Read Matthew 13 at Bible Gateway.
Mat 13 outline:
Mat 13:1-9, Parable of the sower
Mat 13:10-17, Jesus speaks to the multitude in parables that the Prophets might be fulfilled
Mat 13:18-23, Parable of the sower explained
Mat 13:24-30, Parable of the wheat and tares
Mat 13:31-32, Parable of the mustard seed
Mat 13:33, Parable of the leaven
Mat 13:34-35, Jesus speaks to the multitude in parables that the Prophets might be fulfilled
Mat 13:36-43, Parable of the wheat and tares explained
Mat 13:44, Parable of the hidden treasure
Mat 13:45-46, Parable of the pearl of great price
Mat 13:47-50, Parable of the dragnet
Mat 13:51, The disciples understood His teaching
Mat 13:52, The parable of the householder
Mat 13:53-58, They were offended at Him in His own country, and could do no mighty works
Mat 12:46-13:58 reverse parallelism:
1a) Mat 12:46-50, Mother and brothers of Jesus send for Him;
1b) Mat 13:1-3a, He spoke of the kingdom of heaven to the multitudes in parables without explanation;
1c) Mat 13:3b-23, Parable of the sower not explained to the multitudes but to the disciples:
1a) Mat 13:3b-9, Parable of the sower;
1b) Mat 13:10-12, Revealed to the disciples the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven;
central axis) Mat 13:13-15, Not revealed to the multitudes that the prophets might be fulfilled;
2b) Mat 13:16-17, Blessed are your eyes and ears for they see and hear;
2a) Mat 13:18-23, Parable of the sower explained;
2c) Mat 13:24-46, Parable of the tares not explained to the multitudes but to the disciples;
1a) Mat 13:24-33, Parable of the tares + mustard seed + leaven;
1) Mat 13:24-30, Parable of the wheat and tares;
2) Mat 13:31-32, Parable of the mustard seed (kingdom hidden);
3) Mat 13:33, Parable of the leaven (kingdom hidden);
central axis) Mat 13:34-35, Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, that the prophets might be fulfilled;
2a) Mat 13:36-46, Parable of the tares explained + hidden treasure + pearl of great price;
1) Mat 13:36-43, Parable of the wheat and tares explained;
2) Mat 13:44, Parable of the hidden treasure (kingdom hidden);
3) Mat 13:45-46, Parable of the pearl of great price (kingdom hidden);
2b) Mat 13:47-52, He spoke of the kingdom of heaven to His disciples with explanation;
1a) Mat 13:47-50, The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet, which gathered both good and bad;
1b) Mat 13:51a, Jesus asked His disciples: Have you understood all these things?
2b) Mat 13:51b, They said to Him, “Yes, Lord;”
2a) Mat 13:52, The kingdom of heaven is like a householder, who treasures both new and old;
2a) Mat 13:53-58, Are not this Man’s mother and brothers with us/ they were offended at Him.
When Mark recounts this same parable of the sower, Jesus says, in essence, that if we understand this one, we will understand them all (Mar 4:13). But if we don’t understand this one, we can’t understand any of the others. The parable of the sower is the key parable, in other words, which unlocks the door of the understanding for all the other parables.
What is that key? The Word of God is the seed. The kingdom of heaven is promulgated by the Word of God, the Word of the kingdom. It is hidden, i.e. not observable at first. It grows little by little so that a big change might not be noticeable from one day to the next. But with sufficient depth of soil (feeding the heart and mind on the Word of God) and water (the water of the Word and the living water of the Spirit) the seed will bear fruit – 30, 60, or 100 fold.
Fruit comes from the seed of the Word of God. If the Word of God is not before your eyes, before your ears and your mind, then from what seed can fruit be produced? The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, etc., but fruit still comes from seed, the parable teaches us. Without the seed there cannot be fruit.
The Word is the seed that bears the fruit of the Spirit. The Spirit camp of believers often disdains the Word, and the Word camp of believers often disdains the Spirit, but the SCRIPTURE teaches us they are integral and and necessary each for the other!
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