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Jesus teaches a parable about a sower who scatters his seed on four different types of ground. The first three types of ground fail to produce a crop, but the fourth type of ground is good soil and it produces a very good harvest.
The disciples ask Jesus why He speaks to the people in parables rather than teaching them through literal statements. Jesus gives them a full response by explaining that only those whose hearts are open to Jesus can understand the mysteries of the kingdom. He adds that this is a fulfillment of a prophecy from Isaiah.
Jesus explains to His disciples the meaning of the Parable of the Sower. The first soil is like a heart that is hard was from the outset and fails to receive God’s word altogether. The second soil is like a heart that is afraid and loses its joy over the immediate sufferings it encounters. The third soil is like a heart that cares more for the lesser goods of this world than the eternal goods of Heaven’s kingdom and is rendered unfruitful. But the fourth soil is qualitatively different. It represents a heart that trusts, fears, and loves God and it bears much fruit and produces exponentially more in proportion to its faithfulness.
Matthew records Jesus’ second parable concerning the kingdom of heaven. He compares it to a man who sows good wheat in his field, but later an enemy sows toxic, unproductive tares. The farmer allows the two kinds of plant to grow alongside each other until the harvest. Only then does he separate the good from the bad.
Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed that grows from a small seed into a large life-giving tree.
Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to leaven hidden in flour resulting in a feast’s worth of bread.
Jesus explains the meaning of the parable of the wheat and the tares. It is parable about what happens to the faithful sons of the kingdom and the unfaithful sons of the evil one at their respective judgments.
Jesus tells two short parables about the kingdom of heaven. In each He shows the immeasurable value and worth of finding the kingdom.
Jesus tells another short parable about the kingdom of heaven. It is about a fishing net that catches all manner of fish. The good fish are kept. The bad fish are thrown away.
Matthew concludes Jesus’s teachings on parables with a question from Jesus to His disciples and an exciting riddle about what understanding the scriptures and seeking the kingdom is like.
Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth and begins to preach and perform miracles. But His hometown refuses to believe that this man who grew up among them is the Messiah. Consequently Jesus does only a few miracles among them.
In this chapter Matthew shares seven parables Jesus told. All seven pertain to the kingdom of heaven. Matthew relates Jesus’s personal explanation for two parables (the parable of the sower and the seeds and the parable of the wheat and the tares) that He gave to His disciples. The other five parables are much shorter. They are the parable of the mustard seed; the parable of the leaven; the parable of the field with hidden treasure; the parable of the pearl of great price; and the parable of the dragnet. After sharing these parables, Jesus returns to teach in His hometown of Nazareth, where He is not believed.