Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.
Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.
These teaching notes are from a series of studies about the Gospel of Matthew.
[These notes are from a study prepared 45 years ago.]
Outline of Matthew 13
I. Jesus proclaims a parable to the multitudes. 1-9
II. Jesus explains the parable to His disciples. 10-23
A. Christ explains why He taught in parables. 10-15
B. Christ lauds the disciples for their belief. 16-17
C. Christ explains the parable of the sower. 18-23
III. Jesus gives the multitudes other parables. 24-35
A. Christ proclaims the parable of the tares among the wheat. 24-30
B. Christ proclaims the parable of the mustard seed. 31-32
C. Christ proclaims the parable of the leaven. 33-35
IV. Jesus explains the parable of the tares and wheat. 36-43
V. Jesus gives out four more parables 44-52
A. Christ proclaims the parable of the hidden treasure. 44
B. Christ proclaims the parable of the pearl of great price. 45-46
C. Christ proclaims the parable of the dragnet. 47-51
D. Christ proclaims the parable of the householder. 52
VI. Jesus visits Nazareth for the last time. 53-58
Objective Summary of Commentary Material on Matthew 13
Chapter 13 is a series of Parables on the Kingdom. The first parable on the seed and the sower is explained by Christ for the disciples’ understanding. The parable shows that Christ sows the seed of the Word in the field (the world). 3-23
The second parable shows Satans deception during the church age. He is busy at his best work, counterfeiting with false professors. 24-30 & 36-43
The parable of the mustard seed symbolizes the rapid growth of the Kingdom. 31-32
The parable of hidden leaven warns of the permeation of the truth with false teaching. The fifth parable portrays Christ who gave His all to win Israel, the treasure. 35
The treasure will be reinstated. 44
The sixth parable portrays Christ as a merchant who found a pearl of great price (the Church) and sold all (at Calvary) to buy it. 45-46
The seventh parable represents the net gathering good and bad to be separated at the end of this age. 47-52
Unger’s Bible Handbook, p 478-479
Chapter 13 begins on the basis that Is4a3l has rejected her King and the King has rejected Israel. Thus Christ for the first time teaches in parables. What would happen in the world during Christ’s absence is described in Matthew 13. It deals with the period beginning with the sowing of the Word and ending with the cleansing of the Kingdom at Christ’s second coming.
The parable of the sower describes the varied and imperfect germination and development of the seed of the Gospel. One of the seeds is snatched away by Satan, another cannot take root in the strong ground of the flesh, and one is choked partially by the thorns of the world. Only one seed finds root and that is in good ground and it will bring forth some amount of fruit. 3-23
Satan will try to hinder the good harvest by sowing the fields with tares, his children. They will counterfeit the actions of Christ’s children. The tares will be numerous and will continue to grow until the end of this age. 24-30 & 37-43
Christendom will grow into a tree from a seed that should have only been an herb. This is unnatural growth and pictures organized religion that puts its roots deeper into the world. The birds of the air (Satan’s agents) defile the tree of Christendom with their wicked presence. 31-32
The effort of the enemy to destroy the Church is further described by the parable of the woman who hides a small portion of leaven in three measures of meal. Soon the whole is leavened. So, the false doctrine of organized religion is spoiling the Church. 33
The treasure of verse 44 refers to the people of Israel. The buyer is Jesus Christ. He bought the world (the field) at Calvary upon the cross. This parable describes God’s dealing with Israel in setting it aside for a time.
The next parable shows God’s dealings with His Church. Christ is the merchantman seeking fine pearls. He regarded one pearl (the Church) as being of great price. He sold all that He had (His glory and His life) and purchased the pearl. 45-46
Verses 47-50 contain a parable of judgment. Recorded here is the judgment of the Gentile nations. At the end of the age, the gentiles will be judged by Christ for their reception or rejection of the Gospel message. This will occur at the start of Christ’s earthly reign.
Paul Van Gordon’s, Parables That Make A Difference, pp. 1-31
Personal Interpretation of Matthew 12
Jesus Christ came to saves His people from their sins, but His people rejected Him. Christ turned to the few who would hear His good news and believe it. Christ began teaching in parables knowing that only those truly interested people would follow it up for understanding. 10-17
The first parable concerns the sowing of the Gospel to any and all who would listen. Some who h hard could not or would not understand and Satan was there to snatch the message away. Others who heard the message received it until the truth of the Gospel demanded holy living out of a hardened flesh. They would not change and therefore are not saved. Others listened to the message, but could not unravel themselves from worldly careened therefore were never saved. The fourth seed found root in a hungry heart desiring Christ to save and rule in his life. This man was saved and began to bear spiritual fruit. 3-9 & 18-23
Though Christ defeated Satan on the cross and from the grave, the devil is not finished yet. Satan is busy counterfeiting everything that God does.
The false professors live and work side by side with the true professors and only at the final harvesting will they be separated; the lost to hell and the saved to Heaven. 24-30
The mustard seed is the least of all seeds and grows into a small plant. But here it grows to be large as a tree. Christ sowed the Gospel in the world and it took root. However, the growth was unusual and it pictures Satan’s influence (birds of the air) in the affairs of the Church. Satan fees very comfortable in most areas of the professing Church. 31-32
False teaching was a minority of the early Church, but it grew and grew and has spoiled the professing Church. 33
Christ sends the crowds away and goes into a house where the disciples began asking Him questions. Christ explains to them the meaning of the parable of wheat and tares. 34-43
Following this, Christ gave the disciples three parables dealing with the three different spiritual groups: Jews, the Church, and the Gentiles. Verse 44 concerns the nation of Israel. Israel was a people hidden among the peoples of the world as a great treasure unto the world. Israel rejected Christ and did not receive their national salvation, but are hid by Christ until His purposes in this age were completed. Christ gave His life to purchase the world’s lost. 44
The next parable concerns Christ who gave up His glory and position in Heaven, came to earth in flesh, and laid down His life to purchase His Bride, the Church. 45-46
The third parable in this series concerns the judgment of the Gentile nations. At the consummation of this age, the angels shall sever or separate the wicked nations from the good. The wicked will be cast into hell while the good nations and individual Gentiles will enter into the Millennial Kingdom. 47-50
The disciples understood these parables and Christ likened them to efficient heads of a household who could bring good things old and new out of His treasure. This was probably speaking of their spiritual ability to understand Old Testament prophecies in light of the New Testament fulfillment. 51-52
Christ returned to Nazareth, but found only unbelief awaiting Him. He did no miracles there and never returned. 53-58
We will look at the outline for Matthew Chapter 16 in the next part of our special series.
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from 45 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your ministry.]