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Lesson 11 – Matthew 13

Posted by cherylem on March 20, 2007

The following are my notes for Lesson 11. I have included the entire text of Matthew 13, in order to give my class a visual separation of the different elements in the chapter. I have also included some of Jim F’s comments (thank you Jim!). By way of further explanation, my commentary is actually mostly a combination of various cross-references. The discussion regarding these will happen during class time. 

    Review: The Gospel of Matthew

Probably 70 to 90 A.D. to the Christian Jews

Primary purpose: bear witness to the Jews that Jesus is the promised savior/King of the Old Testament; is the Son of God, and to show the Jews that they are rejecting their King and will lose their place in the Kingdom of the Gentiles

Theology: Christ, the King of true Israel, gained all power by his obedience to the Father’s will. We become brothers and sisters of Christ in the Kingdom as we do the will of the Father, especially in serving our fellow man.

Matthew is woven around five great discourses: (1) chas. 5-7; (2) ch. 10; (3) ch. 13 (4) ch. 18; (5) chs. 24-25

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. Fulfillment citations: 1:22; 2:15; 2:17, 2:23; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17-21; 13:35; 21:4-5; 27:9-10 and also 2:6; 3:3; 13:14-16; 24:15

    Lesson 11: The use of parables.

During Jesus’ time parables appear to have been used by many teachers. Usually they were given in answer to a question, often a question asked by a follower, and they not only answered the question asked, they did so by showing that there is more to the answer than the follower thought. Used that way, parables are a way of making the questioner think about his question.

As Joseph Smith pointed out, it is often very helpful to ask ourselves what the question was that produced the answer, what answer might have been expected, and how the parable goes beyond the answer that might have been expected. We may also want to ask ourselves what question we might have to which the parable is an answer and how that answer goes beyond what we might have expected.

What does vs. 9 teach us about our responsibility for understanding Jesus’ teaching? What does this tell us about how we receive revelation? What does it take for us to have ears that hear?

Is understanding important? See 13:16, 51
How does this relate to the concept of the veil?
How does this relate to the use of symbols?

What should we pray for/seek?
Eyes that see, ears that hear.

2 Kings 6:17 (NIV)
And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Psalm 119:18 (NIV)
Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law

Matthew 13

    Introduction

1The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
2And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3And he spake many things unto them in parables,

    The Parable of the Sower

saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

    The Purpose of Parables

10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
17For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

  • 1 Peter 1:10-11 (NIV)
  • 10Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

      Jesus Explains The Parable of the Sower

    18Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
    19When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
    20But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
    21Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
    22He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
    23But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

  • What was good ground can become “by the wayside:”
  • Mosiah 26:1-3
    1 Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers.
    2 They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ.
    3 And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened.

    • If the disciples have ears that hear and eyes that see, as Jesus has said in v. 16, why does he have to explain the parable to them? Why is it important for the disciples to have this teaching about the different ways that people respond to the message of the gospel?

    • The images here are part of the every day world of the listeners.

    • There is a progression in verse 23, from receiving, to understanding, to bearing fruit. What do you make of this progression? How does this progression relate to Lehi’s dream?

      The Parable of Weeds Among the Wheat

    24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
    25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
    26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
    27So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
    28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
    29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
    30Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

  • Most commentators assume that the tares (weeds) were darnel, a weed that looks like wheat and sometimes carries a poisonous fungus.
  • Does that add anything to your understanding of the parable? We usually understand this parable as a parable about the Church in the last days. Some, however, have understood it originally to have been about Israel: it is important not to force too soon the separation of those in Israel who believe in Jesus from those who have not done so. Which interpretation do you think most reasonable? Why?

  • Also, see Matthew 3:12, where John the Baptist teaches something very similar to this parable.
  • See JST 13:39-44 for further clarification. Note Footnote 39a.
    1. The Parable of the Mustard Seed

    31Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
    32Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

  • Alma 32:
  • 41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
    42 And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.

      The Parable of the Yeast (Leaven)

    33Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

  • 1 Corinthians 5:6
  • 6Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

  • Galatians 5:9 (NIV)
  • 9″A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”

      The Use of Parables

    34All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
    35That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. (see Psalm 78:2-3)

  • but in the Sermon on the Mount he did not speak in Parables
    1. Jesus Explains the Parable of the Weeds

    36Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
    37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
    38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
    39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
    40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
    41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
    42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
    43Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

  • D&C 86 (which has a somewhat different interpretation):
  • 1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, concerning the parable of the wheat and of the tares:
    2 Behold, verily I say, the field was the world, and the apostles were the sowers of the seed;
    3 And after they have fallen asleep the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign—behold he soweth the tares; wherefore, the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness.
    4 But behold, in the last days, even now while the Lord is beginning to bring forth the word, and the blade is springing up and is yet tender—
    5 Behold, verily I say unto you, the angels are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to reap down the fields;
    6 But the Lord saith unto them, pluck not up the tares while the blade is yet tender (for verily your faith is weak), lest you destroy the wheat also.
    7 Therefore, let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest is fully ripe; then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat, behold and lo, the tares are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be burned.

    Then follows a section on priesthood, which has been hid from the world for a long time:
    8 Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers—
    9 For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—
    10 Therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.
    11 Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it. Amen.

    See also: D&C 88: 94, 105 for further images of the “persecutor of the church, apostate, whore . . .”

      Three Short Parables:
      the treasure hid in the field,
      the pearl of great price,
      the [drag] net

    44Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
    45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
    46Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
    47Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
    48Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
    49So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
    50And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  • Risk and sacrifice are necessary to receive the Kingdom, whether found accidentally (v. 44) or purposefully (v. 45-46).
  • v. 44: Read how our LDS pioneers did this literally: D&C 45:65, D&C 48:4. D&C 68:28-31
  • v. 48:The work of the gathering: Alma 46:23, 3 Nephi 10:17, Ether 13:7. See also Matthew 22:1-14.
    1. Treasures New and Old

    51Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.
    52Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
    53And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.

  • NIV:
  • 52He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

  • Verse 52:
  • Pay attention to the footnote for “which is instructed” (52b). With the possible exception of the parable of the sower, all of the previous parables have been about the kingdom of heaven. This one is about someone who becomes a disciple in that kingdom. Why does Jesus end this series of parables with this one? Do you think that the disciples would have been surprised by the person Jesus uses as an example of someone who becomes a disciple? Why? Why do you think Jesus uses that example? What would a scribe (a rabbi, a recognized interpreter of the Law) treasure? What old things would be in his treasury? What new things? Is this related to the method Jesus used when he delivered the Sermon on the Mount: “you have heard it said [something ‘old’], but I say [something ‘new’]”?

      The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth

    54And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
    55Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
    56And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
    57And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
    58And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

  • Verses 53-58:
  • Jesus returns to Nazareth (presumably) and teaches in the synagogue. People are amazed at his wisdom (probably referring to the parables, his wise sayings). When they ask how he got this wisdom and how he does these might works or miracles, why are they amazed? Why are they offended? (The Greek word translated “offended” could also have been translated “scandalized” or “caused to stumble.”) How does this event relate to the teaching at the beginning of the chapter (verses 13-15)?

      Why couldn’t the Jews recognize the Kingdom or Jesus?

    Isaiah 35:2-6 – a proof text
    2It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
    3Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
    4Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
    5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
    6Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

  • Isaiah 35:2-6 is happening before their (our) eyes.
  • Matthew 11:4-5
    4Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
    5The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

    Matthew 15:31
    31Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.

    But:
    Matthew 13:14-19
    14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
    15For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
    16But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
    17For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
    18Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
    19When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

    Matthew 13:25
    25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

    Matthew 13:31-34
    31Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
    32Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
    33Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
    34All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:

  • One idea:
  • The Kingdom of Heaven is so small (at the present moment) that it is hidden – small like a mustard seed, small like yeast.

      The following is my attempt to understand vs. 10-17:

    And again – hear ye the parable of the sower. Men are in the habit, when the truth is exhibited in the servants of God, of saying, All is mystery, they have spoken in parables, and therefore, are not to be understood. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 95)

    Ezekiel 20:
    49 Then I said, “Ah, Sovereign LORD! They are saying of me, ‘Isn’t he just telling parables?’ ”

  • those with “hardened hearts,”
  • those who do “wickedly,” will understand less and less:

    Daniel 12:10
    Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

    Luke 8: 18.
    Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

    Alma 24: 30
    30 And thus we can plainly discern, that after a people have been once enlightened by the Spirit of God, and have had great knowledge of things pertaining to righteousness, and then have fallen away into sin and transgression, they become more hardened, and thus their state becomes worse than though they had never known these things.

    Alma 12: 9-11
    9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
    10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
    11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.

  • Therefore perhaps people need to be protected from too much knowledge too fast.
  • Sometimes the Saints are commanded not to share “meat” but to give only “milk.” Is this similar to what Jesus was doing when he spoke in parables? Are the parables meat to those who can “hear?” but milk or less to those who cannot?

    D&C 1: 33
    33 And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.

    D&C 19 (the revelation on hell)
    8 Wherefore, I will explain unto you this mystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles.
    21 And I command you that you preach naught but repentance, and show not these things unto the world until it is wisdom in me.
    22 For they cannot bear meat now, but milk they must receive; wherefore, they must not know these things, lest they perish.

    2 Ne. 31: 14.
    14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

  • Even the Saints cannot bear meat at first:
  • D&C 50: 40
    40 Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth

  • But eventually the Saints should seek mature food:
  • the meat of the gospel.

    2 Nephi 28:30
    30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

    D&C 6: 11-12
    11 And if thou wilt inquire, thou shalt know mysteries which are great and marvelous; therefore thou shalt exercise thy gift, that thou mayest find out mysteries, that thou mayest bring many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, convince them of the error of their ways.
    12 Make not thy gift known unto any save it be those who are of thy faith. Trifle not with sacred things.

    D&C 50: 24.
    24 That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

    D&C 78: 17-18
    17 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;
    18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.

    D&C 93: 19 I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.

  • The inability to eat “meat” is a matter of concern:
  • Hebrews 5:11-14 (in a section regarding the High Priesthood after the order of Melchezidek)
    11Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

    12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

    13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

    14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

    Isaiah 28:9
    9Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
    -or-

    Isaiah 28:9-13 (New American Standard Bible)
    9″To whom would He teach knowledge,
    And to whom would He interpret the message?
    Those just weaned from milk?
    Those just taken from the breast?

  • Regarding Matthew 13:15, some further references:
  • Isaiah 6:9-10 (New International Version)
    9 He said, “Go and tell this people:
    ” ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
    be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’

    10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
    make their ears dull
    and close their eyes. [a]
    Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts,
    and turn and be healed.”
    Footnotes:
    a Isaiah 6:10 Hebrew; Septuagint ‘You will be ever hearing, but never understanding; / you will be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ / 10 This people’s heart has become calloused; / they hardly hear with their ears, / and they have closed their eyes

    Matthew 13:15 (New International Version)
    15For 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.

    3 Responses to “Lesson 11 – Matthew 13”

    1. Cherylem said

      By the way, here are a couple of different translations of the section in Hebrews that I use in the above lesson:

      Hebrews 5:11-14

      (New International Version) 11We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

      (New American Standard Bible) 11Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

    2. Ben McGuire said

      Just a note – when you talk about the way that the mustard seed could be interpreted as a reference to Israel, I am reminded of the disciples meetin Jesus on the way to Emmaus. Who when speaking of Jesus said:

      “But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: …” They had an expectation of this revolution and a rise to power for Israel that would have effectively been an eschatalogical moment here and now, and the kingdom of God being a literal on this earth kindgom with a king and a court and so on. And it seems likely that there were those who taught this kind of message. So it wouldn’t necessarily be too far off the mark to think that Jesus might have not only been using familiar subjects for his parables, but familiar parables as well (although perhaps modified to suit his own message ….)

    3. Cherylem said

      Ben,
      Thanks.

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