Matthew Lesson 14 Day 2

Matthew Lesson 14 Day 2,Matthew Lesson 14 Day 3,Matthew Lesson 14 Day 4,Matthew Lesson 14 Day 5

Matthew Lesson 14 Day 2

Matthew 13:31–35

3a) Mustard seed and yeast

The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed and like yeast.

b) Most common opinion about these parables

He is speaking of the small, deliberate beginning (here only one seed is planted) of the church he came to establish and how large the movement would become. It would provide a benefit to many.

“Both these parables are prophetic, and were intended to show, principally, how, from very small beginnings, the Gospel of Christ should pervade all the nations of the world, and fill them with righteousness and true holiness.” Adam Clarke Commentary

4) Birds represent 

“Birds lodging in the branches most probably refers to elements of corruption which take refuge in the very shadow of Christianity.” (Morgan)

“Close study of birds as symbols in the Old Testament and especially in the literature of later Judaism shows that birds regularly symbolize evil and even demons or Satan (cf. b. Sanhedrin, 107a; cf. Revelation 18:2).” (Carson)

The birds in the earlier parables were eating seeds before they had a chance to grow. In the mustard seed parable, the birds built nests in the plant that grew abnormally large. Typically, the mustard tree looks more like a shrub in a desert climate—around 6 feet, but can grow as tall as 20 feet if well-watered.

The passage in Ezekiel is similar in that the birds will nest in the tree as well as find shelter there. The birds indicate the large size of the tree and the peace, rest, and protection that can be found in the kingdom. However, the birds aren’t a good thing.

Ezekiel 17:22-24 — breaking off a shoot at the top of the tree and planting it separate from the large tree — sounds like what happened with Noah and his family.

I think this parable is another pictorial of the previous one. The gospel message is like yeast mixed into a batch of dough (the world). It slowly and silently grows until it has greatly increased in size.

Yeast represents “paganizing influences” that would bring “corruption and impurity” into the church.

Like the example of good and bad seed, both grew. We should be careful what we sow.

Jesus could be saying that the entire kingdom of heaven will be enlarged by, perverted by, and corrupted by the influence of evil. In that case, perhaps the verses about a righteous remnant (outside of that dough) would come into play.

5a) Jesus spoke in parables

He fulfilled the prophecy “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.” (cited from Psalm 78:2)

I can see why the Jews found it easier to look to the Levites/Pharisees for explanations. The Pharisees complicated the commandments in an attempt to be precise.

Now, as well as then, we should look to the Lord and depend on Him for revelation and understanding of His word.


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1 used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
7 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, public domain.
8 The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

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My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Matthew Lesson 14 Day 2