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lesson 11




Mt 13:24-30, 36-43, 47-50, 25:31-46



I. Background to the Parables


        1. Context

a.        Jesus was discussing false expectations about the Messiah and his kingdom with true listeners

and Pharisees,  12:15-24, 38.

b.       Jesus taught in parables in order to separate the good-hearted listeners from the bad-hearted

Pharisees - a separation of understanding, Mt 13:11-17.

c.        Jesus willingly gave interpretation of the parables to the disciples because they were truly seeking to

understand, 13:10, 18, 36-37.

d.       Again, Jesus spoke at length about genuineness, righteousness, and judgment after debating with the

Sadducees and Pharisees concerning various points, :15, 23, 34, 23:1.


        2. Definitions/Cultural Insights

a.        In the Parable of the Weeds, 13:24-30, Jesus described the kingdom of God as a field.  The weeds were literally

Palestinian darnel which closely resembles wheat in its early stages, but is easily distinguished when grain sprouts. 

Darnel cannot be uprooted until harvest for fear of damaging the wheat crop, 13:28, 29.

b.       In the Parable of the Net, 13:47-50, Jesus described the kingdom of God as a fisherman’s net.  The bad fish were

not rotten, but unclean for Jewish consumption,  Lev 11:9-12.

c.        In the Parable of the Sheep/Goats, 25:31-46, Jesus described the judgment of the world. Goats and sheep graze

together and sometimes are indistinguishable, but goats must be separated for sleeping in a different place.



II. Understanding the Parables


        1.  The Parable of the Weeds, Mt 13:24-30, 36-43.

a.        The Sower (Jesus) planted the seed (disciples of the gospel).  The Enemy (Satan) planted evil seed (men

of materialism, idolatry, etc.). The two seeds produced fruit (followers), in the field (the world), 13:24-25, 37-39.

b.       When the grain began to sprout, it became obvious that weeds were among the wheat because they did not

sprout with grain.  At this time, it was impossible to separate the weeds from the wheat, 13:26-29.

c.        The Sower let both weeds and wheat grow together until the harvest, the end of the world.  At that time, the

weeds would be burned and the wheat would be gathered into the barn, 13:30, 39-43.


        2. The Parable of the Net, Mt 13:47-50

a.        Fishermen cast a net (the kingdom of heaven) into the lake (world) and caught many kinds of fish (people). 

The full net was brought to the shore, 13:47-48.

b.       They separated the edible good fish (disciples of the gospel) from the unclean bad fish (disciples of the world). 

The good were kept and the bad were thrown away.

        3. The Parable of the Sheep/Goats, Mt 25:31-46.

a.        Judgment is portrayed as the nations gathered before the throne of the King.  At this time, the Son of Man will

separate the sheep (disciples of Christ) from the goats (disciples of the world),  25:31-32.

b.       The sheep will be placed on the Lord’s right side (a place of favor) and the goats will be put on his left side

(a place of condemnation), 25:33.

c.        Judgment is based upon the way that each has treated his fellow man.  A blessed inheritance will be given to

those who have fed the hungry, provided for the thirsty, given hospitality to the stranger, clothed the needy,

cared for the needy, and visited the imprisoned, 25:34-40.

d.       In the same manner, a cursed condemnation will be given to those who did not treat even the least of their fellow

man in this Christ-like fashion, 25:41-45.

e.        Eternal reward (life) will be given to the righteous and eternal condemnation (punishment) will be given to the

ungodly, 25:46.



III. Consideration and Application of the Parables


1. God Will Separate… eternally

                All three parables under consideration make this point very clear.  We will not remain eternally together.  Therefore,

we must choose the side we want to be on, the side of good/God or the side of evil/Satan.  Which side will you choose,

and when will you choose, Josh 24:14-15? 


2. Beware…!

                Be aware that the weeds (the ungodly) are mixed with the wheat until judgment.  The insincere and hypocritical people

may appear as godly people for a while, and we may not know who has truly chosen to serve the Lord until that last day. 

Beware 2 Cor 11:13-15!


3. Be Careful…

                Don’t be hasty to make a judgment about the genuineness of another’s character.  Are you truly capable of telling a weed

from the wheat at every stage of growth?  You may be uprooting someone’s faith, 1 Ths 5:14.  Remember, the Lord sees

the heart, 1 Sam 17:6.  In church discipline, do we remove or do we turn away from, Mt 18; Rom 16; Titus 3…?  What might

be the difference between remove and turn away from?


4. Satan Works…

                Be not forgetful that Satan is constantly at work. He is planting the weeds as we sleep.  He is the great deceiver and he will

try to devour us if we are not putting our faith in Christ,  Rev 12:9;  1 Pet5:8-9.


5. Be A Sheep…

                That is, be a person who treats other people like Christ would treat them.  Be generous, caring, hospitable, and open-hearted

to all, especially to those who may be considered the least of the human race - the poor, sick, strangers, and prisoners,

25:35-40; Js 2:14-17; Gal 6:10.



IV. Memory Verses - Mt 25:31-32

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