Matthew 13

The Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew (Part 5)

Read the series.

The Parables of the Kingdom (Pt. 2)

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

The other five (or six) parables are shorter. The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matt. 13:31-32) speaks of the “kingdom of heaven” beginning almost imperceptibly like a tiny seed but growing until it becomes a tree that can hold bird’s nests. Does this depict positive or negative growth? The wheat or the tares? It is hard to say, but I side with the majority who see it as positive growth.

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The Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew (Part 4)

This is from the first draft of my book The Words of the Covenant: New Testament Continuity. Read the series.

The Parables of the Kingdom (Pt. 1)

In any study of the Kingdom “the parables of the kingdom,” seven (or eight depending on one’s reckoning) of which are located in Matthew 13 are critical. Although this is not a Bible commentary, it is important to take a look at these parables because they provide important information about the progress of God’s Kingdom program.1 We should remind ourselves that although the majority of OT texts refer to the eschatological Kingdom, there are verses such as Psalm 103:19 which declare, “The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.” There is then a sense in which God has a kingdom up in heaven (naturally enough), but this is not the same as the one on earth described in such vibrant terms by the Prophets; the eschatological Kingdom. As we have seen that Kingdom is very much part of the theology of Luke.

Prior to chapter 13 Matthew has employed the term “kingdom of heaven” in a futuristic sense. It is something ahead (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 5: 3, 10, 19-20; 7:21; 8:11; 10:7; 11:11-12). In several instances the passages plainly speak of the coming new aeon (Matt. 5:19-20; 8:11), but I submit that all the references ought to be taken in that way. However, things change in Matthew 13.

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The Cost of the Kingdom

Reposted from The Cripplegate.

Geoffrey Chaucer wrote his famous Canterbury Tales in the 14th century. One of the stories in this narrative is the Knight’s Tale. As a group of pilgrims is on its way to Canterbury, the knight tells his tale about two rival knights, Arcite and Palamon, both vying for the hand in marriage of a fair maiden, Emily. The knights face each other in a public tournament for her hand. Both seem to want victory, but…

But then come the prayers which reveal their true desires. Emily prays that she will marry the one who truly loves her. Palamon prays that he will marry her. Arcite prays for victory in the tournament.

All three prayers are answered when Arcite wins the tournament, but then he falls off his horse and dies, so Palamon, who truly loves Emily, gets to marry her.

This story shows what happens when true desires are exposed, which is what we see in Matthew 13.

In Matthew 13:44-46 we see two short parables about the Kingdom.

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Jesus tells two short stories of men who found something of great value, and whose desire for that object was greater than any other they had. From this we learn…

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