Friday, January 19, 2018
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW ~ Chapter 13
Chapter 13: That same day Yeshua went out of the house and sat down by the seaside. Great numbers of people gathered around Him there, so He went into a boat and sat down, while the crowd stayed on the beach. He told them many things, using parables to teach them, for example: “A farmer went out to sow, and as he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and ate them. And some fell among the stones, with not much soil, but they sprang up at once because they did not have depth of earth. As the sun rose, they were scorched, and because they had no deep roots, they dried up. Ad some fell among thorns, and as the thorns grew up, they choked them. But some fell in good ground and gave fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty. Listen! You who have ears to hear with, hear!”
His disciples came to Him and asked, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ “Because,” He answered, “you are privileged to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but they are not so privileged. For if a man has possessions, he will get more until he has more than enough, but if he is poor, even the little that he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because though they have eyes they do not see, and though they have ears they do not hear; they just don’t understand. There is a prophecy in Isaiah which comes to fulfillment in them: ‘You hear and hear but do not understand; you look and look but do not perceive. The heart of this people has become fat and stupid; they hardly hear with their ears; they shut their eyes tight. They do not want to see with their eyes nor hear with their ears, nor understand with their hearts lest they be converted and healed by Me’ (Isaiah 6:9-10). But your eyes are blessed, for they do see, and your ears, for they hear. I tell you that many prophets and righteous have longed to see what you are seeing, but they did not see it, and to hear what you are hearing, but they did not hear it. The parable of the sower is, then, for you to hear. When one hears the Word of the Kingdom but does not understand it, then the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown into the heart. This was the sowing by the wayside. And what was sown on stony ground is like the one who, on hearing the Word, gladly accepts it. But since it has no real root in him, it lasts only a little while. As soon as trials and persecutions come because of the Word, he at once gives it up. Then, as to what was sown among the thorns, that is like the one who listens to the Word, but the worries of this life and the love of money choke its message, and it yields nothing. And lastly, what was sown in good ground stands for those who listen to the Word and understand it, and consequently bear fruit, some as much as a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.
He told them another parable. “The Kingdom of Heaven,” He said, “is like a farmer who sowed good seed in his field. But while men slept, some enemy came and scattered seeds of weeds among the wheat, and went away. And when the blade sprouted and produced ears of grain, the weeds also appeared. The farmer’s servants then came to him and said, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How comes it, then, that there is also weeds?’ “A enemy must have done this,” he replied. The servants then asked him, ‘Shall we go then and weed them out?’ “No,” he said, “because when you pull up the weeds, you may by chance also uproot the wheat. So let them grow together till harvest time, and when the harvest comes, I shall give orders to the reapers to gather up the weeds first, and to bind them in bunches to be burned, and then to gather up the wheat and store it in My granary.””
Another parable He told them, as follows: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. Indeed, it is the smallest of seeds, but when it is grown it is larger than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the wild birds can come and roost among its branches.”
Yeshua gave them still another parable. “The Kingdom of Heaven,” said He, “is like leaven that a woman took and worked into three measures of flour until the whole bunch was leavened.”
All this He told the crowd in parables. In fact, Yeshua taught nothing to them except parables. This was done in fulfillment of the words of the prophet, “I will open My mouth in parables; I will tell about things kept secret from the beginning of the world” (Psalm 78:2). After Yeshua had dismissed the multitude and had gone to His house, the disciples came to Him and said, ‘Explain to us the parable about the weeds in the field.’ So He answered them, “It is the Son of Man who sows the good seed. The field is the world, and the good seed are the sons of the Kingdom, whereas the weeds are the sons of the evil one. The enemy who sowed them is Lucifer. The harvest is the end of time. The reapers are the angels. Just as the weeds are gathered together and burned in fire, so shall it be at the end of the world. The Son of man will send out His angels to gather up out of His Kingdom every wrongdoer and every cause of sin, and they will cast them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. But the righteous in their Father’s Kingdom will shine forth like the sun. He who has ears to hear with, let him hear.”
“Once more, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure buried in the field, which a man found and hid again. It gave him so much joy that he went and sold everything he had, and then bought that field.”
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant in search of rare pearls. When he came across one that was very precious, he went back and sold everything he had, and bought it.”
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet which was let down into the sea, gathering into it every fish of every sort. When it was filled, they drew it up onto the beach, sat down and sorted out the good fish, but threw the worthless back. Thus it will be at the end of time. Angels will come to separate the wicked from the upright. And they will cast the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Yeshua asked them, “Have you understood all this?” They said, ‘Yes, Adonai.’ He said to them, “This is the way it should be, every teacher trained in the Kingdom of Heaven should be like the master of a house who can supply from his storeroom things both old and new.”
When Yeshua had spoken these parables, He journeyed on. He came into His own neighborhood and taught in the synagogue there, and the people said in surprise, ‘Where did this man get such wisdom and power? Is he not the carpenter’s son, and is not his mother called Mariam? And are not James and Simon and Judah his brothers? And are not all his sisters living here? Then where did this man get all this?’ And they felt offended because of Him. But Yeshua said to them, “A prophet has honor everywhere except in his own land and his own home.” So He did not perform any miracles there, because of their unbelief.