Matthew 13:10-17, 34-35

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

THE PURPOSE OF PARABLES AND

THE USE OF PARABLES FULFILLS PROPHECY

INTRODUCTION:

 

The program of the King includes the narrative about Jesus (11:2 - 12:50), the parables of the kingdom (13:1-52), and the concluding statement, And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence (13:53).

 

The parables of the Kingdom include the parable of the sower and the soils, the purpose of the parables, the parable of the sower and the soils explained, the parable of the wheat and the tares, the parable of the mustard seed, the parable of the leaven, the explanation that the use of parables fulfills prophecy, the parable of the tares explained, the parable of the hidden treasure, the parable of the pearl of great price, the parable of the dragnet, and the treasury of truth.

We see –

    I.     THE PURPOSE OF THE PARABLES – 13:10-17

 

Jesus’ disciples were puzzled over His use of parables; so, Jesus explained that they were privileged to learn things others were not privileged to learn. Jesus’ followers had believed the spiritual light they were given and as a result, would receive more light; whereas, those who rejected the spiritual light Jesus gave them would have the very light they had received taken away from them. Because some had rejected Him, Jesus spoke to them in parables. This fulfilled a prophecy made in Isaiah 6:9-10 . Jesus’ disciples who believed in Him were blessed to receive spiritual light. Although many Old Testament prophets and believers longed to see and hear what Jesus’ disciples were privileged to see and hear, these Old Testament saints were not so privileged.

       

 

Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

 

And the disciples came suggests after they came (to Him) or after they approached (Him). The disciples is actually the subject of said in the Greek text.

 

And said unto him is and said to Him (i.e. to Jesus).

 

Why speakest thou unto them in parables? suggests, Why [ i.e. for what (reason)] are you speaking to them in parables?

 

Them refers to those on the beach who were listening to Jesus, Who was in the boat, while teaching them.

 

Parables are narratives or sayings intended to illustrate various truths. They were also intended to conceal truths to those who were rejecting Jesus as their Messiah.

 

Matthew 13:11 He 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.

 

He (i.e. Jesus) answered and said suggests He answered and declared (or asserted).

 

Unto them means unto (or to) His disciples.

 

In answer to their question Jesus states why He was speaking in parables. It is because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

 

The tense of it is given indicates that its action has occurred in the past and that its result has continued on in the sense of it has been given; and it has been translated in a way which emphasizes its existing result.

 

Unto you is unto the disciples.

 

Although Jesus does not say who gave this to them, it is apparent that it is God the Father.

 

What has been given to the disciples is to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.

 

To know suggests to understand.

 

The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven suggests God’s secrets (or plans) regarding the kingdom of heaven, i.e. regarding God’s rule (or reign) over the affairs of men.

 

Mysteries are things known only to God until such time as He makes them known to others.

 

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven is given to you.

 

To them refers to those who have rejected Jesus as the Messiah.

 

It is not given is it has not been given, and it has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

 

The disciples of Jesus as well as others who believed the things He taught regarding His being the Messiah had acted on the spiritual light which had been given to them and were given more spiritual light. As a result, they were able to understand the parables of the kingdom of heaven.

 

By contrast, the scribes and Pharisees and those like them who had rejected Jesus as the Messiah would not be given additional spiritual light and would also lose whatever light they had already received.

 

Jesus spoke in parables which his disciples would understand, but which those who had rejected Him would not understand.

 

Matthew 13:12 For 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.

 

In verse 12 Jesus explains the principle behind the reason He stated in verse 11.

 

For whosoever is for anyone who, for someone who, for somebody who, or for whoever.

 

Hath is has and suggests has faith, i.e. whoever believes that Jesus is the Messiah.

 

To him suggests to the one who has (faith).

 

Shall be given suggests (to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven) will be given.

 

And he shall have more abundance is and he will be caused to abound or and he will have a great abundance.

 

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to the first half of verse 12.

 

Whosoever hath not, except for not, is identical with whosoever hath at the beginning of this verse.

 

It suggests whoever does not have (faith), i.e. whoever rejects Jesus as the Messiah.

 

From him shall be taken away suggests (to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven) will be removed.

 

Even that he hath suggests even what he has.

 

The spiritual light which had been made available to him will be diminished until it is completely gone, and he will then have no further opportunity to trust Christ as his Savior.

 

 

Matthew 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

 

Therefore is because of this. It suggests because of the principle Jesus stated in verse 12 that the one who rejects Jesus as the Messiah will lose whatever spiritual light he may have had.

 

Speak I to them in parables is I am speaking to them in parables.

 

Them refers to those people on the beach who, although listening to Jesus instructing them from the boat, were guilty of rejecting Him as the Messiah.

 

Because introduces the reason Jesus was speaking to His audience in parables.

 

They is actually the subject of see.

 

Seeing is understood in the sense of although seeing or although they see.

 

They . . . see not is they (i.e. the people in Jesus’ audience who are rejecting Him as the Messiah) are not seeing.

 

And introduces a statement that is parallel to they seeing see not.

 

Hearing is understood in the sense of although hearing or although they are hearing.

 

They hear not is they are not hearing (or listening).

 

Neither do they understand is neither are they understanding (or comprehending).

 

Matthew 13:14 And 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.

 

Jesus’ speaking in parables to those people who rejected Him fulfilled a prophecy made in Isaiah 6:9-10 ,

 

Isaiah 6:9-10 – (9) And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. (10) Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

 

And continues what Jesus said in verse 13.

 

In them refers to the scribes, Pharisees, and others who had rejected Jesus as the Messiah.

 

Is fulfilled suggests is being fulfilled, and its tense indicates that its action is ongoing and occurring at the same time Jesus is saying this.

 

The prophecy of Esaias, which saith is the prophecy of Isaiah, the one which says.

 

It introduces the quotation from Isaiah 6:9-10 which Jesus quotes in this verse and in the next verse.

 

By hearing ye shall hear suggests by listening you will hear. It is an emphatic phrase taken from the Hebrew which suggests you will surely hear.

 

And shall not understand suggests but you will absolutely (or certainly) not comprehend. It is an emphatic denial, containing the strongest negative in the Greek language. It is something which will absolutely never occur.

 

And seeing ye shall see is another emphatic phrase taken from the Hebrew which suggests you will surely see or you will see with open eyes.

 

And shall not perceive is another statement of emphatic denial, something which will absolutely never take place. It means but will absolutely (or certainly) not understand.

 

Matthew 13:15 For 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.

 

Verse 15 continues the quotation from Isaiah 6:9-10 , quoting verse 10.

 

For introduces an explanation of by hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive in verse 14.

 

This people’s heart refers to the people deep within themselves.

 

Is waxed gross is became dull, and it has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

 

And their ears are dull of hearing is and with their ears they hear with difficulty.

 

And their eyes they have closed is and their eyes they closed (or they shut).

 

Lest at any time introduces a negative purpose in the sense of in order that . . . not.

 

The negative purpose is in order that they should not see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

 

See, hear, and understand were used in the previous verse in the sense of perceive or understand, hear or listen, and understand or comprehend.

 

See with (their) eyes, hear with (their) ears, and understand with (their) heart are all things which these people should have been able to do; but now that they had rejected Jesus as their Messiah, they would never be able to do them because God has withdrawn all spiritual illumination from them.

 

And should be converted, and I should heal them are two additional things that are never going to happen for these scribes, Pharisees, and others who had rejected Jesus as their Messiah.

 

And should be converted is and should be turned in the sense of and should change their mind, which would result in their conversion.

 

And I should heal them suggests and I should heal them from sin and its consequences in the sense that I should heal them spiritually (or save them). They had passed the point of no return in their rejection of Christ.

 

Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

 

Jesus’ disciples who believed in Him were blessed to receive spiritual light.

 

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to what Jesus has just stated regarding those who have rejected them.

 

Blessed describes eyes and suggests privileged in that the disciples have been the recipients of divine grace or favor.

 

Your eyes and your ears represent the disciples themselves. It is the use of two parts referring to the whole.

 

Both uses of for represent the word ordinarily translated because and should be understood in this sense in this verse.

 

For they (i.e. your eyes) see is because they are seeing.

 

The eyes of the disciples have not been judicially blinded like the eyes of those who had rejected Jesus as the Messiah because they (i.e. the disciples other than Judas Iscariot) had believed that Jesus was the Messiah. They were seeing and would see even more.

 

Your ears are also blessed for they hear, i.e. because they are hearing. The disciples’ ears were able to hear and understand spiritual truths about Jesus and would hear even more than they had already heard.

 

Matthew 13:17 For 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.

 

Many Old Testament prophets and believers longed to see and hear what Jesus’ disciples were privileged to see and hear but these Old Testament saints had not been so privileged.

 

For introduces an explanation of why the disciples are blessed.

 

Verily is truly or assuredly.

 

I (i.e. Jesus) say unto you is I am saying (i.e. asserting or declaring) to you (i.e. to you disciples).

 

That introduces what Jesus said to His disciples.

 

Many prophets and righteous men indicates a good number of Old Testament prophets without indicating how many.

 

Prophets are those who have received divine revelation directly from God and have passed it on to others.

 

Righteous men is simply righteous (ones). It suggests that they were upright.

 

Have desired is desired or longed, and it has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

 

What they desired is to see those things which ye see, i.e. to see what things you are seeing.

 

And have not seen them suggests but did not see (them).

 

A second thing many prophets and righteous men desired is to hear those things which ye hear, i.e. to hear what things you (disciples) are hearing.

 

And have not heard them suggests but did not hear (them).

 

Have not seen and have not heard have both been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of their action.

 

The disciples were privileged to see and hear things which many Old Testament prophets and believers could only desire to hear.

As we continue, we also see –

  II.     THE USE OF PARABLES FULFILLS PROPHECY – 13:34-35

 

Jesus did not speak to the multitude except in parables in order that He might fulfill the Scripture prophesied by Asaph in Psalms 78:2 , which says, I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.

 

Matthew 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them.

 

All these things spake Jesus unto the multitudes in parables is Jesus spoke all these things in parables to the crowds.

 

Spake is spoke, asserted, declared, proclaimed, or said.

 

The multitude is the crowds and suggests a relatively large number of people.

 

And introduces a second fact: without a parable spake he not unto them. It means that Jesus did not speak to the multitudes except in parables.

 

Without a parable is without parables or without making use of parables.

 

Spake he not to them (i.e. to the multitudes, crowds, or large groups of people) is He was not speaking (asserting or proclaiming) to them.

 

Matthew 13:35 That 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.

 

That is in order that.

 

It might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet is the thing spoken through the prophet, which indicates that the prophet is an intermediate agent rather than a direct agent. The Direct Agent is God.

 

The prophet is Asaph. It means that God spoke through him.

 

Saying introduces what Asaph said: I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

 

I will open my mouth in parables implies I will speak to you in parables.

 

I will utter is a word which originally meant, I will belch, and it is used to express something forcefully in the sense of I will utter or I will proclaim.

 

Things which have been kept secret is things which have been hidden or unknown things. These are things which God alone knew.

 

From the foundation of the world suggests from the time of the creation when God laid the foundation of the world or from the world’s foundation.

CONCLUSION:

 

Take advantage of the spiritual light available to you, of the opportunities you have to study and learn the Word of God.

 

Make good use of your personal time for studying the Bible.

 

Take advantage of the instruction available to you in the church services, and be faithful in attending all of them every week while you have opportunity.

 

Don’t allow yourselves to get so busy living that you don’t have time for the Lord.