Friday, July 7, 2023

A Study of Matthew - Additional Parables

by Stan Feldsine (

Matthew 13:31-32 - The Mustard Seed

The first of three points is that though the mystery kingdom will start out small, with only a few believers, it will grow unceasingly until it assumes tremendous outer size.

The second point is that it will eventually become a monstrosity. Remember that the mystery kingdom consists of both Wheat and Tares, believers and unbelievers growing together.

The third point is that the tree will become a resting place for birds. If we use the previous parables to define the birds, then the birds are a negative, for it is the birds that take the seed away from those that might believe. This illustrates the nature of the mystery kingdom which consists of both the true church and the false church (Mat 13:3-4). Another point is that the mystery kingdom will grow over time starting out very small, while the Millennial Kingdom will be very large at the start. When Jesus taught this parable, his followers were few in number, and they have grown greatly in number for the last 2000 years. At the time of the Sheep and Goat judgment there are huge numbers of believers that will enter into the Messianic Kingdom.

Matthew 13:33 - The Leaven

"Leaven" is translated "yeast" in some translations. This parable teaches that the God's purpose for the mystery kingdom would be carried out like leaven in bread dough, irreversibly, persistently and pervasively throughout this age. When yeast in introduced to flour it works it's way throughout until the bread is ready for the oven. It is always considered an evil influence. The metaphor of leaven's affect on bread was taught with relation to sin from the early days of Israel, even before the Law of Moses. It was a part of two of Israel's Feasts. Passover - God's disdain for "sin" is shown in the Feast of Passover (Exo 12:14-15). Feast of Unleaven Bread - God's disdain for "sin" is shown in the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Exo 13:6-7). The Teaching of the Pharisees - Jesus and Paul taught about sin using the metaphor of leavened bread (Mat 16:6, Mat 16:11-12). Sin in Our Life - (1Co 5:7). The "woman" represents a religious or spiritual entity. Leaven is a symbol of "sin", in particular the sin of false teaching and the introduction of false teaching into the mystery kingdom. The "three measures of meal" represents Christianity being splintered. The parable of the leaven teaches that the mystery kingdom will be marked by inward doctrinal corruption in the false church.

Matthew 13:44 - The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

Treasure is a symbol of Israel, this speaks of the believing Remnant of the Jewish people. Jesus gave everything to gain this treasure (Exo 19:5, Deu 14:2, Psa 135:4). Thus this speaks of Israel (Rom 11:5, Gal 6:16). Jesus is the one who purchased the treasure (1Pe 1:18-19).

Matthew 13:45-46 - The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value

While God refers to Israel as His treasure, the Gentiles are likely His "pearl" of great price. In scripture, the "sea" symbolizes the Gentile world, and pearls come from the sea. Additionally, the pearl comes from an Oyster, and Oysters are unclean, and would not be used symbolically of Israel (Dan 7:2-3, Rev 17:1, Rev 17:15). Like the treasure, Jesus paid the ultimate price to gain His pearl. As the pearl develops slowly, the Gentiles will come into the kingdom slowly over the centuries. At some point, the full number of Gentiles will come in, and the Messianic Kingdom will be established shortly afterwards (Act 15:14-18, Rom 11:25).

Matthew 13:51-52 - New and Old Treasures

What Jesus is revealing here is the truth that the mystery kingdom will consist of both old precepts from the overall plan of God, and some aspects will be new, emphasizing the mystery character of God's overall plan. The mystery is that the Gentiles will now be chosen to be a people of God (Col 1:25-27). Gentiles can now call on the name of the Lord to be saved, without going through the rituals to become a proselyte (Act 2:21, Rom 10:13, 2Ti 1:9-10).

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