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Bible Commentaries

Wells of Living Water Commentary
Matthew 13

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-8

The Parables of Matthew Thirteen

Matthew 13:1-8 , Matthew 13:18-23

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

We have decided to present to you one phase of the parable of the sower, the seed that fell by the wayside,

1. The wayside stands for those whose hearts are hardened by sin. In every field there are places which become paths or roads which have been trodden down and made hard. These places, of course, are impervious, and the seed thrown upon them never really enters into the ground. Alas, alas, that there are so many hearts today which seem to be described by "the way side"!

Will you join me in seeking to discover how hearts that were so tender in childhood, may become so hardened against the Word of God?

(1) We believe that a continual rejection of the truth steels the heart against the truth. Every time a sermon is heard and refused the heart is calloused. God's Word cuts not only to life, but also to death. When the heart opens to the truth, it vivifies, and strengthens, and illumines the heart. When the heart is closed to it, it seems to stiffen, and stifle, and shut up the heart.

(2) Continuing in sin hardens the heart. The conscience that is not followed and obeyed, becomes a conscience that is seared. Herod once heard John gladly, and he did many things. In those days Herod must have been very near to salvation. Herod, however, refused John's call and chose to continue in sin. The result was that Herod could, without flinching, order the death of John the Baptist and have his head brought before him in a charger.

2. The birds stand for the children of the wicked one, who come and pick up the seed which falls by the wayside. It is not difficult for these birds to enrich themselves by hardened hearts. No scratching is necessary; no turning over of the soil, for the seed lies exposed on the hard surface of the wayside.

The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 13:19 , "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."

Satan and his emissaries are adepts in catching up the seed. No one ever passes from death unto life without Satan's most strenuous opposition. There are a thousand things all around us to keep men from being saved. When, however, the Holy Spirit docs get a chance to enter a heart, Satan is there to hinder. In Second Corinthians we read: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

I. THE SEED AND THE STONY PLACES (Matthew 13:5-6 ; Matthew 13:20-21 )

1. The stony places. These places are those where there is not much earth. To be sure, the stones have been there for a long while, and there is some soil which covers them, but there is not much soil.

These places represent hearts which have no root in themselves. There is an outward appearance of the reception of the Word. There seems, at first, to be no resistance to the truth. In fact, this heart receiveth it with joy. The friends go away from the meeting where the seed was sown very happy over the fact that so-and-so confessed the Lord. However, though there is for a while a seeming obedience to Christ, and a seeming love and trust, yet that obedience, that love, soon disappears because there is no depth of soil.

2. The sun soon arises and the growth is burned and scorched and withered away. There may have been a rather exuberant upward shoot of the plants, because there could be but little downward grip by the roots.

The roots could not take hold upon this heart because the heart was not deeply plowed. There was no depth of conviction. We have always said that people soon fall away from a seeming salvation. The way to find out whether the salvation is real and genuine, is to wait until the sun arises. Then, if there is no real rootage of the Gospel, the outward profession will wither away.

3. What the sun typifies. When Christ, in Matthew 13:21 , explained this, He said: "When tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the Word, by and by he is offended." Just so. Some people will believe in Jesus, so far as we can tell, but it is not long until they fall by the way because they have no deep convictions of truth and no real depths of love, which will be able to withstand the hot suns of tribulation and of persecution. How it grieves the heart of the pastor when, by and by, he sees this one and that one offended and dropping out. God has said: "Ye did run well; who did hinder you?" However, these "for a season" Christians never survive the throes of persecution and temptation. They do not survive because their Christianity was not deep and genuine.

II. THE SEED WHICH FELL AMONG THORNS (Matthew 13:7 ; Matthew 13:22 )

1. Good soil stands for a heart that seems open to the Word of God, the Heavenly seed. However, if it is just as open to thorns and thistles, it is impossible for a real Christian life.

Should we not remember that Christ said that no man can serve two masters, for either he will hold to the one, and despise the other, or else he will love the one and hate the other, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." This ground that is described as filled with thorns is good soil, in a way. It is a soil where the seed would have grown, and would have borne fruit had it not been for the fact that it had also received the thorns.

2. The thorns stand for the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches. Luke's Gospel adds, the "pleasures of this life." There you are. Our churches today are more or less filled with those who received the truth, where the thorns are growing. They want to serve Christ. They want to know His Word, but they are so filled with the cares of this life, with their love of money, and with their desire for pleasure, that the Word of God, which they hear, is choked, and they become unfruitful.

III. THE GOOD-GROUND HEARER (Matthew 13:8 ; Matthew 13:23 )

1. Only one out of four who hear the Word is called the good-ground hearer; and, even among the good-ground hearers, we observe that some of them bear only thirtyfold, others sixty, and only some a hundred.

The good-ground hearer is described as the one who heareth the Word and understandeth it. He knows the truth and the truth makes him free. The expression "understandeth it," goes deep. It does not mean merely that he knows the truth concerning salvation, but he knows the truth of the resurrection, and of the Second Coming.

The seed which is sown is more than the blessed Calvary story. It includes the glorious resurrection story, and the wonderful Advent story. If you want to discover the meaning of the word "Gospel," you will find it in 1 Corinthians 15:1-58 : "The Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain."

We pause a moment. This verse is much in line with the four classes of seed in Matthew 13:1-58 ; at least it emphasizes that saving faith is a faith that not only receives the truth, but that stands in that truth and keeps in memory its message.

The Spirit next tells us, in 1 Corinthians 15:1-58 , what the Gospel is in these words: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures."

After this, the Spirit gives us the story not only of the resurrection of Christ, but of the resurrection of saints at His coming.

Thus, we have before us the seed, even the Gospel, which is sown in the good ground, and which is received into understanding hearts, and which beareth fruit.

IV. THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SEED AND THE TARES (Matthew 13:24-29 )

Our Lord now gives us a parable somewhat similar to that of the sower, yet distinct in this: that there are two kinds of seed being sown. The ground is the same, but the seeds are different.

1. The good seed. The good seed is beyond any doubt the Word of God, or, it may be, the Word of God in the hearts of His saints, There are indeed some who teach that the parable of the sower which we have just been discussing, as given by our Lord in Matthew, not so much discusses the effect of the seed on the soil, as the effect of the soil on the seed. In this I concur. The parable evidently does carry that truth.

Now, in this second parable, the good seed is the same as in the first parable.

2. The tares. The tares were sown by an enemy. They are altogether distinct from the good seed in their fruitage. However, they look very much the same in their early growth. The good seed are the children of the Kingdom. 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.

This parable presents a very solemn and yet a true picture of conditions during the whole age, which is now fast ripening into a disappointing harvest, in this the end of the age.

We must all grant that God has His ministers, and so also does Satan. God's ministers are sowing the good seed, God's Word, in the children of the Kingdom. The devil's ministers are sowing false doctrine in the children of the wicked one. Both of these have their testimony, and in very many things, to the natural eye, the seeds are similar.

We preach righteousness; and Satan's ministers preach righteousness. We have true godliness, and Satan's ministers have a form of godliness. It takes a spiritually instructed vision to discern between the false and the true.

The harvest is the thing that will tell the story. At the end of the age, the tares will be gathered and burned in the fire; but the children of the Kingdom will enter into eternal life.

V. THE PARABLE OF THE MUSTARD SEED (Matthew 13:31-32 )

1. We have now a peculiar and specified kind of seed. Thus far we have dealt with the good seed and the tares. Now the Lord is going to bring in the good seed under a specified description. The mustard seed is the least of all seeds.

We would not say that the story of Christ crucified, risen, and coming again, implanted in the hearts of human beings, is the least of all seeds from a Divine reckoning. However, from a human reckoning, it is even so.

Little did anyone ever dream in the days of Christ that the seed which He sowed, in the words He uttered, and the works He wrought, would ever have become so great in its power, and so wide in its sweep.

2. The greatest among herbs. Here is exactly what we just suggested the least of all seeds becomes so great that it overtowers all the other trees in the field. Thus has the Church grown, and thus has the truth spread.

Under the command of our Lord, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature," the testimony has gone on and on until it has girded the globe, while multitudes of worshipers gather from time to time to magnify the Lord.

3. The birds of the air. We now come to a sad phase of the march of the Gospel. In the parable of the tares of the field we saw the sowing of the enemy; and we also saw the true wheat and the tares growing together until the harvest, at the end of the age.

Now, in the great growth of the mustard seed, we find the birds of the air coming to lodge in its tree. If you will return to the parable of the seed that fell by the wayside, you will find that the fowls came and devoured them up. We take it that the birds in Matthew 13:4 , and in Matthew 13:32 ; that is, in both parables, are the same. They are the wicked one, and the children of the wicked one. Every one of us must admit that, in the Church of today, the glorious Church, the Church that overshadows the world with its power and its spread, the wicked one has come to dwelt in the vast numbers of his unregenerate church members.

VI. THE PARABLE OF THE LEAVEN (Matthew 13:33 )

1. The three measures of meal. The meal in this parable still carries the thought of the seed. This time, however, it is the seed ground up, and prepared for food.

Jesus Christ Himself is described in the Word as the Bread that came down from Heaven. It was He who said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The seed, ground up into meal, may, therefore, still be likened unto the Word of God, but unto the Word as our food.

It is written: "I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." We are commended in the Bible to the Word of God which is able to build us up. Thus, it is clearly established that the meal is the seed sent to the mill; it still represents the Word.

2. The leaven. The leaven in our parable stands for false doctrine. In the story of the mustard seed, and the herb wherein the birds of the air lodged, we saw how the wicked ones entered into the church. Now, we are seeing how their entrance has affected the church, which is the pillar and ground of the truth. They have brought into the meal a leaven which has leavened the whole lump. The word "leaven" always means false doctrine. It was of this that Christ spoke when He said: "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees," "of the leaven of Herod."

What is the revelation of present-day church life when it is set down by the side of this parable? It is simply this: false doctrine has permeated the whole church. The church is divided into various denominations which center around distinctive conceptions of truth, although there is but one truth. In each of these divisions, there are those who have entered in who have not the truth. It is even as the Holy Ghost wrote that the apostasy would come, and the apostasy has come.

You can believe anything you want to or believe nothing, and still be a welcomed member in most of the large denominations, and in many of the world's largest churches.

VII. THE PARABLE OF THE TREASURE AND OF THE PEARL (Matthew 13:44-46 )

1. The treasure hid in the field. To us this parable sets forth the story of the Children of Israel. They are God's treasure hid in the 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."

Israel is a people whose treasures and callings are all earthly. They are the people who will inherit the land. They are the people over whom Christ will reign on David's throne as the King of all kings, and the Lord of lords.

In order to obtain them Jesus Christ must redeem the earth from the hands of the enemy.

2. The pearl of great price. Here we have the merchant man who is Jesus Christ, and He is seeking goodly pearls. The goodly pearls are the saints, but the saints in one Body, the Church. Our Lord sells all that He has to buy that pearl, that Church. Have we not read that He loved the Church and gave Himself for it? Have we not read that Christ hath redeemed us; that is, bought us back, not with silver and gold, nor with corruptible things, but with the precious Blood of Jesus? Surely we are the pearl which He hath bought, and which He bought at the sacrifice of His Blood.

It is utter folly to say that Christ is the pearl in this parable, and that we sold all we had and bought Him. Such a statement spoils the Gospel of grace. Were all the realms of nature ours, all the silver, all the gold, we could not buy Him; neither could we buy redemption. Eternal life is the gift of God, and it is not for sale. He could, however, buy us, and according to Revelation 5:9 He did buy us: "For Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy Blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation."

AN ILLUSTRATION

D. L. Moody used to tell the story of a second century Christian martyr. He was brought before the king who demanded that he give up Christ and Christianity. But the man spurned the proposition. The king said:

"If you do not renounce Christ I will banish you."

The man smiled, and answered, "You can't banish me from Christ, for He says He will never leave me nor forsake me."

The king became angry and said, "Well, I will confiscate your property."

But the man replied, "My treasures are laid up on high; you cannot get them."

The king became still angrier, and said, "I will kill you."

"Why," said the man, "I have been dead forty years; I have been dead to the world, and my life is hid with Christ in God, and you cannot touch it."

Is the faith of the Christian Church today that strong? Is there that steadfastness in its life? Christ is coming. Will He find faith when He comes?


Verses 18-23

The Parables of Matthew Thirteen

Matthew 13:1-8 , Matthew 13:18-23

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

We have decided to present to you one phase of the parable of the sower, the seed that fell by the wayside,

1. The wayside stands for those whose hearts are hardened by sin. In every field there are places which become paths or roads which have been trodden down and made hard. These places, of course, are impervious, and the seed thrown upon them never really enters into the ground. Alas, alas, that there are so many hearts today which seem to be described by "the way side"!

Will you join me in seeking to discover how hearts that were so tender in childhood, may become so hardened against the Word of God?

(1) We believe that a continual rejection of the truth steels the heart against the truth. Every time a sermon is heard and refused the heart is calloused. God's Word cuts not only to life, but also to death. When the heart opens to the truth, it vivifies, and strengthens, and illumines the heart. When the heart is closed to it, it seems to stiffen, and stifle, and shut up the heart.

(2) Continuing in sin hardens the heart. The conscience that is not followed and obeyed, becomes a conscience that is seared. Herod once heard John gladly, and he did many things. In those days Herod must have been very near to salvation. Herod, however, refused John's call and chose to continue in sin. The result was that Herod could, without flinching, order the death of John the Baptist and have his head brought before him in a charger.

2. The birds stand for the children of the wicked one, who come and pick up the seed which falls by the wayside. It is not difficult for these birds to enrich themselves by hardened hearts. No scratching is necessary; no turning over of the soil, for the seed lies exposed on the hard surface of the wayside.

The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 13:19 , "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."

Satan and his emissaries are adepts in catching up the seed. No one ever passes from death unto life without Satan's most strenuous opposition. There are a thousand things all around us to keep men from being saved. When, however, the Holy Spirit docs get a chance to enter a heart, Satan is there to hinder. In Second Corinthians we read: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

I. THE SEED AND THE STONY PLACES (Matthew 13:5-6 ; Matthew 13:20-21 )

1. The stony places. These places are those where there is not much earth. To be sure, the stones have been there for a long while, and there is some soil which covers them, but there is not much soil.

These places represent hearts which have no root in themselves. There is an outward appearance of the reception of the Word. There seems, at first, to be no resistance to the truth. In fact, this heart receiveth it with joy. The friends go away from the meeting where the seed was sown very happy over the fact that so-and-so confessed the Lord. However, though there is for a while a seeming obedience to Christ, and a seeming love and trust, yet that obedience, that love, soon disappears because there is no depth of soil.

2. The sun soon arises and the growth is burned and scorched and withered away. There may have been a rather exuberant upward shoot of the plants, because there could be but little downward grip by the roots.

The roots could not take hold upon this heart because the heart was not deeply plowed. There was no depth of conviction. We have always said that people soon fall away from a seeming salvation. The way to find out whether the salvation is real and genuine, is to wait until the sun arises. Then, if there is no real rootage of the Gospel, the outward profession will wither away.

3. What the sun typifies. When Christ, in Matthew 13:21 , explained this, He said: "When tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the Word, by and by he is offended." Just so. Some people will believe in Jesus, so far as we can tell, but it is not long until they fall by the way because they have no deep convictions of truth and no real depths of love, which will be able to withstand the hot suns of tribulation and of persecution. How it grieves the heart of the pastor when, by and by, he sees this one and that one offended and dropping out. God has said: "Ye did run well; who did hinder you?" However, these "for a season" Christians never survive the throes of persecution and temptation. They do not survive because their Christianity was not deep and genuine.

II. THE SEED WHICH FELL AMONG THORNS (Matthew 13:7 ; Matthew 13:22 )

1. Good soil stands for a heart that seems open to the Word of God, the Heavenly seed. However, if it is just as open to thorns and thistles, it is impossible for a real Christian life.

Should we not remember that Christ said that no man can serve two masters, for either he will hold to the one, and despise the other, or else he will love the one and hate the other, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." This ground that is described as filled with thorns is good soil, in a way. It is a soil where the seed would have grown, and would have borne fruit had it not been for the fact that it had also received the thorns.

2. The thorns stand for the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches. Luke's Gospel adds, the "pleasures of this life." There you are. Our churches today are more or less filled with those who received the truth, where the thorns are growing. They want to serve Christ. They want to know His Word, but they are so filled with the cares of this life, with their love of money, and with their desire for pleasure, that the Word of God, which they hear, is choked, and they become unfruitful.

III. THE GOOD-GROUND HEARER (Matthew 13:8 ; Matthew 13:23 )

1. Only one out of four who hear the Word is called the good-ground hearer; and, even among the good-ground hearers, we observe that some of them bear only thirtyfold, others sixty, and only some a hundred.

The good-ground hearer is described as the one who heareth the Word and understandeth it. He knows the truth and the truth makes him free. The expression "understandeth it," goes deep. It does not mean merely that he knows the truth concerning salvation, but he knows the truth of the resurrection, and of the Second Coming.

The seed which is sown is more than the blessed Calvary story. It includes the glorious resurrection story, and the wonderful Advent story. If you want to discover the meaning of the word "Gospel," you will find it in 1 Corinthians 15:1-58 : "The Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain."

We pause a moment. This verse is much in line with the four classes of seed in Matthew 13:1-58 ; at least it emphasizes that saving faith is a faith that not only receives the truth, but that stands in that truth and keeps in memory its message.

The Spirit next tells us, in 1 Corinthians 15:1-58 , what the Gospel is in these words: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures."

After this, the Spirit gives us the story not only of the resurrection of Christ, but of the resurrection of saints at His coming.

Thus, we have before us the seed, even the Gospel, which is sown in the good ground, and which is received into understanding hearts, and which beareth fruit.

IV. THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SEED AND THE TARES (Matthew 13:24-29 )

Our Lord now gives us a parable somewhat similar to that of the sower, yet distinct in this: that there are two kinds of seed being sown. The ground is the same, but the seeds are different.

1. The good seed. The good seed is beyond any doubt the Word of God, or, it may be, the Word of God in the hearts of His saints, There are indeed some who teach that the parable of the sower which we have just been discussing, as given by our Lord in Matthew, not so much discusses the effect of the seed on the soil, as the effect of the soil on the seed. In this I concur. The parable evidently does carry that truth.

Now, in this second parable, the good seed is the same as in the first parable.

2. The tares. The tares were sown by an enemy. They are altogether distinct from the good seed in their fruitage. However, they look very much the same in their early growth. The good seed are the children of the Kingdom. 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.

This parable presents a very solemn and yet a true picture of conditions during the whole age, which is now fast ripening into a disappointing harvest, in this the end of the age.

We must all grant that God has His ministers, and so also does Satan. God's ministers are sowing the good seed, God's Word, in the children of the Kingdom. The devil's ministers are sowing false doctrine in the children of the wicked one. Both of these have their testimony, and in very many things, to the natural eye, the seeds are similar.

We preach righteousness; and Satan's ministers preach righteousness. We have true godliness, and Satan's ministers have a form of godliness. It takes a spiritually instructed vision to discern between the false and the true.

The harvest is the thing that will tell the story. At the end of the age, the tares will be gathered and burned in the fire; but the children of the Kingdom will enter into eternal life.

V. THE PARABLE OF THE MUSTARD SEED (Matthew 13:31-32 )

1. We have now a peculiar and specified kind of seed. Thus far we have dealt with the good seed and the tares. Now the Lord is going to bring in the good seed under a specified description. The mustard seed is the least of all seeds.

We would not say that the story of Christ crucified, risen, and coming again, implanted in the hearts of human beings, is the least of all seeds from a Divine reckoning. However, from a human reckoning, it is even so.

Little did anyone ever dream in the days of Christ that the seed which He sowed, in the words He uttered, and the works He wrought, would ever have become so great in its power, and so wide in its sweep.

2. The greatest among herbs. Here is exactly what we just suggested the least of all seeds becomes so great that it overtowers all the other trees in the field. Thus has the Church grown, and thus has the truth spread.

Under the command of our Lord, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature," the testimony has gone on and on until it has girded the globe, while multitudes of worshipers gather from time to time to magnify the Lord.

3. The birds of the air. We now come to a sad phase of the march of the Gospel. In the parable of the tares of the field we saw the sowing of the enemy; and we also saw the true wheat and the tares growing together until the harvest, at the end of the age.

Now, in the great growth of the mustard seed, we find the birds of the air coming to lodge in its tree. If you will return to the parable of the seed that fell by the wayside, you will find that the fowls came and devoured them up. We take it that the birds in Matthew 13:4 , and in Matthew 13:32 ; that is, in both parables, are the same. They are the wicked one, and the children of the wicked one. Every one of us must admit that, in the Church of today, the glorious Church, the Church that overshadows the world with its power and its spread, the wicked one has come to dwelt in the vast numbers of his unregenerate church members.

VI. THE PARABLE OF THE LEAVEN (Matthew 13:33 )

1. The three measures of meal. The meal in this parable still carries the thought of the seed. This time, however, it is the seed ground up, and prepared for food.

Jesus Christ Himself is described in the Word as the Bread that came down from Heaven. It was He who said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The seed, ground up into meal, may, therefore, still be likened unto the Word of God, but unto the Word as our food.

It is written: "I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." We are commended in the Bible to the Word of God which is able to build us up. Thus, it is clearly established that the meal is the seed sent to the mill; it still represents the Word.

2. The leaven. The leaven in our parable stands for false doctrine. In the story of the mustard seed, and the herb wherein the birds of the air lodged, we saw how the wicked ones entered into the church. Now, we are seeing how their entrance has affected the church, which is the pillar and ground of the truth. They have brought into the meal a leaven which has leavened the whole lump. The word "leaven" always means false doctrine. It was of this that Christ spoke when He said: "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees," "of the leaven of Herod."

What is the revelation of present-day church life when it is set down by the side of this parable? It is simply this: false doctrine has permeated the whole church. The church is divided into various denominations which center around distinctive conceptions of truth, although there is but one truth. In each of these divisions, there are those who have entered in who have not the truth. It is even as the Holy Ghost wrote that the apostasy would come, and the apostasy has come.

You can believe anything you want to or believe nothing, and still be a welcomed member in most of the large denominations, and in many of the world's largest churches.

VII. THE PARABLE OF THE TREASURE AND OF THE PEARL (Matthew 13:44-46 )

1. The treasure hid in the field. To us this parable sets forth the story of the Children of Israel. They are God's treasure hid in the 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."

Israel is a people whose treasures and callings are all earthly. They are the people who will inherit the land. They are the people over whom Christ will reign on David's throne as the King of all kings, and the Lord of lords.

In order to obtain them Jesus Christ must redeem the earth from the hands of the enemy.

2. The pearl of great price. Here we have the merchant man who is Jesus Christ, and He is seeking goodly pearls. The goodly pearls are the saints, but the saints in one Body, the Church. Our Lord sells all that He has to buy that pearl, that Church. Have we not read that He loved the Church and gave Himself for it? Have we not read that Christ hath redeemed us; that is, bought us back, not with silver and gold, nor with corruptible things, but with the precious Blood of Jesus? Surely we are the pearl which He hath bought, and which He bought at the sacrifice of His Blood.

It is utter folly to say that Christ is the pearl in this parable, and that we sold all we had and bought Him. Such a statement spoils the Gospel of grace. Were all the realms of nature ours, all the silver, all the gold, we could not buy Him; neither could we buy redemption. Eternal life is the gift of God, and it is not for sale. He could, however, buy us, and according to Revelation 5:9 He did buy us: "For Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy Blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation."

AN ILLUSTRATION

D. L. Moody used to tell the story of a second century Christian martyr. He was brought before the king who demanded that he give up Christ and Christianity. But the man spurned the proposition. The king said:

"If you do not renounce Christ I will banish you."

The man smiled, and answered, "You can't banish me from Christ, for He says He will never leave me nor forsake me."

The king became angry and said, "Well, I will confiscate your property."

But the man replied, "My treasures are laid up on high; you cannot get them."

The king became still angrier, and said, "I will kill you."

"Why," said the man, "I have been dead forty years; I have been dead to the world, and my life is hid with Christ in God, and you cannot touch it."

Is the faith of the Christian Church today that strong? Is there that steadfastness in its life? Christ is coming. Will He find faith when He comes?

 


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Matthew 13:4". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lwc/matthew-13.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, September 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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