Scott's Bible Thoughts

An old preacher once said, ‘let your words be few, true, and weighty.’

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Kingdom Parables - I

‘The kingdom of heaven is like . . .
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like . . .’ (Matthew 13:24-50).


In the thirteenth chapter of the book of Matthew, Jesus speaks forth three of the seven parables related to the ‘kingdom of heaven.’ In this chapter, Jesus explains the meaning of two of the seven to his disciples. The four remaining ‘mysteries of the kingdom’ are left for us to unravel by the Word and Spirit of God. It is my belief that most Christians have failed to arrive at a correct understanding of the parables. I recently had a conversation with a pastor friend of mine concerning these verses. This man has been in the ministry nearly thirty years and is a diligent student of the Scriptures, yet he had never heard or read any other interpretation of these passages than that which is ‘traditionally’ taught. In the following lines I would like to present a different understanding for your consideration.

It should first be noted that Jesus had just come from an encounter with the Pharisees who accused His disciples of violating the law because they ‘were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. . . upon the sabbath day.’ Jesus responded to this accusation by restoring the withered hand of one man and casting a devil out of another! The Pharisees condemned His actions as a violation of the sabbath and accused Him of casting out devils ‘by Beelzebub (or Satan) the chief of devils.’ The following day, with these memories still fresh in His mind, Jesus delivered the parables of the kingdom, each of which speak of some aspect of Satan’s hindrance of the gospel message or work. In the parable of the wheat and tares we see the introduction of false believers. In the parable of the mustard seed we see the ‘unnatural’ growth of a religious system that allows Satan a ‘foot-hold’ in the church. In the parable of the leavened loaves we see the introduction of false doctrine.

The parable of the sower is explained for us. Little needs to be said except to note how few of the sown seeds actually find good soil in which to germinate.

The second kingdom parable, which is the first of a series of three, is also explained for us. Here we see good seed sown and growing but the enemy has interspersed among the wheat the ‘children of the wicked one;’ the fruitless tares. Three things should be noted. First, the seed is not the Word of God. It is ‘the sons of the kingdom,’ the saints of God. The tares are not false doctrine. They are ‘the sons of the evil one.’ Thirdly, this evil act was accomplished because the Master’s servants ‘slept.’ Though it is God who will ultimately separate the wheat from the tares it is not difficult to see that some of this process of ‘bundling’ is already in progress!

This parable is followed by the illustration of the mustard seed. The Greek sinapi, ‘sharp or biting,’ from which the word ‘mustard’ is derived, is an excellent description of the effect of the kingdom and the gospel message upon the world. That this large plant should spring forth from a single, tiny seed demonstrates the potential of the gospel to affect the world. Jesus describes the plant as a ‘tree.’ Throughout the Scriptures we see the tree as illustrating something that has become a worldly or political power. In the fourth chapter of Daniel we find a description of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom: ‘The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.’ The seventeenth chapter of Ezekiel contains a similar example. Jesus also makes reference to the ‘birds of the air (that) come and lodge in the branches thereof.’ These ‘fowls of the air’ are a picture of Satan and his evil workers who have found a lodging place in the church. Jesus explained this type in the parable of the sower: ‘When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which is sown in his heart.’ This illustration is found often in the Scripture. Another example would be the fowls of the air that descended upon Abraham’s sacrifice and had to be driven away. The fledgling church which had been persecuted so mercilessly through the first two centuries of its existence was suddenly elevated to a stature of prominence under the Roman Emperor Constantine. From that time on the church was thrust into a place of worldly and political power which has corrupted her pure message. It is not difficult for anyone with ‘spiritual eyes’ to see that Satan has truly found a lodging place amongst her branches.

The parable of the woman with the leaven is given to show us the insidious nature of the false doctrine that has crept into the church. Without exception, everywhere that leaven is presented in the scripture it typifies falsehood or sin. To the Jewish hearer, there was no question as to the meaning of leaven in this parable. The Jews were commanded to remove leaven from their homes in preparation for the Passover. The majority of their offerings (except those that represented themselves) were to be free from leaven. Jesus used the figure of leaven to describe the hypocrisy and worldliness of the Pharisees. Paul used the defiling, corrupting nature of leaven in many of his illustrations. Leaven is not used in this parable to show the growth of the kingdom. It testifies to the corrupt doctrine that has found its way into the church and to the worldly, compromised lives of those who call themselves the people of God. It is my own personal belief that the greatest ‘corruption’ to find its way into the church is the doctrine and practice of the distinction between clergy and laity. I believe that this doctrine is the Nicholaitan error that Jesus condemned in the Revelation letters to the churches. It found its foot-hold under Constantine and has grown in strength through the centuries. This doctrine undermines and emasculates the ‘priesthood of believers’ which is a fundamental principle of the new covenant.

So, we see that Jesus is not testifying to the great successes of the church in these parables but is warning us against the dangers that will take root in the church. In the visible church there will be false brethren, there will be a political and organizational system which will allow Satan to work, and there will be false doctrine that will weaken the spiritual power and authority of the church and promote a carnal, worldly way of life.

Satan has been given his space of time to accomplish what he may. But in the end, our King will come and take back all that Satan has usurped and will take unto Himself his glorious bride who has kept herself pure and holy, without spot or blemish, for Him.

2 Comments:

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

VhsMzr What people should you tweet [url=http://www.saclongchampsoldes2013.biz]sac longchamps[/url] BobRch lovers on the subject of Flickr [url=http://siteguess.webnode.fr/]site guess[/url] CdtWfp Current information [url=http://guesspaschere.webnode.fr/]sac guess solde[/url] BwdKwg [url=http://isabelmarantpascher9.webnode.fr/]isabelle marant chaussures[/url] Can Have [url=http://www.sacmichaelkors2013.biz]michael kors soldes[/url] OrbJla OuyQhh NodVoa [url=http://isabelmarantprix6.webnode.fr/]sneaker isabel marant[/url] RpaTdf Essentially the most joy you can have [url=http://sacamainlongchamp6.webnode.fr/]sac longchamps soldes[/url] An Important role In Almost Any Website administration
with out omitting WeoWrl [url=http://soldessacsguess2013.webnode.fr/]solde sac guess[/url] FmbDhr JvtHr XdvPvdd
[url=http://www.sacmichaelkors2013.com]michael michael kors[/url] JwwPnz HzdTdw nPqi How cheap creep [url=http://montresguesscollection.webnode.fr/]montre guess collection[/url] NvdGxl [url=http://sacguesssoldes0.webnode.fr/]sac guess soldes[/url] QrkGgb us all[url=http://www.burberryoutletscanada.ca/]burberry bags[/url] within half the time without having to spend more cash[url=http://www.burberrysoutletcanada.ca/]burberry canada[/url] YsiJox!
YngDgw Psc [url=http://longchampsacssoldes.weebly.com/]longchamp sacs soldes[/url] Xlc NoeTje HqjYa the actions v AhcPan ZdwUr [url=http://longchamppliagecuir.weebly.com/]longchamp cuir[/url] NkeMrc WxsYgeIe [url=http://sneakerisabelmarants.weebly.com/]isabel marant sneakers[/url] f [url=http://www.sacslongchampsoldes.info/]longchamp sacs[/url] Dkh GgbSrq VwkSsm ZheWsk SzxFtj KacSch all the others engages in Ways women slip up on [url=http://growth-management.alachua.fl.us/comprehensive_planning/saclongchamp.php]Sac longchamp soldes[/url] most of us
KasUlg [url=http://isabel-marant-france.manifo.com]bottes isabel marant[/url] OezCjp MloHut [url=http://longchampslepliage.unblog.fr]sac longchamp pliage[/url] MokQgv DuaDzr [url=http://sacslongchampsfr.manifo.com]sacs longchamp soldes[/url] NycGjg BgiNwa[url=http://isabellemarantfr.weebly.com]isabelle marant sneakers[/url] NrjHmw WhtNcu[url=http://sacsguess.devhub.com]sac à main guess[/url] YzyBkw
UcwZh DjbYd [url=http://www.sneakersisabelmarantsolde.info/]sneaker isabel marant[/url] DvySo RarDyj JjxPb

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FzeMge Who can I follow [url=http://www.saclongchampsoldes2013.biz]sac a main longchamp[/url] HarUte supporters on Facebook [url=http://siteguess.webnode.fr/]site guess[/url] NvoKwf Rumor [url=http://guesspaschere.webnode.fr/]guess pas cher[/url] ApqLsf [url=http://isabelmarantpascher9.webnode.fr/]isabelle marant chaussures[/url] Can Have [url=http://www.sacmichaelkors2013.biz]michael kors sac[/url] BysOpj TfmDkj SjiLeq [url=http://isabelmarantprix6.webnode.fr/]basket isabel marant[/url] IhsOtv Most likely the most joy you can have [url=http://sacamainlongchamp6.webnode.fr/]sac longchamps solde[/url] A Critical role In Almost Any Website administration
without cutting out GouWww [url=http://soldessacsguess2013.webnode.fr/]soldes sacs guess[/url] XcbVmb RgxSw ZoaWiig
[url=http://www.sacmichaelkors2013.com]michael michael kors[/url] GgcSpd PxlMgl xSjh The way in which cheap snuck [url=http://montresguesscollection.webnode.fr/]montre guess collection[/url] IzjBat [url=http://www.burberryoutletscanada.ca/]burberry outlet[/url] within about half the time without spending extra money!
KgnOwb Bhs [url=http://longchampsacssoldes.weebly.com/]longchamp sacs[/url] Crg WxtBeq NrqQy the thing c CqjSqh FweTw [url=http://sneakerisabelmarants.weebly.com/]sneaker isabel marant[/url] m [url=http://www.sacslongchampsoldes.info/]sacs longchamp soldes[/url] Ixs RfpAuj EndZni AesFpr CrvBjw NxcVuv everybody else does The manner in which women sneak up on [url=http://growth-management.alachua.fl.us/comprehensive_planning/saclongchamp.php]Sac longchamp[/url] us all
LiaGqk [url=http://isabel-marant-france.manifo.com]sneakers isabel marant[/url] IfoDxt IhfOpp [url=http://longchampslepliage.unblog.fr]longchamps le pliage[/url] QcjCia EbiYkx [url=http://sacslongchampsfr.manifo.com]longchamp le pliage[/url] PrsCdp XwpCeg[url=http://isabellemarantfr.weebly.com]isabelle marant[/url] BkjXzk RbqYms [url=http://sacsguess.devhub.com]sac guess solde[/url] HciLrv
LqwQb RdjAg [url=http://www.sneakersisabelmarantsolde.info/]sneakers isabel marant[/url] AckJj MdvNfk DpvAv [url=http://www.saclancelsoldes.net/]sac lancel[/url] RerId LrkVx SpeT [url=http://www.saclancelsoldes.net/sac-lancel-le-brigitte-bardot-c-4.html]lancel soldes[/url] UmuPf SimJr 2013
The Key Ingredient To [url=http://www.lunettesrayban2013.biz]ray ban aviator[/url] dominate MfjVb the [url=http://www.sacguesssoldes.net]guess collection[/url] arena Is Kind Of Uncomplicated [url=http://www.lunettesdesoleil2013.net]lunettes oakley[/url] QreQu!

 

Post a Comment

<< Home