deeply in the earth and which aim at greatness
and expansion in the world. We have a lot of religious organizations
whose goal seems to be to get bigger and have larger numbers for which
they can claim. Many are tied to ecumenical movements wanting to see
the one world church come into existence. In verse 32, Christ
describes a religious system that becomes great on the earth. (It
becomes the tree.) The mustard seed and tree speak of the spread of
Christendom… the so-called one world church that so many preach about
today. Has many terms to describe it, but some of its titles are the
‘universal and invisible one world church.’ There is no such church
mentioned in scripture. Every instance of the church was a local
called out body of believers who covenant together to spread the
gospel and to worship the Lord. The birds speak of evil ones.
These evil ones come and lodge in the tree of Christendom. These are
made of up false religious leaders and nations who do not truly
believe in God. But they want to be part of the big picture of
II. The Parable of
Mat 13:33 Another
parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven,
which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole
Mat 13:34 All these
things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a
parable spake he not unto them:
Mat 13:35 That it
might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will
open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept
secret from the foundation of the world.
There are a lot of false teaching on this parable. Some
teach that the women is spreading the gospel until all come to know
Christ. That is far from the truth. Anytime leaven is mentioned in
the scriptures, it speaks of (or typifies sin.) This fourth parable
reveals the internal aspect and secret corruption of the kingdom.
The leaven is a symbol of corrupting evil, and the meal stands for the
pure truth of God. The leaven certainly does not represent the gospel
because the parable is a secret and the gospel has never been a
secret. Even Abraham had the gospel preached unto him.
Gal 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that
God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the
gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Gal 3:9 So then they which be of faith are
blessed with faithful Abraham.
When Paul was dealing with Festus and King Agrippa, he
pointed out that the things that happened to Christ were not hidden.
Acts 26:24 And as he thus spake for himself,
Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much
learning doth make thee mad.
Acts 26:25 But he said, I am not mad, most
noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
Acts 26:26 For the king knoweth of these
things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none
of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a
In this parable, the meal stands for the true doctrine of
Jesus Christ. You notice that the women hides the leaven in the
meal. The meal wasn’t removed, nor did the leaven replace the meal.
There are many churches today that have removed the true doctrines of
Christ from their pulpits as I mentioned last week. But rather than
replacing it, they mix in the leaven and corrupt the whole. If you
put leaven (sin) in with the gospel, you do not have the true gospel.
Paul told the Corinthian church that he and his fellow
laborers did not corrupt the gospel with false teachings.
2 Cor 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which
always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour
of his knowledge by us in every place.
2 Cor 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour
of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
2 Cor 2:16 To the one we are the savour of
death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And
who is sufficient for these things?
2 Cor 2:17 For we are not as many, which
corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the
sight of God speak we in Christ.
It is important to pay attention to the woman in this
parable. The woman refers to the Papacy and in general to all those
who corrupt God’s Word. I heard David Jeremiah preaching last week
on the importance of staying with the word of God and he used the
example over in Jeremiah about the king who didn’t like what Jeremiah
prophesied, so he took a little knife and cut out what he didn’t like.
Jer 36:21 So the king sent Jehudi to fetch
the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber. And
Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the
princes which stood beside the king.
Jer 36:22 Now the king sat in the winterhouse
in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before
Jer 36:23 And it came to pass, that when
Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and
cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was
consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.
Brother Jeremiah said we may not have people today openly
cutting up God’s Word, but by not preaching the whole truth, they are
effectively slicing up God’s Word and picking and choosing to preach
on just what they like … those things that won’t condemn sin or make
them or their people feel bad. Those people who do this are not
worthy to be in the ministry, and it makes you question whether they
were truly called by God to preach.
The woman in the parable is acting dishonestly and
deceitfully. She took and hid the leaven in the meal. Something that
should never have been in God’s meal. Do we have any in today’s world
doing this? Of course we have… you can turn on your tv and perhaps
half of the television evangelists use God’s word improperly for
personal gain. Or they preach the soft things that tickle people’s
ears as Brother Jeremiah mentioned. This prosperity Christianity
that many preach is not biblical. God never promised us we’d be rich
down here of physical blessings, but he did promise to make us rich
spiritually and to be with us every step of our way in our battles
here on earth.
Verse 34 and 35 speak of how this teaching of parables by
Christ was a fulfillment of scripture which we read last week over in
III. The Second
Mat 13:36 Then Jesus
sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples
came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the
Mat 13:37 He answered
and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
Mat 13:38 The field
is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the
tares are the children of the wicked one;
Mat 13:39 The enemy
that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and
the reapers are the angels.
Christ’s disciples come to him and want the second parable
explained. He identifies the sower (Christ), the field (the world),
and the tares (which are the lost) and the enemy which is Satan.
Matthew Henry said this about the disciples request to have
the parable explained.
The disciples’ request to their Master
was, Declare unto us the parable of the tares.
This implied an acknowledgement of their ignorance, which they were
not ashamed to make. It is probable they apprehended the general scope
of the parable, but they desired to understand it more particularly,
and to be assured that they took it right. Note, Those are rightly
disposed for Christ’s teaching, that are sensible of their ignorance,
and sincerely desirous to be taught. He will
teach the humble (Ps.
25:8, 9), but
will for this be enquired of. If any man lack
let him ask it of God.
Mat 13:40 As
therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it
be in the end of this world.
Mat 13:41 The Son of
man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his
kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Mat 13:42 And shall
cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing
Mat 13:43 Then shall
the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
The tares and the wheat are allowed to grow together in the
same field until the time of the end when Jesus will send forth his
angels to gather out His own from the world. The wicked (the tares)
will be gathered together and cast into the lake of fire and
IV. The Parable of
the Hidden Treasure
Mat 13:44 Again, the
kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when
a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all
that he hath, and buyeth that field.
The treasure in this parable pictures Israel hidden in the
world. The field pictures the world as it did in the earlier
parables. The man pictures Jesus Christ. He found Israel to be
God’s choice. He hid Israel and watched over them in a special way.
Then Christ went and sold all that he had, and bought the field with
the treasure in it. I tell you Jesus paid a very costly payment for
our sins. No gift has ever been given like the one God gave when he
gave Christ to die on that old rugged cross.
1 Cor 6:19 What? know ye not that your body
is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God,
and ye are not your own?
1 Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are
Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the
offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more
Rom 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death,
even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by
Jesus Christ our Lord.
V. The Parable of
Mat 13:45 Again, the
kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Mat 13:46 Who, when
he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and
The merchant man in this parable is of course Jesus Christ.
The pearl is the church, and the great price that he paid was His own
blood. The merchant man desired the goodly pearl and regarded the
pearl as being of great price. He sold all that he had and purchased
the pearl of great price. He sought the pearl, and then he bought
it. No one ever paid a higher price than what Jesus paid for the
redemption of our souls. God loves the church, and it will be through
the church that Christ will receive honor forever more.
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the
faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince
of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from
our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests
unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and
Eph 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do
exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the
power that worketh in us,
Eph 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by
Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he
raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the
Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and
power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only
in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his
feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of
him that filleth all in all.
VI. The Parable of
Mat 13:47 Again, the
kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and
gathered of every kind:
Mat 13:48 Which, when
it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good
into vessels, but cast the bad away.
Mat 13:49 So shall it
be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the
wicked from among the just,
Mat 13:50 And shall
cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and
gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:51 Jesus saith
unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him,
Mat 13:52 Then said
he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the
kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which
bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
The mention of ‘they’ in verse 48 speaks of how God intends
for his servants to work in his vineyard. We are to become fishers of
men as Christ told Peter and Andrew to come and follow him and he
would make him fishers of men.
Mat 4:18 And Jesus,
walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter,
and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were
Mat 4:19 And he
saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Mat 4:20 And they
straightway left their nets, and followed him.
Some of the important points in this parable:
1. There is a net
2. Secondly, there is a the sea in which the net is cast
3. There are the fishermen themselves – they gather in.
4. There are the fish that are caught in the net.
The net symbolizes the gospel. The sea stands for the
nations of the world. The fishermen are the ministers of the Word.
The work of the fishermen did not end when they brought the net to the
VII. Jesus Returns
Mat 13:53 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these
parables, he departed thence.
Mat 13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught
them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said,
Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
Mat 13:55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother
called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
Mat 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then
hath this man all these things?
Mat 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them,
A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his
Mat 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their
These Jews question who Christ was. Why did he have such
wisdom? Why could he perform these mighty works of God. They
inquire whether he was Joseph and Mary’s son. Mary was his mother
truly, but Joseph certainly was not his father. But they were
offended by Christ, and because of this, many mighty works were not
done due to their unbelief. God wants us to be people of faith.
When we bring our petitions to Him, we should expect Him to answer
Adam Clarke in his commentary said this about verse 58.
Unbelief and contempt drive Christ out of the
heart, as they did out of his own country. Faith seems to put the
almighty power of God into the hands of men; whereas unbelief appears
to tie up even the hands of the Almighty. A man, generally speaking,
can do but little good among his relatives, because it is difficult
for them to look with the eyes of faith upon one whom they have been
accustomed to behold with the eyes of the flesh.
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4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.
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Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will be
Matthew, Matthew Henry’s
Commentary on the Bible,
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.