The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 56

Teaching Through Parables ~ Part 5

In our first post in this mini-series on the Parables of Yeshua, we looked at why He spoke in parables. In Part 2, we examined the Parable of the Sower and its explanation. In Part 3, we examined The Parable of the Weeds and its explanation. In Part 4, we examined the Parable of the Lighted Lamp, The Parable of The Seed Growing, and The Parable of The Mustard Seed. Now, we come to Mattityahu 13:33.

The Parable of The Yeast

33 And he told them yet another parable. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with a bushel of flour, then waited until the whole batch of dough rose.”  ~ Mattityahu 13:33 (see Luke 13:20-21).

Yeast (or leaven) usually represents evil (compare 1 Corinthians 5:6–8). If so, it represents the evil mixed with the good as in the previous two parables. Some interpret the parable to mean that the Kehillah will beneficially influence the world.

The Parable of Hidden Treasure

The first of the following two parables (v.44) deals with the unexpected discovery of the Kingdom of God, the second (vv.45-46) with the successful conclusion to a search for it. The person who comes upon it recognizes its great value and is willing to give up all (he sold everything he owned).

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. A man found it, hid it again, then in great joy went and sold everything he owned and bought that field. ~ Mattityahu 13:44

According to halakhah [1], if the treasure is unmarked and found on public land, it belongs to the finder. If it is marked, the owner must be sought. If it is natural (a gold nugget or a diamond) or unmarked and on private land, it belongs to the landowner; that’s why the finder bought that field to become the owner. But the story seems to imply that the finder bought the field at the “pre-treasure” price and that if the owner had known the treasure was there, he wouldn’t have sold the field at that price.

The Parable of the Valuable Pearl

45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for fine pearls. 46 On finding one very valuable pearl, he went away, sold everything he owned, and bought it. ~ Mattityahu 13:45-46.

The point is not that the man purchased a place in the Kingdom of Heaven, but rather than entering the Kingdom is worth giving up everything.

The Parable of the Net

Like the weeds parable (Mattityahu 13:24–30), this parable describes the ingathering of the righteous and wicked and their subsequent fates. The Kingdom of Heaven will consist of those who follow Yeshua.

47 “Once more, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net thrown into the lake that caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen brought the net up onto the shore, sat down, and collected the good fish in baskets but threw the bad fish away. 49 So it will be at the close of the age – the angels will go forth and separate the evil people from among the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will wail and grind their teeth. 51 Have you understood all these things? “Yes,” they answered. 52 He said to them,So then, every Torah-teacher who has been made into a talmid for the Kingdom of Heaven is like the owner of a home who brings out of his storage room both new things and old.”  ~ Mattityahu 13:47-50

A Torah-teacher who has been made into a talmid for the Kingdom of Heaven, that is, a committed and knowledgeable Jew who has become Messianic, brings out of his storage room, out of his treasury of knowledge, both new things relating to Yeshua and the New Covenant and old things, relating to the pre-Messianic Judaism he already understands. The storage room contains good things, things the house owner wants, and treasures. Some of the good things are new, and some are old. Likewise, the new Messianic and old Jewish things can both be good. Thus, the Messianic Torah-teacher is uniquely placed to enrich Messianic Judaism by expressing Messianic truth in Jewish relevant ways, repairing old coats with good patches, and restoring old wineskins for new wine. The outstanding New Covenant example is Sha’ul.

Parables Fulfill Prophecy

Like Mattityahu 13:10–17, this section reiterates Yeshua’s purpose in using parables.

34 All these things Yeshua said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without using a parable. 35 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet,

“I will open my mouth in parables.
I will say what has been hidden since
the creation of the universe.”

The quotation in this verse is from Psalm 78:2. This psalm identifies its author as Asaph, described in 2 Chronicles as a seer.

In our next post, we will begin to focus on Yeshua Performing Miracles beginning in Mattityahu 8:18-22.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Halakhah is how often ambiguous legal passages are clarified and interpreted for application in new and changed circumstances. ~ Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible.

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