Parable means “cast alongside”. A parable is an analogy alongside a Truth to make it relatable. Chapter 13 has 7 parables. The first parable is about whether or not we understand the rest of the parables. Who will understand these parables…depends on the soil.
The prophet Isaiah was quoted. Just like in the day of the prophets, the message was not received, many of this generation will not either.
13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14 In them is fulfilled(L) the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 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.’
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 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.
OK, this is going to be a little hard to grasp BUT it is important that some hearts were calloused and rejected the Word. If they had all understood it, their hearts would turn and they would not need the Messiah to die on the Cross for both Jew and the Gentile. The Providence of knowing ahead of time who will and who will not hear and see is for God’s glory and He uses that so Jesus will be rejected.
The parable of the Soils is told, then Jesus explains in Isaiah many will not understand them, then in verses 18-23, Jesus explains WHY many won’t understand it.
So now what? The Word of God is the seed- some seed will grow, some will begin to grow, and some with never grow. So in this world, what would that look like? Well, the parables of the weeds explain it to us. The fruit-bearing plants and the weeds will live in the same garden. At the time of Harvest (Final Judgment), they will be separated.
The parables are explained. Some listeners will understand the parable and some will understand the explanation. Just like some of us are audible learners and some are visuals.
The parables are paired together:
The Mustard Seed and the Yeast indicate that what is small or hidden now (Jesus) the Kingdom of heaven seems insignificant, but there will come a time when it will be unmistakable and all-encompassing. His plan is completely laid out. The End times will come.
36 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.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 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, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 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. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
The parable of the hidden treasure and the pearl. We live such “worldly” lives. We grossly underestimate the value of the kingdom.
The parable of the net. Listen. The truth will offend many. This is a hard parable to read. On the day of Judgement, the net will be cast. The fish will be separated. There is no banter or pleading with God about all the good “things” you did in life. There will be a final judgment.
So what was the soil??? Did they understand??
51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.
“Yes,” they replied.
NO, THEY DID NOT! If they had they wouldn’t have asked whose He was (son, brother, friend, occupation.... but WHO He IS.
Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.
58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
As you jump into Luke 8 and read these parables, don’t read them as you may have heard them at church. I myself have thrown around scripture out of context…a lamp on a stand. Jesus is the Lamp…He will reveal what is hidden. Who is Jesus’ family?? Believers!
NOW let’s get to the best part. Jesus calms the storm!! I have hears this story spun 100 times for application. BUT now that you read Matthew 13 and how it ended…what is the most important line?? Not whose is He…who is his mother? His father? BUT…..
In fear and amazement, they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
NOW we are getting somewhere!!!!
I am going to save the next 2 stories when they are in the other Gospels so that you have time to soak up the parables and re-read them if needed.