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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Matthew's Gospel

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Frameworks: Matthew's Gospel, chapter 13


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)


FRAMEWORKS: Matthew, chapter 13

v.1-9    The Parable of the Sower

v.10-17 Why Parables

v.18-23 The Parable Explained

v.24-30 The Parable of the Weeds

v.31-35 The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

v.36-43 The Parable of the Weeds Explained

v.44-46 The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

v.47-52 The Parable of the Net

v.53-58 Jesus, the Prophet Without Honor



v.1-9 The Parable of the Sower


v.1 (Jesus goes out beside the lake) That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.

v.2 (he teaches the gathered crowd from a boat) Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.

v.3 (he starts telling a parable about a farmer) Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed.

v.4 (as he casts it around some birds snatched some of it up) As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

v.5 (some fell on rocky ground, and could not root well) Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.

v.6 (when the sun came out it withered) But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.

v.7 (some fell among thorns and were choked) Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.

v.8 (some fell on good soil and produced a good crop) Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

v.9 (listen to what I'm saying) Whoever has ears, let them hear.”



v.10-17 Why Parables


v.10 (the disciples ask about his use of parables) The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

v.11 (he said because it makes it clear to only some) He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.

v.12 (whoever has an open heart, will receive more, the closed of heart will be confused ) Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.

v.13 (thus some hear but don't see) This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see;  though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

v.14(it's just like Isaiah prophesied) In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.

v.15 (but this people have become hard hearted and can't see) 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. ' [Isa 6:9,10 (see Septuagint)]

v.16 (but you – being with me – have open hearts and see) But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.

v.17  (many before have longed to see and hear what you are seeing and hearing) For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.



v.18-23 The Parable Explained


v.18 (look, understand this parable) “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:

v.19 (some hear but don't understand and the enemy snatches away what they've heard [they soon forget it]) When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.

v.20 (the rocky ground are the quick responders) The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.

v.21 (but they are shallow and don't last) But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

v.22 (the thorns are worries and wrong desires that stifle what has been heard) The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

v.23 (the good ground are the true seekers who hear, understand, respond and bear much spiritual fruit) But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”



v.24-30 The Parable of the Weeds


v.24 (try another such parable: the kingdom is like another man sowing good seed) Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.

v.25 (but at night and enemy came and sowed weeds) But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.

v.26 (the wheat and weeds grow alongside each other) When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

v.27 (the servants wonder what has happened) “The owner's servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'

v.28 (the man knows but they ask if they should pull up the weeds) “‘An enemy did this,' he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?'

v.29 (no, he replies, because you'll uproot the wheat as well) “‘No,' he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.

v.30 (leave them to harvest then separate them and burn the weeds but gather in the wheat) Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'”



v.31-35 The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast


v.31 (or consider a mustard seed being planted as another kingdom picture) He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.

v.32 (the tiniest of seeds yet grows into the largest of plants) Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

v.33 (or, instead of seeds, consider yeast that gets mixed with flour until it works all the way through) He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

v.34 (thus he only taught in parables) Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.

v.35 (just as Isaiah had prophesied) 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.” [Psa 78:2]



v.36-43 The Parable of the Weeds Explained


v.36 (the disciples ask about the parable of the weeds) Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

v.37 (the sower is me) He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.

v.38,39 (the field is the world and the seed is kingdom people, while the weeds belong to the enemy, the harvest is Judgment Day) The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

v.40 (their destruction will be at that time) “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.

v.41 (I will send my angels to pull out of the kingdom all who do wrong) The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.

v.42 (they will be thrown into the fire where they will be destroyed) They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

v.43 (the righteous will be left with the Father for eternity) Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.



v.44-46 The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl


v.44 (but the kingdom happening is also like a man finding treasure which he gives up everything for) “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

v.45 (or like a merchant searching for fine pearls) “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.

v.46 (again when he finds one he gives up everything for it) When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.



v.47-52 The Parable of the Net


v.47 ([like the parable of the weeds] it will also be like fishermen using nets) “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish.

v.48 (when it is full, they pull it in and throw away bad fish) When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.

v.49,50 (again this is how it will be at the end, the wicked will be cast away and burned up and destroyed) This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

v.51 (he checks they have understood) “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied.

v.52 (a teacher-turned-disciple is like a house owner who brings out new as well as old) He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”



v.53-58 Jesus, the Prophet Without Honor


v.53 (he leaves the lakeside) When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there.

v.54 (going into town he taught I the synagogue and amazed them there) Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked.

v.55 (they think they know who he is, and wonder) “Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?

v.56 (they know his family so wonder where he got his teaching) Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”

v.57 (so they reject him but Jesus simply says it is common for a prophet not to be honoured at home) And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”

v.58 (but he wasn't able to do much because of their unbelief) And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.