We are taking a break for the summer until futher notice.

(Wednesday, 12/12/07) Introduction to Similitudes & Parable 1 of the Similitudes - The Tares

Introduction to Similitudes (Parables of Matthew 13)

If you were a Jew in the OT, you would draw your time line with a present age and an age to come, separated by Messiah’s coming. Prophets did not see but one advent.

We now know that everything promised in OT was not fulfilled when Jesus came the first time and Jesus said that He would be back to do the rest. In the meantime there is something going on that no one in the OT knew about. We now know that there are two advents and we are in the “inter-advent age.”

What is going on in between becomes the question.

Remember the initials - EMK= Elijah/Messiah/Kingdom was the expectation. Malachi 4:5 said that Elijah would come, announce the arrival of the Messiah and the Kingdom would begin.

In Matt 11:14 Jesus said that John the Baptist was Elijah “if you care to accept it.” What does that mean? If they don’t accept it, he’s not? How can that be? What Jesus is saying is that for those who believed John the Baptist and repented, and in turn believed in Jesus as the Messiah, then John was Elijah for them and consequently they entered the kingdom.

We also know that the two witnesses in Revelation will have powers like Elijah and Moses (Rev 11:6) so another will come in the power and spirit of Elijah before the second advent. After the Second Advent, the millennial kingdom will be established.

The question becomes, “What kingdom do those who accept JB as Elijah enter?

Matt 13 is dealing with that.

Rev 10:7 talks about the mystery of God being finished. What mystery? Col 1:26 says the mystery is the church.

Matthew is presenting Jesus as the King and part of Jesus’ mission was to proclaim the arrival or imminence of the kingdom.

In Matt 12:24 the religious leaders accuse Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan. This is the climax of the rejection by the leadership. Jesus says this is unpardonable and in turn rejects Israel.

Matt 13 is hinge in the literary structure of the book. It is a turning point in ministry of Jesus. In Matt 13 Jesus begins talking about the mystery form of the kingdom by telling parables. We know that because in 13:10 the disciples asked Jesus why he was speaking in parables. He answers that he is revealing the mysteries of the kingdom.

1. The Tares (13:24-30)
2. The Sower and the Soils (13:1-9)
3. The Reason for Parables (13:10-17)
4. The Explanation of the Sower (13:18-23)
5. The Mustard Seed (13:31-32)
6. The Leaven (13:33)
7. The Hidden Treasure (13:44)
8. The Costly Pearl (13:45-46)
9. The Dragnet (13:47-50)
10. The Householder (13:52)

The Tares - Satan's counterfeit.

Matthew 13:24-30

You can’t tell the difference between tares and wheat until the very end when it is time to harvest the wheat. I think the significance of this is that we can’t tell who is and is not saved. Why? Because we do not know the heart. Only God knows the heart. And only He can separate the wheat from the tares - the saved from the unsaved.

We shouldn’t even try to determine who was and wasn’t saved among the soils. Only God knows.

If the parables are about the kingdom, then how does this one relate?

Jesus is teaching that the present form of the Kingdom will be one in which those of genuine faith and counterfeit faith will co-exist in the world until a future harvest (13:24-30).

When asked if he wanted his workers to gather up the tares, the farmer insisted on allowing them to grow together, for the sake of the wheat, until the final harvest when they will be separated unto different destinies (13:28-30).

What does that say to you and me? What about that never ending Lordship Salvation / Free Grace debate that has raged for centuries and been made more popular by John MacArthur?

No comments: