Matthew 13: We have seen so far that the message of John the Baptist, of Yeshua and of those whom He chose as His disciples is this: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:1-2, 4:17, 10:5-7). But what we have also seen is that the people are rejecting this message (Matt. 11:11-24).
We are told later in Yeshua’s ministry that He wept over Jerusalem’s rejection of the King (Matt. 23:37-39).
There are problems with those whom Yeshua wants to set up His Kingdom. In this chapter, we are told what those problems are.
(Mat 13:1 NASB) On that day Jesus went out of the house, and was sitting by the sea.
(Mat 13:2 NASB) And great multitudes gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole multitude was standing on the beach.
Mat 13:2: Yeshua is going to speak to masses. He is going to speak to them in parables. He does this for a reason.
(Mat 13:3 NASB) And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow;
(Mat 13:4 NASB) and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.
(Mat 13:5 NASB) “And others fell upon the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.
Mat 13:5: We are going to be told the meaning of this parable a little later in this chapter.
(Mat 13:6 NASB) “But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
(Mat 13:7 NASB) “And others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.
(Mat 13:8 NASB) “And others fell on the good soil, and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.
(Mat 13:9 NASB) “He who has ears, let him hear.”
Mat 13:9: He ends this parable by saying that those with ears to hear will understand.
(Mat 13:10 NASB) And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
Mat 13:10: The disciples ask a good question. Why does He speak in parables to the people?
(Mat 13:11 NASB) And He answered and said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.
(Mat 13:12 NASB) “For whoever has, to him shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
Mat 13:12: The disciples want to know why Yeshua speaks in parables. He does so for a reason. Only certain ones will understand what He is saying. He wants it that way.
(Mat 13:13 NASB) “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
Mat 13:13: Yeshua does not want everyone to understand what He is saying. He has good reason for this. It is a fulfillment of prophecy. In the Psalms we are told that Elohim will speak in parables for His people to know His Torah (Psalm 78:1-7). These parables are about knowing His Torah.
(Mat 13:14 NASB) “And in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; AND YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;
(Mat 13:15 NASB) FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, AND WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES LEST THEY SHOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I SHOULD HEAL THEM.’
Mat 13:15: This is a fulfillment and a direct quote of Isaiah 6:9-10. Elohim does not want many people to turn to Him with their hearts. That may be a difficult thing for us to imagine, but that is what Yeshua is saying here.
Israel has rejected much of His Torah and replaced it with their traditions. Many of them have gone beyond the limit that Elohim will withstand. The people do not want to repent, even if the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Therefore, Yeshua speaks to them in parables that they will not understand.
Remember the message to the rich man in Luke 16 who was in torment but wanting his brothers to be saved from this punishment? He wanted to send Lazarus back from the dead to warn them because surely they will listen to man who comes back from the dead. But he was told, “They have Moses and the Prophets. If they will not listen to them then they will not listen even to someone who comes back from the dead.”
(Mat 13:16 NASB) “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
(Mat 13:17 NASB) “For truly I say to you, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it; and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Mat 13:17: Many prophets and righteous men desired to see and hear Messiah and His words and works, but they did not.
Yeshua then explains the parable of the sower.
(Mat 13:18 NASB) “Hear then the parable of the sower.
(Mat 13:19 NASB) “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.
Mat 13:19: The Seed is the Word of Elohim. The birds represent Satan, or “the evil one.”.
(Mat 13:20 NASB) “And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy;
(Mat 13:21 NASB) yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
(Mat 13:22 NASB) “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Mat 13:22: Most of the seed falls on ground that is not fertile. Keep in mind that the Word of Elohim being used in this sense is Torah or the Tanakh.
(Mat 13:23 NASB) “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”
Mat 13:23: The seed bears good works in those to whom it is given. Those good works are fruits.
The numbers used by Yeshua are very interesting: a hundred, sixty, and thirty. The Greek term used for “hundredfold” actually means a “hundred.” This should actually read “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some (at) a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty.” It probably means at the age they will start bearing good fruit.
We are told that Abraham bore Isaac at the age of 100 (Gen. 21:5). Isaac bore Jacob at age 60 (Gen. 25:26). While we may think that Jacob bore Rueben (or Joseph) at age 30, but that is not the case. The age of Jacob is not given at that time, but it appears that he was much older than 30. He was probably between the ages of 74 and 91.
The significance of bearing fruit at age 30 is likely referring to the age of the service of a Levite (Num. 4:2-3). Or Yeshua could be referring to Himself (Luke 3:23).
(Mat 13:24 NASB) He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
Mat 13:24: In the first parable, the sower is the Son of Man, the Messiah. That is the case in this parable also.
(Mat 13:25 NASB) “But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away.
(Mat 13:26 NASB) “But when the wheat sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.
(Mat 13:27 NASB) “And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
Mat 13:27: Notice that it was while “men” sleep. Not while the Sower sleeps. The “men” are His servants who are to be tending to the land and obeying their Master.
(Mat 13:28 NASB) “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ And the slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’
(Mat 13:29 NASB) “But he said, ‘No; lest while you are gathering up the tares, you may root up the wheat with them.
(Mat 13:30 NASB) ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘”
Mat 13:30: There is much corruption in the Kingdom. The Owner of the field does not want the corrupt ones plucked from the field because some of the wheat might be plucked up also.
This parable says they will all grow together until the Day of Judgment.
(Mat 13:31 NASB) He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field;
(Mat 13:32 NASB) and this is smaller than all other seeds; but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants, and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES.”
Mat 13:32: Keep in mind that these parables are telling the disciples the problems in the Kingdom.
One problem with the kingdom is that although it has spread its branches like a big mustard bush, the birds have nested in its branches. (Remember that “birds” represent the “evil one.”)
(Mat 13:33 NASB) He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three pecks of meal, until it was all leavened.”
Mat 13:33: This is a remarkable message in this one verse. Leaven represents evil every time it is mentioned in Scripture (1 Cor. 5:6-7, Matt. 16:6). The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a Feast that is a reminder to get sin out of our lives.
The meal comes from seed, which is the Word of Elohim. Scripture is consistent.
The woman hid evil in the Word of Elohim. Paul just told us that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. A little evil will corrupt the entire Word of Elohim. That is the message of this precious little verse.
(Mat 13:34 NASB) All these things Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable,
(Mat 13:35 NASB) so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES; I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.”
Mat 13:35: This is the quote from Psalm 78:2 mentioned earlier in this chapter. Why wasn’t the Kingdom going to be restored to Israel at this time? Because they have rejected His Torah and the Living Torah of Elohim. They are a doomed people.
(Mat 13:36 NASB) Then He left the multitudes, and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
Mat 13:36: Yeshua is now going to get away from the multitudes and speak only to His disciples (taught ones). His disciples do not quite understand His parables at this point and have a multitude of questions for Him.
(Mat 13:37 NASB) And He answered and said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,
Mat 13:37: Some of the parables give an account of a “Sower.” Elohim is not one of confusion, but of order. In those parables with a man is sowing good seed, the Sower is Messiah.
(Mat 13:38 NASB) and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;
(Mat 13:39 NASB) and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.
Mat 13:39: Here we have more pieces to the puzzle. The field is the world. The good seed are those sons of the kingdom that have the Word in their hearts (Matt. 13:23).
The tares are the sons of the evil one. The reapers are angels, or messengers.
(Mat 13:40 NASB) “Therefore just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.
Mat 13:40: When Yeshua returns, the sons of the evil ones will be gathered up and burned with fire (Isaiah 66:14-17, Ezek. 38:21-22).
(Mat 13:41 NASB) “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,
(Mat 13:42 NASB) and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:42: This is speaking of the resurrection. At that time, those who were not His will be judged and thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-14). This is also spoken of by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 66:23-24).
(Mat 13:43 NASB) “Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
Mat 13:43: This righteous will shine forth as the sun. This is a quote from Daniel 12:3.
(Mat 13:44 NASB) “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.
Mat 13:44: A terrible interpretation of this parable is taught that says we are to give everything up, if need be, for the Gospel. That is not at all what this parable is saying.
The field is the world. The “Man” is the Son of Man, the Messiah. The treasure is His people who obey His commandments (Exodus 19:5 NKJV). His people are hidden all over the world today.
Yeshua gave everything in order to possess His people and redeem them. It took His death and resurrection to pay the purchase price of redemption.
(Mat 13:45 NASB) “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls,
(Mat 13:46 NASB) and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Mat 13:46: Once again, the Merchant is the Son of Man, the Messiah. The pearls are those who are righteous and shine like the stars of heaven that Yeshua quoted from Daniel earlier.
Messiah, once again, gave everything He had for His people. (Notice this parable started with “Again,…” probably signifying that this one has the same type of meaning as the previous one.
(Mat 13:47 NASB) “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind;
(Mat 13:48 NASB) and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away.
Mat 13:48: This parable is again speaking of the gathering of man at the end of the age. His people will be kept; the lawless ones will be cast into the furnace.
(Mat 13:49 NASB) “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous,
(Mat 13:50 NASB) and will cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:50: Once again, the gathering happens all at once. It does not happen in several stages or “raptures.”
(Mat 13:51 NASB) “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes.”
(Mat 13:52 NASB) And He said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.”
Mat 13:52: Yeshua gave them examples of what this parable means. A scribe is one who teaches the Torah to the people. Yeshua linked old Truths with new insights when He taught them these parables.
(Mat 13:53 NASB) And it came about that when Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there.
(Mat 13:54 NASB) And coming to His home town He began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they became astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom, and these miraculous powers?
Mat 13:54: Yeshua taught these parables in the synagogue in His hometown. The people were astonished at His teaching.
(Mat 13:55 NASB) “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?
(Mat 13:56 NASB) “And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”
(Mat 13:57 NASB) And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his home town, and in his own household.”
Mat 13:57: It was hard for the people to believe that this Man whom they knew growing up was anything special. Yeshua said even His own household has no honor for Him. This is prophesied in Psalm 69:7-8.
(Mat 13:58 NASB) And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.
Mat 13:58: The miracles were performed to give authority to His message. If His message is rejected, there is no reason for His miracles.