As we look into Matthew chapter 13, we need to realize we are looking at a monumental section of all the Holy Scriptures. It’s here Jesus speaks specifically about his kingdom through parables. It’s here Jesus speaks about the age in which we live. It’s here Jesus will utter things hidden since the creation of the world. How are your ears? How are your eyes? Over the next several weeks, we will be looking at the kingdom of God through those seven parables.
By Pastor Delbert Young
Introduction: Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?
Introduction: Why Did Jesus Speak with Parables?
Scriptures: Matthew 11:20-24, Matthew 4:17, Matthew 12:31, Matthew 12:41, 42, 45, 36, 34, Matthew 13:24, 31, 33, 44, 45, 47, Psalms 29:10, Psalms 103:19, Matthew 6:10, Matthew 11:12, Matthew 13:10, Matthew 13:11, Matthew 13:12, Matthew 21:43, Matthew 13:13-15, Mark 4:11-12, Matthew 13:16, Matthew 13:35
We will take some time and look at the KINGDOM PARABLES. “Why look at these parables?” Most of us have no idea what the kingdom is, yet Jesus talked about the kingdom on a continuous basis. Jesus talked about the kingdom more than any other issue. The apostles talked about the kingdom. If you read the Bible, you can’t avoid reading about the kingdom of God, but Christ followers today seem to know nothing about the kingdom and what they think they know, they push into a future, one day theology. We will challenge this. We will teach a lot of theology.
Matthew chapter 13 marks a most important new division in Matthew’s gospel and Christ’s ministry. Matthew’s gospel shows Jesus as the undisputed Son of God, the Christ, the Messiah, the rightful heir to David’s throne, and the King of all kings. In chapter one Matthew proved this by the genealogy of Jesus going back through David unto Abraham. In chapter 2, the “wise men” (Magi) affirmed Jesus as the prophesied born king. In chapter 3, John the Baptist confirmed Jesus as the Lamb of God sent from God to take away the sin of the world. In chapter 4, Satan, the devil himself, through temptations, established Jesus as the Christ king three times. Jesus as king gives the principles of his kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7 of Matthew). Chapter 8-10 give the authenticity of the Christ king with many miracles of supernatural power.
Here is where things tense up. Paralleled with the miracles was the religious system’s rejection – House of Israel. The greater the evidence Jesus is the king, the greater the religious rejection. They believed the Christ king would come with an army delivering the Jews from Rome’s power. They would wait for a Christ king to come at a later time. In chapter 11, Jesus denounced and condemned their religious system promising severe judgment. This is vital to correct kingdom theology so listen closely. Much of chapters 11 and 12 are about the rejection and condemnation of the House of Israel. Please read chapters 11 and 12 in context of what I said and verify.
Matthew 11:20-24 Then Jesus began to DENOUNCE the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, BECA– USE they did not REPENT. “…But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on THE DAY OF JUDGMENT than for you.”
What day of judgment was Jesus referencing? Did it happen? Those were not simply angry threatening words. Jesus told them what happened to Sodom was not as bad as what will happen to them. Why? Because they did not repent. Let’s take a close look at the repentance Jesus preached.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, REPENT: FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND.
Repent, metanoe in Greek, means to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider.
Repentance Jesus preached was to think differently and reconsider the immediate presence of the kingdom of God. Jesus said the kingdom is present, it’s here, and it’s at hand.
I cannot project the importance of what I am about to show you. Rejection of the king and his kingdom reached its climax in Matthew chapter 12. The religious system accused Jesus, the son of God, fathered by the Holy Spirit, of being satanic – Beelzebub. Jesus pronounced a final and ultimate judgment upon the House of Israel.
Matthew 12:31 And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit WILL NOT BE FORGIVEN.
This is massive in understanding the kingdom. The Jewish religious system committed the unpardonable sin. They WILL NOT BE FORGIVEN. They were beyond the point of forgiveness. That/their generation would not pass before something worse than what happened to Sodom happened to them.
Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.
Matthew 12:42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with THIS GENERATION and condemn it…
Matthew 12:45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with THIS WICKED GENERATION.”
Matthew 23:36 I tell you the truth, all this will come upon THIS GENERATION.
Matthew 24:34 I tell you the truth, THIS GENERATION WILL CERTAINLY NOT PASS AWAY until all these things have happened.
The house of Israel – that generation – WILL NOT BE FORGIVEN.
As we come to Matthew chapter 13, the stage is set. The House of Israel rejected the king and the kingdom of God. So, if they rejected the king and his kingdom what became of the kingdom? Did God forget about it? Did he postpone it thousands of years? No. Jesus assures us in Matthew chapter 13 through a series of seven parables THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS because THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS LIKE…
Matthew 13:24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven IS LIKE a man who sowed good seed in his field.
Matthew 13:31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven IS LIKE a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.
Matthew 13:33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven IS LIKE yeast
Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven IS LIKE treasure hidden in a field.
Matthew 13:45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven IS LIKE a merchant looking for fine pearls.
Matthew 13:47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven IS LIKE a net
The kingdom of God is not something coming one day after a rapture and great tribulation. It IS! In fact, there has never been a time when there was not a kingdom of God and the Lord was not king.
Psalms 29:10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD IS ENTHRONED AS KING FOREVER.
The flood was way back and the Lord is eternally king forever. There was no time when the Lord was not king and ruler of his kingdom.
Psalms 103:19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and HIS KINGDOM RULES OVER ALL.
Not only is he king forever, he rules over ALL. He rules over everything! This means he rules over the devil, demons, evil people, ALL. This is why he can send them ALL to hell. His kingdom rules over hell. One of the first concepts we need to have about the kingdom of God is he rules over everything and everybody forever.
However, Jesus said to pray…
Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Why pray “come” if it’s here? Pray, “Father, your rule come on earth as it is every other place in your creation (heaven).” Earth/man is in rebellion. Heaven is fine, but earth has a devil. Jesus isn’t praying the kingdom begin on earth. Jesus said pray the kingdom would be on earth the way it is in heaven. This means Jesus came to advance the kingdom, not begin it. Jesus said,
Matthew 11:12 And from the time John the Baptist began preaching and baptizing until now, the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN HAS BEEN FORCEFULLY ADVANCING, and violent people attack it.
It was not advancing prior to John. John preached the kingdom is at hand, baptized Jesus, and the kingdom began advancing again.
With this said, how did parables advance the kingdom? I mean, wouldn’t it have been better to teach it clearly, being the astonishing communicator Jesus was? Didn’t Jesus want everyone to understand? The disciples asked this too and let’s work through Jesus’ answer.
Matthew 13:10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
When they said “parables” they meant riddles. Obviously the teachings were not making a lot of sense to many. Why else would the disciples suddenly question Jesus about his teaching?
Matthew 13:11 He replied, “The knowledge of the SECRETS OF THE KINGDOM of heaven has been given to YOU, but not to THEM.
Wait a minute! I thought… I’ve been told… I mean, doesn’t Jesus want everyone to “get it”? Why cloud the water? The reason Jesus spoke in parables is so the “them” WOULD NOT GET IT. The secrets of the kingdom are hidden from them. Who is the “them” Jesus referenced? The “them” at that moment was the Jewish religious system – the House of Israel.
Matthew 13:12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
Who will be given more of what and what will be taken from whom? Those who have repented concerning the kingdom and received the king will be given more secrets of the kingdom. To those who accept the revelation of the kingdom, the revelation of Jesus Christ, God will give more revelation and truth. Those who reject the king, Jesus, his kingdom, and his truth, even what they have will be taken.
Sad as it is, there are no people more spiritually disoriented today than the Jewish people. They had all the covenants. They had the word of God. They had the temple/presence of God. They had the kingdom, but it was all taken. Jesus speaking to THEM said,
Matthew 21:43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
Today the Jews have nothing of the kingdom and the religion to which they ascribe makes no sense not even to them. They rejected the king and his kingdom. Jesus didn’t want “them” to get the secrets of the kingdom.
Matthew 13:13-15 THIS IS WHY I SPEAK TO THEM IN PARABLES: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. IN THEM IS FULFILLED the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For THIS PEOPLE’S heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’
Jesus didn’t want to heal them. They will not be forgiven. I’ve got to show you how Mark records this same incident in his gospel.
Mark 4:11-12 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT TURN AND BE FORGIVEN!'”
They would not be forgiven. Fulfillments of prophecies were happening. Jesus said, “In THEM IS FULFILLED the prophecy of Isaiah.” The fulfillment is right on schedule. You may have heard because the Jews rejected the king and the kingdom, the kingdom was postponed. God had to go to plan “B.” Not so. It was all, even the rejection, right on God’s schedule and the prophecy IN THEMIS FULFILLED. This is the “them.” Who is the “you”?
Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.
The “you” are those who see the king and the kingdom and hear the king and his kingdom, those who repented for the kingdom is present.
Why did Jesus speak to the people in parables?
Matthew 13:35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD.”
As we look into Matthew chapter 13, we need to realize we are looking at a monumental section of all the Holy Scriptures. It’s here Jesus speaks specifically about his kingdom. It’s here Jesus speaks about the age in which we live. It’s here Jesus will utter things hidden since the creation of the world. How are your ears? How are your eyes?
Over the next several weeks, we will be looking at the kingdom of God through those seven parables. We will be challenged in many ways, i.e. if we truly received or rejected God’s word (which type soil are you?); if we are a counterfeit wheat (tare), or a legitimate wheat (good seed); if the seed of the kingdom is growing in us like a mustard seed and expanding like a leavened lump of dough; if the kingdom is precious to us like a treasure and a pearl (sadly it’s not to many); and if God’s dragnet were dragged today, would you be kept or thrown into the fire of hell where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth?
What I want to ask you today is do you have ears to hear and eyes to see the kingdom? Will you diligently look to see and listen to hear the kingdom and if you see and hear it, will you repent – think differently afterwards and reconsider – for the kingdom is present. I want you to know the rejection of the kingdom is as real today as then. People continue to wait for Jesus to come with an army not realizing the kingdom of heaven IS.
Other Related Sermons: