Matthew 13丨C. H. Spurgeon

Matthew 13:1-2. 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.

I think I can see the little ship at a convenient distance from the shore so as to keep off the multitudes of people, in order that the Saviour might speak the more freely, there he sits with a boat for a pulpit. There were no conventionalities about the Lord Jesus when he was upon the earth, he was willing to speak to the people anywhere from any pulpit whatsoever

Matthew 13:3. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

It was probably at that season of the year when the sowers were going forth to sow their seed, so Jesus pointed to them as to a living text. He was always wide-awake to make use of everything that occurred round about him. “A sower went forth to sow.” For what else should he go forth? Yet some sowers that I know of do not go forth to sow, but to exhibit themselves, and to show how well they can do their work. This man aimed at sowing and nothing else. Oh, that all preachers did the same!

Matthew 13:4. And when he sowed, some seeds feel by the way side,

He could not help that; he was not sent to pick the soil, that would be too much responsibility for him. If we had to preach only to certain characters, we should be taking up all our time in picking out those characters, and probably we should make many mistakes while trying to do it. Our business is to scatter the good seed broadcast. We are not to dibble in the Word, we are to throw it as far as we can, and to let it fall wherever God pleases. “Some seeds fell by the way side,” — on ground trodden hard by the passers-by.

Matthew 13:4. And the fowls came and devoured them up:

Those fowls are always ready to devour the good seed. Wherever there is a congregation met to hear the Word, there are always plenty of devils ready to do their evil work. “The fowls came,” they had not far to fly. The birds know a sower by the very look of him, so they hurry up, and come wherever the seed may be cast that they may devour it. O Lord, keep the fowls away; or, better still, break up the soil so that the seed may enter, and not lie upon the surface!

Matthew 13:5. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth:

There was a pan of unbroken limestone an inch or two below the soil, but there was no depth of earth where the seeds could grow.

Matthew 13:5. And forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

They seemed to be converts, but they proved to be worthless. They were enthusiastic, carried away with excitement, but all was soon over with them “because they had no deepness of earth.” Everything was superficial, there was no depth of character, or feeling, or emotion.

Matthew 13:6. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away

They seemed to be alive at the top, but they were really dead below. How many there are of that sort still; they make a bold profession, but it is only for a while, and then they wither away.

Matthew 13:7-8. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: but other fell into good ground, —

Thank God, we do not lose all our efforts. If one in four succeeds, it is great deal for which we ought to praise the Lord. So, brother, sister, —

“Sow in the morn thy seed,

At eve hold not thine hand;

To doubt and fear give thou no heed,

Broadcast it o’er the land.”

Matthew 13:8. And brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

There are degrees even in fruitfulness; Christians are not all alike. Oh, that we had a hundredfold return for our sowing everywhere! We do not get it, and can scarcely expect it; let us thank God if are have “some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.”

Matthew 13:9-12. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. And the disciple came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

It is so even in common things, the man of intelligence, who has a good groundwork of education, picks up something everywhere, but the ignorant man learns nothing anywhere. He only finds out more and more of his own ignorance till there is taken away from him even that which he had.

Oh, that the Lord would give us a good groundwork of saving knowledge, so that we might go on learning more and more under the Holy Spirit’s teaching!

Matthew 13:13-16. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

It is an awful thing when God gives men up to spiritual blindness, and dullness, and hardness, but it does happen. If you hear the Word, and refuse to receive it, you do to that extent harden your heart; and if you continue to do so, you will by degrees lose the capacity for understanding the Word. Take heed what you hear. O my dear hearers, I am afraid that many of you are not aware of the solemn responsibility of hearing the gospel, and of the terrible peril of having your ears made dull and your heart made hard! I am responsible for preaching to you faithfully, but you are equally responsible for hearing what is preached. Let us not waste any opportunity that we have of hearing the Word, but use it wisely and well that we may be able to give a good account of it before God in our fruitfulness. Now, if the Saviour’s main design, in the use of parables, had been that men should not understand him, he could have answered that end better by not speaking at all. But see how mercy blends with justice, and gives them another opportunity of hearing the Word. They might have come to Jesus even as his disciples did, and asked him questions, and he would have explained the truth to them. If any of you today hear anything which you do not understand, go to the Lord about it in private prayer, and he will explain it to you. I tremble lest any of you should hear the Word and not receive it, and yet be contented. That is the worst state of all for anyone to be in may God save you from it! But as for you who know the lord, “blessed are your eyes, for they see.” Those are blessed eyes that can really see, eyes that cannot see are a trial, but “blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” It is nothing but the grace of God that can make our ears spiritually hear. He that made the ear can alone make an open passage from the ear to the heart. If you have received this blessing, be very grateful for it, and bless the God of grace for giving it to you.

Matthew 13:17. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

To you Christian people, there is given a very full revelation of the truth of God. You live in the mid-day glory of the gospel, but the “prophets and righteous men” of old lived in the morning twilight. Be the more grateful, and bless the Lord with all your hearts

Matthew 13:18-19. Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

There are many such hearers, thy just hear the Word, and that is all. They are very like the countryman, who said that he liked Sunday for it was such an easy day, he had nothing to do but go to church, put up his legs, and think of nothing. There are far too many hearers of that sort who think of nothing, and therefore they get no good out of what they hear.

Matthew 13:20-21. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it, yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

He soon ceases even to profess to be a Christian, he jumped into religion, and he jumps out again. Revival always produce a large quantity of such people, and yet, if there is one soul truly saved, the revival is a success so far as that one is concerned.

Matthew 13:22-23. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word, and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; —

Knows what it means, thinks it over, takes it in as the good ground takes in the seed, and keeps it; —

Matthew 13:23. Which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

I say again, — Oh, that we had a hundredfold return for our sowing! Yet let us not forget to give God thanks if we have sixtyfold or even thirtyfold.


Verses 3-23
Matthew 13:3. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

He had much instruction to give, and he chose to convey it in parables. What wonderful pictures they were! What a world of meaning they have for us, as well as for those who heard them! This parable of the sower is a mine of teaching concerning the kingdom; for the seed was “the word of the kingdom.” (See verse 19.) “Behold”: every word is worthy of attention. May be, the preacher pointed to a farmer on the shore, who was beginning to sow one of the terraces. “A sower”, read “The Sower.” Jesus, our Lord, has taken up this business of the Sower at his Father’s bidding. The sower “went forth.” See him leaving the Father’s house, with this one design upon his heart — “to sow.”

Matthew 13:4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

When HE sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside: even when the Chief Sower is at work, some seed fails. We know he sows the best of seed, and in the best manner; but some of it falls on the trodden path, and so lies uncovered and unaccepted of the soil. That soil was hard, and beaten down with traffic. There, too, on the wayside, we meet with dust to blind, settlements of mud to foul, and birds to pilfer: it is not a good place for good seed. No wonder, as the seeds lay all exposed, that the fowls came and devoured them up. If truth does not enter the heart, evil influences soon remove it.

Matthew 13:5-6. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

Among the rocks, or on the shallow soil, with the unbroken rock-pan underneath, the seed fell; for if the sower had altogether avoided such places he might have missed some of the good ground. In these stony places the seed speedily sprang up, because the rock gave it all the heat that fell on it, and so hastened its germination. But, soon up, soon down. When the time came for the sun to put forth his force, the rootless plants instantly pined and died. They had no deepness of earth, and “no root”; what could they do but wither quite away? Everything was hurried with them; the seeds had no time to root themselves, and so in hot haste the speedy growth met with speedy death. No trace remained.

Matthew 13:7. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

The ground was originally a thorn-brake, and had been cleared by the thorns being cut down; but speedily the old roots sent out new shoots, and other weeds came up with them; and the tangled beds of thistles, thorns, nettles, and what not, strangled the feeble up-shootings of the wheat. The native plants choked the poor stranger. They would not permit the intrusive corn to share the field with them: evil claims a monopoly of our nature. Thus we have seen three sets of seed come to an untimely end.

Matthew 13:8. But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold.

This would repay all losses, especially at the highest rate of increase here quoted. To the bird, the weather, and the weeds, three sets of seeds have gone; yet, happily, one remains to increase and fill the barn. The sowing of good seed can never be a total failure: “other fell into good ground.” The harvest was not equally great on every spot of fertile soil: it varied from an hundredfold to thirtyfold. All good ground is not alike good; and, besides, the situation may differ. Harvests are not all alike in the same farm, in the same season, and under the same farmer; and yet each field may yield a fairly good harvest. Lord, if I cannot reach to a hundredfold, let me at least prove to be good ground by bearing thirtyfold.

Matthew 13:18. Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

Because you see behind the curtain, and have grace given to discern the inner meaning through the outer metaphor, come and hear the explanation of the parable of the sower.

Matthew 13:19. When anyone heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

The gospel is “the word of the kingdom”: it has royal authority in it; it proclaims and reveals King Jesus, and it leads men to obedience to his way. To hear but not to understand, is to leave the good seed on the outside of your nature, and not to take it into yourself. Nothing can come of such hearing to anyone. Satan is always on the watch to hinder the Word: “Then cometh the wicked one”, even at the moment when the seed fell. He is always afraid to leave the truth even in hard and dry contact with a mind, and so he catcheth it away at once, and it is forgotten, or even disbelieved. It is gone, at any rate; and we have not in our hearer’s mind a corn-field, but a highway, hard, and much frequented. The man was not an opposer, he “received seed”; but he received the truth as he was, without the soil of his nature being changed; and the seed remained as it was, till the foul bird of hell took it off the place, and there was an end of it. So far as the truth was sown in his heart, it was in his natural, unrenewed heart, and therefore it took no living hold. How many such hearers we have! To these we preach in vain; for what they learn they unlearn, and what they receive they reject almost as soon as it comes to them. Lord, suffer none of us to be impervious to thy royal word; but whenever the smallest seed of truth falls on us, may we open our soul to it!

Matthew 13:20-21. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for awhile: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Here the seed was the same and the sower the same, but the result somewhat different. In this case there was earth enough to cover the seed, and heat enough to make it grow quickly. The convert was attentive, and easily persuaded; he seemed glad to accept the gospel at once, he was even eager and enthusiastic, joyful and demonstrative. He heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it. Surely this looked very promising! But the soft was essentially evil, hard, barren, superficial. The man had no living entrance into the mystery of the gospel, no root in himself, no principle, no hold of the truth with a renewed heart; and so he flourished hurriedly and showily for a season, and only for a season. It is tersely put, “He dureth for a while.” That “while” may be longer or shorter according to circumstances. When matters grow hot with Christians, either through affliction from the Lord, or persecution from the world, the temporary believer is so sapless, so rootless, so deficient in moisture of grace, that he dries up, and his profession withers. Thus, again, the sower’s hopes are disappointed, and his labour is lost. Till stony hearts are changed it must always be so. We meet with many who are soon hot and as soon cold. They receive the gospel “anon,” and leave it “by-and-by” Everything is on the surface, and therefore is hasty and unreal. May we all have broken hearts and prepared minds, that when truth comes to us it may take root in us and abide.

Matthew 13:22. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

This class of hearers we know by personal acquaintance in this busy age. They hear the word, they are affected by the gospel, they take it as seed into their minds, and it grows well for a season; but the heart cannot belong to two absorbing objects at the same time, and therefore these men cannot long yield themselves up to the world and Christ too. Care to get money, covetousness, trickery, and sins which come from hasting to be rich, or else pride, luxury, oppression, and other sins which come of having obtained wealth, prevent the man from being useful in religious matters, or even sincere to himself: “He becometh unfruitful.” He keeps his profession; he occupies his place; but his religion does not grow; in fact, it shows sad signs of being choked and checked by worldliness. The leaf of outward religiousness is there, but there is no dew on it; the ear of promised fruit is there, but there are no kernels in it. The weeds have outgrown the wheat, and smothered it. We cannot grow thorn and corn at the same time: the attempt is fatal to a harvest for Jesus. See how wealth is here associated with care, deceitfulness, and unfruitfulness. It is a thing to be handled with care. Why are men so eager to make their thorn-brake more dense with briars? Would not a good husbandman root out the thorns and brambles? Should we not, as much as possible, keep free from the care to get, to preserve, to increase, and to hoard worldly riches? Our heavenly Father will see that we have enough; why do we fret about earthly things? We cannot give our minds to these things and to the kingdom also.

Matthew 13:23. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Here is the story of the Word’s success. This fourth piece of land will repay all charges. Of course, no one parable teaches all truth, and therefore we have no mention here of the plowing which always precedes a fruitful harvest. No heart of man is good by nature: the good Lord had made this plot into “good ground.” In this case, both thought and heart are engaged about the heavenly message, and the man “heareth the word, and understandeth it.” By being understood lovingly, the truth gets into the man, and then it roots, it grows, it fruits, it rewards the sower. We must aim at the inward apprehension and comprehension of the Word of God; for only in this way can we be made fruitful by it. Be it ours to aim to be amongst those who would bear fruit an hundredfold! Ah, we would give our Lord ten thousandfold if we could. For every sermon we hear we should endeavor to do a hundred gracious, charitable, or self-denying acts. Our divine Sower, with such heavenly seed, deserves to be rewarded with a glorious harvest.

This exposition consisted of readings from Matthew 9:35-38Matthew 10:1Matthew 13:3-8; Matthew , 18-23.


Verses 10-17
Matthew 13:10-12. And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in, parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

You can understand this truth if you go into certain museums. I will suppose that you know nothing whatever of comparative anatomy, and you go into the museum of comparative anatomy at Paris. If you understand a little of the science, you will learn a great deal more: “for whosoever hath, to him shall be given.” If you do not know anything about the subject, you will say, “Well, this is the most uninteresting exhibition I ever saw,” and you will come out with the feeling that you do not know anything. What you did know will have vanished in the sight of all that mass of bones arranged in those extraordinary shapes. You will only feel your own lack of knowledge in that department; you will show your ignorance, and nothing else. So it is in the things of God. If you understand the fundamental principles of true godliness, you will soon understand more; but if you do not comprehend as much as that, even the reading of the Scriptures will be but slightly instructive to you.

Matthew 13:13-15. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; Lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Now the Saviour turned to his disciples, and spoke specially to them.

Matthew 13:16. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

It is no use having eyes that do not see, or ears that do not hear; and yet I fear that there are many eyes of that kind, and many ears of that sort, in this congregation tonight.

Matthew 13:17. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Now let us read one other passage, to show how the Lord heals the blind, and makes them see.

This exposition consisted of readings from Isaiah 6; Matthew 13:10-17; and Luke 18:35-43.


Verses 24-50
Matthew 13:24. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

He knew that it was good. It had been tested: it was unmixed: it was good throughout.

Matthew 13:25. But while men slept his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

It was a very malicious action. The thing has been done many times. Bastard wheat was sown in among the true wheat, so as to injure the crop.

Matthew 13:26-27. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

We often have to ask that question. How comes this about? It was a true gospel that was preached, from whence then come these hypocrites —these that are like the wheat, but are not wheat? For it is not the tare that we call a tare in England that is meant here, but a false wheat — very like to wheat, but not wheat.

Matthew 13:28. He said unto them, An enemy hath done this.

The enemy could not do a worse thing than to adulterate the Church of God. Pretenders outside do little hurt. Inside the fold they do much mischief.

Matthew 13:28-30. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

The separation will be more in season, move easily and more accurately done when both shall have been fully developed — when the wheat shall have come to its fullness, and the counterfeit wheat shall have ripened.

Matthew 13:31-32. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds:

Commonly known in that country.

Matthew 13:32-35. But when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

How thoroughly impregnated our Lord was with the very spirit of Scripture. And he ever acted as if the Scriptures were uppermost in his mind. They seemed to be ever in their fullness before his soul.

Matthew 13:36. Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him,

Those house-talks, those explanations of the great public sermons and parables — were sweet privileges which he reserved for those who had given their utter confidence to him.

Matthew 13:36-44. Saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them unto a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found,

Stumbling upon it, perhaps, when he was at the plough — turning up the old crop in which it was concealed.

Matthew 13:44. He hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

Some persons do stumble upon the gospel when they are not looking for it. “I am found of them that sought me not” is a grand free grace text. Some of those who have been most earnest in the kingdom of heaven were at one time most indifferent and careless, but God in infinite sovereignty put the treasure in their way — gave them the heart to value it, and they obtained it to their own joy.

Matthew 13:45. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

He does not stumble at it: he is seeking pearls.

Matthew 13:46-47. Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:

Bad fish and good fish, end creeping things and broken shells, and bite of seaweed, and pieces of old wreck. Did you ever see such an odd assortment as they get upon the deck of a fishing vessel when they empty out the contents of a drag net? Such is the effect of the ministry. It drags together all sorts of people. It is quite as well that we have not eyes enough to see one another’s hearts tonight, or else I dare say we should make about as queer a medley as I have already attempted to describe as being in the fisherman’s vessel.

Matthew 13:48. Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

All a mixture. We cannot sort one from the other now, but when the net comes to shore then will be the picking over the heap. No mistakes will be made. The good will go into vessels, and the bad, and none but the bad, will be cast away.

Matthew 13:49-50. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Not fire, then, which annihilates, but fire which leaves in pain and causes weeping and gnashing of teeth.


Verses 24-58

Matthew 13:24. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

Jesus never sowed any other kind of seed. The truth which he taught is pure and unadulterated. It is good seed, — good and only good, the very best of seed.

Matthew 13:25. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

Wherever Christ is active the enemy is sure to be active too. If you have a sleeping church, you may have a sleeping devil; but as soon as ever Christ is in the congregation sowing the good seed, the devil wakes up, and by night, when men are off their guard, the bad seed — the mock wheat —here translated “tares” — is sown among the true wheat.

Matthew 13:26. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

The false wheat came up with the true. Perhaps the seed in the one case may have looked like the other even as there is “another gospel which is not another” with which come still trouble us. The only true test is, “By their fruits ye shall know them;” so, when the seeds had sprung up, there was the blade of true wheat, and “then appeared the tares also.”

Matthew 13:27. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

How often we have asked that question! We have seen children trained by the most godly parents, yet they have developed a sad propensity to sin, and we have said, “From whence then have these tares come?” We have seen a ministry which has been sound and faithful, and yet in the congregation there have sprung up divers errors which have done a world of mischief, and we have had sorrowfully to ask, “From whence then have these tares come?”

Matthew 13:28-29. He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

We are so fallible, we make so many mistakes, that we cannot be trusted to do this uprooting, for we might pull up wheat as well as tares. If there had been briars or thorns growing in that field, those servants might have pulled them up without damage to the corn, just as an open evil liver, who breaks the laws of God openly, may be cut off from the church without damage; but these tares must be left for the present.

Matthew 13:30. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

There will be an end of this mixture in due time; the hypocrite shall not always stand in the congregation of the righteous; the wheat and the tares shall be separated “in the time of harvest.”

Matthew 13:31-32. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

The kingdom of heaven is just like that in this world; wherever it comes, it comes to grow. And it is just like that in our hearts. Oh, how small is the first sign of grace in the soul! Perhaps it is only a single thought. The life divine may begin with but a wish, or with one painful conviction of error;

but if it be the true and living seed of God, it will grow. And there is no telling how great will be its growth till, in that soul where all was darkness, many graces, like sweet song-birds, shall come and sing, and make joy and gladness there. Oh, that you and I might experimentally know the meaning of the parable of the mustard seed !

Matthew 13:33. Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

And although leaven is usually the symbol of evil, yet it may be here a fair representation of the kingdom of heaven itself, for it operates mysteriously and secretly, yet powerfully, till it permeates the whole of man’s nature; and the gospel will keep on winning its way till the whole world shall yet be leavened by it.

“More and more it spreads and grows,

Ever mighty to prevail.”

Matthew 13:34-36. All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

I again remind you that, wherever there is anything that you do not understand, the best way is to consult the Master concerning it. If I read a book in which there is an obscure passage, and I can write to the author, and ask him what he means by it, I shall most probably get to understand it. So, the best Expositor of the Word of God is the Spirit of God; therefore appeal to him whenever you are puzzled with anything that is taught in the Scriptures, and say to him, “Blessed Spirit, wilt thou graciously expound to me this parable, this doctrine, this experience ?” and he will do it, and so you shall become wise unto salvation.

Matthew 13:37-43. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

May God give us such ears as can hear his voice, and may we take to heart the solemn teachings of our Lord !

Matthew 13:44-46. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

It would be a good bargain for anyone to part with all he has in exchange for the kingdom of heaven, yet that great “treasure” is to be had for nothing by everyone who trusts the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 13:47-50. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

We are to cast the great seine-net of the gospel into the sea of humanity, but we must not expect that all we catch will prove to be good. There is time of separation coming when “the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just.”

Matthew 13:51. Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things?

This is a question which constantly needs to be put to all hearers and readers of the Word. “Have ye understood all these things?” To be hearers only, or readers only, will avail nothing; the Word must be understood, accepted, assimilated, and so shall it make us wise unto salvation.

Matthew 13:51. They say unto him, Yea, Lord.

They answered very glibly, yet probably not one of them fully understood the seven parables in this chapter. If anyone did so, he would be like the instructed scribe described in the next verse: —

Matthew 13:52. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

He who has learned anything concerning the kingdom of heaven should teach it to others, bringing forth the truth in pleasing variety, “new and old,” to edify all his hearers.

Matthew 13:53-54. And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence. And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue,insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?

They were highly privileged in having Jesus back in their midst, yet they failed to appreciate his teaching; they were astonished at his wisdom, but were unable to perceive the divine source from which it sprang.

Matthew 13:55-58. Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? and his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

This was a notable illustration of John’s words concerning Christ, “He came unto his own, but his own received him not.” Let us beware of unbelief lest it should tie the hands of Christ as it did there in his own country.

發表迴響

在下方填入你的資料或按右方圖示以社群網站登入:

WordPress.com 標誌

您的留言將使用 WordPress.com 帳號。 登出 /  變更 )

Google photo

您的留言將使用 Google 帳號。 登出 /  變更 )

Twitter picture

您的留言將使用 Twitter 帳號。 登出 /  變更 )

Facebook照片

您的留言將使用 Facebook 帳號。 登出 /  變更 )

連結到 %s