Mysteries of kingdom of heaven -1
Reading portion Mathew 13:1-3a
The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, (Mathew 13:1-3a)
The phrase “kingdom of heaven” is extensively used in Mathew. And this Phrase appears only in one book i.e Gospel according to Mathew for about 31 times. In this book we are going to examine the “Mysteries concerning theKingdom of Heaven ” and their practical application. We believe that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16)
The basic point concerning the kingdom is used to differentiate between the inward reality and the outward appearance. If we are not able to differentiate these two things, we will not able to understand this book concerning the kingdom of heavens.
In the subsequent chapters we are going to have in detail, phrase by phrase studies of Parables concerning the kingdom of heaven in Mathew 13. In Mathew 13 there are eight parables. There are prophetic in nature from the seed sown by the Lord himself to the end of the mystery form with His appearing in the heavens. First Parable “Parable of the Sower” helps as an introduction for the next six parables. First parable was interpreted by Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Next six parables ( Parable of wheat and tares, Parable of mustard seed, Parable of Leaven, Parable of Pearl , Parable of Hidden Treasure, Parable of dragged net ) are the parables concerning the kingdom of Heaven . These Parables starts with the phrase “Kingdom of heaven is like”. These parables gives the prophetic view, blue brint of the kingdom of heavens. The last parable (Parable of scribe) which also starts with the phrase “Kingdom of heaven is like” shows our responsibility towards the kingdom of heavens.
Mathew 13 verse 1 says “One that day Jesus going out of house, sat beside the sea”. At first this phrase looks insignificant. In chapter eight after the healing the servant of centurion and a leper Jesus prophesied that “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”(Mathew 8:11,12).In the beginning of twelfth chapter the Lord in announcing His death and resurrection has declared the rejection of Israel . No further sign should be given them out the sign of Jonah the prophet, as Jonah had been three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Building upon the symbol, He shows what would be the result to the wicked generation which had rejected Him (Mathew 12:41-45). His new relationship would be with the doers of His fathers will and with them alone (Mathew 12:46-50). At the end of twelfth chapter the heavenly king having been fully rejected by the Jewish leaders. Made a break with them.
He went out of the house to sit beside the sea. This is very significant. Compare the picture of the woman that “sitteth upon many waters” (Revelation 17:1) to find the meaning of this . The angel interprets it for us in that chapter: And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. (Rev 17:15). The house signifies the house of Israel ( Revelation 10:6) and the sea signifies the Gentile world (Daniel 7:3,17; Revelation 17:15). The king’s going out of the house of Israel and turned to the Gentiles. It was after this that on the sea shore. He gave parables concerning the mysteries of the kingdom.
Verse 2 says that great multitudes were gathered together to Him. This doest mean that they are became disciples of Lord Jesus Christ or they understand these mysteries concerning the kingdom. By seeing the crowd he stepped into a boat to sit and crowd stood on the shore”. In mathew 13 boat signifies the church in the Gentile world. we should not apply this interpretation (sea as church) through out Mathew. For example In Mathew 4:18 Peter and Andrew casting a net into the sea. Jesus walking by the sea called them by “Follow me”. Here we cannot interpret the ship which Peter and Andrew as church!.
The boat in Mathew 13 which was in the sea but not of the sea. Singinfies the church,. Which was in the same world but not of the world. The sea is the Gentile world and the boat is the church in the Gentile world.
Verse 2 also says “all the crowd stood on the shore”. We no need to stand on the shore, We can be in the boat along with the Lord Jesus Christ. I am in the boat. Are you in the boat. We are all welcomed to come to the boat to listen to the parables of Lord Jesus Christ more closely.
Verse 3 says “And he spoke to them many things in the parables” The spoken word of Lord Jesus Christ is very important. In some versions of Bible The spoken word of Lord Jesus Christ are red in color. It is very good effort to go directly to the words which Jesus was spoken. We wont find any spoken word of Lord Jesus Christ in Mathew chapter 1 and 2 We will find only one statement in Mathew chapter 3 “And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.(Mathew 3:15) We find his extensive words in Mathew 5,6,7. In all these chapters he talked to them in plain words. When we come to chapter 13 We find that he started speaking in parable. This made the desciples to ask a question Why Why speakest thou unto them in parables?(Mathew 13:10). We must learn how to interpret the parables.
G John Thimothy
17 August 2006