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Matthew 25:31-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment on the Realm of Heaven #1 Matthew 25:31-34

Matthew 25:31-46 – Judgment on the Realm of Heaven

MT25:31 “Further,[1] when the glorious Son of Humankind returns[2] with all his angels,[3] at that time he will sit down upon his glorious throne [of judgment].[4] MT25:32 He will gather together right in front of him[5] all those from the nations[6] and he will separate these persons from each other[7] just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.[8] [Ezekiel 34:17] MT25:33 He will make the sheep stand at his right-hand, but the goats at his left-hand.

MT25:34 “At that time the King will say to those on his right-hand: ‘Approach, those blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom[9] prepared for you from the world’s foundation.[10] MT25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.[11] [Isaiah 58:7] [I was] thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you took me in. MT25:36 [I was] ill-clad and you clothed me. I fell sick and you took care of me.[12] I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

MT25:37 “Then the righteous persons[13] will answer the King, asking, ‘Master, when did we see you hungry and feed you? Or, thirsty, and give you drink? MT25:38 Also, when did we see you a stranger and take you in? Or, ill-clad and clothed you? MT25:39 Or, when did we see you sick, or in prison, and went to visit you?’ MT25:40 And the King will answer them: ‘I tell you this truth: Depending on how much you did to a single one of my humblest brothers, you did it to me.’[14]

MT25:41 “Then the King will also speak to those persons on his left-hand: ‘Depart from me, those who are cursed into the everlasting fire[15] prepared for the Devil and his angels! MT25:42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing[16] to eat. And, I got thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. MT25:43 I was a stranger and you did not take me in; ill-clad and you gave me no clothes; sick and in prison, and you did not look after me.’ MT25:44 Then [the goats] will respond: ‘Master,[17] when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or ill-clad or sick or in prison – and refused to minister to you?’ MT25:45 At this the King will tell them: ‘I tell you this truth: Depending on how much you refused to do to a single one of my humblest brothers, you refused to do it to me.’ MT25:46 And these goats will depart into an everlasting pruning;[18] but the righteous into everlasting life.”

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[1] Further: The Greek is the connective DE HOTAN. It is an elaboration on the previous parable.

[2] Returns: The Greek is ELTHE and related to the ELTHEN at Daniel 7:22. See technical notes elsewhere. It may be rendered arrive, came, return, or leave. It is the parousia which first involves judgment. In fulfillment of Daniel 7:13 the Son of Humankind ascended back to his Father (John 6:62; John 14:1, 2). In fulfillment of the angels’ promise he is to return visibly in the same manner (Acts 1:9-11).

“ Then, what if you disciples might see the Son of Humankind ascending to where he was formerly?” (Joh 6:62 mhm)

“1  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You apostles continue to believe in The God. Continue to believe in me.2 In the House of my Father are many abodes. If it were otherwise I would certainly have told you, because I am going to prepare you a place. (Joh 14:1-2 mhm)

“9 Now when Jesus had said these things–just as they were watching–he began to ascend and a cloud took him up out of their sight. 10 While Jesus was ascending–and the apostles were watching skyward–suddenly two humans in white robes stood beside them. 11 These said to the apostles: “Men of Galilee, why do you standing watching toward the sky? This same Jesus, who is departing from you into the sky, will return in the same manner as you watched him ascend into the sky.”” (Ac 1:9-11 mhm)

[3] With all his angels: We note right away that in this scene the King arrives “with his angels.” Nothing is said about his “saints” (Revelation 17:14) who are the judges of the world (1 Corinthians 6:2). This is the earliest hint that this is the parousia-judgment on the Realm of Heaven, the realm of profession of the Christian church. It is time for the King to judge his own Household (1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 John 2:28; 4:17; 1 Peter 4:5, 17). See how the angels do the harvesting in Matthew 13:41.

“ These 10 Kings will war with the Lamb and the Lamb will conquer them (and those with him: those called, chosen, and faithful) because he is Lord of lords and King of kings.”” (Re 17:14 mhm)

“ Do you not realize the Saints will judge the whole world of humanity? And so if the whole social order of humanity is to be judged by you are you unfit to judge lesser matters?” (1Co 6:2 mhm)

“ So, do not judge anything before the season, until the Master returns. He will bring to the Light the hidden things of darkness and manifest the motives of all hearts. And, then, each person’s praise will be from The God.” (1Co 4:5 mhm)

“ For it is necessary that all of us appear in front of the judgment-seat of the Christ, so that we might receive what we deserve for those things performed by means of the body, whether these things be good or vile. (2Co 5:10 mhm)

“ And now, little children, continue to remain in him so that whenever he is made visible we might be free-spoken in his Presence and not be humiliated when in front of him.” (1Jo 2:28 mhm)

“ In this way the Love of God has been perfected with us, so that we may have freedom of speech in the Day of the Judgment. Because just as that One is, so also we are in this world-order of humanity.” (1Jo 4:17 mhm)

“ These very people will have to give an account to the One ready to judge the living and the dead.” (1Pe 4:5 mhm)

“ Because the judgment will start at the House of The God at the appointed time. Now if judgment begins first with us, what will be the end of those disobeying the Good News of The God?” (1Pe 4:17 mhm)

“ The Son of Humankind will send forth his angels and they will cull out of his Realm everything that causes scandal and those doing lawlessness.” (Mt 13:41 mhm)

[4] He will sit down upon his glorious throne [of judgment]: This is not the beginning of his rule. He is already King when he returns (Luke 19:11, 12; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:19-22). The throne here is the “judgment-seat” of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). This is not the same “throne” of Revelation 20:12. All of thee parables are about judgment.

“11  As everyone was listening to this Jesus continued to tell them a parable because he was approaching Jerusalem and they all thought the Kingdom of The God was going to appear immediately. 12 Then Jesus said: “A certain man of noble birth traveled to a distant land to receive for himself a kingdom and then to return. (Lu 19:11-12 mhm)

“ Then, finally, the End, whenever he delivers up the Realm to The God and Father–whenever he has rendered ineffectual all government and all authority and power.” (1Co 15:24 mhm)

“19 and what the tremendous strength of His power is through us who believe–by means of the energy of His ruling power, 20 which He exercised in raising up Christ from the dead, seating him at His right hand in the Celestialum, 21 over and above every hierarchy and authority and power and lordship and every name named–not only in this time period but also in the New Age to come– 22 everything God subjected under the feet of Jesus and gave him headship over everything to the Church,” (Eph 1:19-22 mhm)

“ For it is necessary that all of us appear in front of the judgment-seat of the Christ, so that we might receive what we deserve for those things performed by means of the body, whether these things be good or vile. (2Co 5:10 mhm)

“ Then I saw the Dead, the great and the small, standing in sight of the white Throne. Little Books were opened and another Little Book was opened, the Book of Life. The Dead were judged out of the things written in the Little Books, according to their works.” (Re 20:12 mhm)

[5] Gather together right in front of him: The Greek is SYNACHTHESONTAI. This is done by a resurrection from the dead (1 Thessalonians 4:15, 16; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 John 2:28; 4:17). Compare Daniel 12:2 with John 5:29. Note also 2 Thessalonians 2:1 and the related word EPISYNAGOGES. At this moment we come forward to give an account of our Christian life.

“15 For we tell all of you this according to the Master’s own promise, that we the living who are still around at the Return of the Master will not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep in death. 16 Because the Master himself will come down from the Sky with a commanding shout–with the Archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet–and the dead in union with Christ will be resurrected first.” (1Th 4:15-16 mhm)

“ However, each person in their own order: Christ a firstfruits, and thereafter those of the Christ at his Arrival.” (1Co 15:23 mhm)

“ And now, little children, continue to remain in him so that whenever he is made visible we might be free-spoken in his Presence and not be humiliated when in front of him.” (1Jo 2:28 mhm)

“ In this way the Love of God has been perfected with us, so that we may have freedom of speech in the Day of the Judgment. Because just as that One is, so also we are in this world-order of humanity.” (1Jo 4:17 mhm)

“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Da 12:2 NIV)

“ and those having done good things will come out unto a resurrection of Life. Those who have habitually done corrupt things unto a resurrection of condemnation.” (Joh 5:29 mhm)

“ Now regarding the Return of our Master Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to meet him, we plead with you, brothers,” (2Th 2:1 mhm)

[6] All those from the nations: Or, KJV: gathered before him all nations. There is a temptation by some to think of this as a gathering of Non-Jews and apply the parable to the Thousand Years or thereafter. However, it is also possible this is “Israel” out of all nations. Compare Isaiah 11:12 and Matthew 24:30, 31 with Revelation 7:9. These are the true Jews (Romans 2:28, 29) from the new Israel of God (Romans 9:6, 7; Galatians 6:16) which have lived among all nations throughout the Gospel Age (Compare also Isaiah 49:8-12 with Revelation 7:9-17).

“He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.” (Isa 11:12 NIV)

“30 And then there will appear in the sky the sign of the Son of Humankind. Then all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in lamentation. They will see the Son of Humankind coming on the clouds of the sky with power and much glory. 31 And the Son of Humankind will send off his angels with a great trumpet and they will gather his Chosen Ones from the four winds from one extreme of the sky to another extreme. (Mt 24:30-31 mhm)

“ After these things I saw, and, look! a Large Crowd which no one could number. Out of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues. They stood in sight of the Throne and in sight of the Lamb enwrapped with white robes. There were palm branches in their hands.” (Re 7:9 mhm)

“28 For the true Jew is not manifest in the fleshly circumcision; 29 but, in the secret Jew with a spiritual “circumcision” of the heart and not in writing. His praise is not from humans but from The God.” (Ro 2:28-29 mhm)

“6  However, it is not as though the Word of The God has failed. For not all those from Israel are “Israel.” 7 Nor, because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children of Abraham, but “Your seed will be called Isaac.” (Ro 9:6-7 mhm)

“ Now all–including the Israel of The God-who walk orderly by this standard–upon them be peace and mercy.” (Ga 6:16 mhm)

“8 This is what the LORD says: “In the time of my favour I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, 9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. 10 They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. 11 I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up. 12 See, they will come from afar—some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan.”” (Isa 49:8-12 NIV)

“9 After these things I saw, and, look! a Large Crowd which no one could number. Out of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues. They stood in sight of the Throne and in sight of the Lamb enwrapped with white robes. There were palm branches in their hands. 10 They cried with a great voice, saying: “Salvation belongs to our God! To the One sitting upon the Throne and to the Lamb.” 11 And all the angels stood to encircle the Throne. The Presbyters and the 4 Living Creatures fell upon their faces in sight of the Throne. They worshipped The God, saying: 12 “Amen! The blessing and the glory and the wisdom and the thanksgiving and the honor and the power and the strength be to our God throughout all future periods of time. Amen!” 13 ¶ And one of the Presbyters answered me, saying: “These enwrapped with white robes, who are they, and where to they come from?” 14 I immediately said to him: “My lord, you must know.” The Presbyter said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the Great Oppression. They washed and whitened their robes in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Because of this blood they are in sight of the Throne of The God. In the Divine Habitat of The God they render sacred service to Him day and night. The One sitting on the Throne will tent over them. 16 They will not hunger or thirst anymore. The sun’s heat will no longer burn them.17 Because the Lamb in the middle of the Throne will shepherd and guide them to fountains of waters of life. The God will wipe out every tear from their eyes.”” (Re 7:9-17 mhm)

[7] Separate these persons from each other: Compare this same thing at Matthew 13:41, 49. This parable of the fishing dragnet deals with the SYNTELEIA Matthew 13:40, 49 which is associated with the PAROUSIA at Matthew 24:3. This would seem to confirm that the judgment here in the parable of the sheep and goats deals with the Church and not mankind in general.

“ The Son of Humankind will send forth his angels and they will cull out of his Realm everything that causes scandal and those doing lawlessness.” (Mt 13:41 mhm)

“ Just so it will be in the consummation of the Period: the angels will go forth to separate the wicked from among the righteous.” (Mt 13:49 mhm)

“ So, even as the zizania are gathered and burned in fire, thus it will be at the consummation of the Period.” (Mt 13:40 mhm)

“ Just so it will be in the consummation of the Period: the angels will go forth to separate the wicked from among the righteous.” (Mt 13:49 mhm)

[8] Sheep from the goats: Compare Ezekiel 34:17.

“”‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats.” (Eze 34:17 NIV)

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Preceding

Matthew 22:11-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: King’s Inspection and Marriage Garments

Making sure to be ready and to belong to the escaped ones

Matthew 24:29-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer Part Two – Sign 2: The Parousia. A Sign after the Great Oppression

Matthew 25:1-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment by the King and Ten Virgins

Matthew 25:13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Keep on the Watch

Matthew 25:14-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Keep Busy until the Parousia

Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet

Matthew 13:47-50 – Parable of the Dragnet

MT13:47 “Again the Realm of Heaven may be compared to[1] a dragnet thrown into the sea[2] and gathering together every kind of [fish]. MT13:48 When the net is filled[3] it is hauled onto the beach. Then the [fishermen] sit down and collect the good fish into vessels;[4] but, the rotten [fish][5] they throw away. MT13:49 Just so it will be in the consummation of the Period:[6] the angels will go forth to separate[7] the wicked from among the righteous.[8] MT13:50 The angels will hurl the wicked into the furnace of fire.[9] There will be lamentation[10] and the grinding of teeth.”

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[1] May be compared to: There is something about the Christian Church which resembles a fisherman’s dragnet lowered into the world to “catch men alive.”

[2] Dragnet thrown into the sea: Or, RHM: a large drag-net; WEY: let down into the sea. Some calls this the Gospel Net. Jesus called his first disciples and told them they would “become fishers of men.” He commissioned his apostles to “Go and make disciples of people of all nations.” (Matthew 28:18, 19) Beginning with Jesus the gospel preaching “dragnet” – the great evangelical effort of all time – the Gospel Net has been fishing earth’s waters.

[3] When the net is filled: At the Return (or, Parousia; see notes on Matthew 24:3) of Christ and the beginning of the parousia-judgment. This is parallel to the parable of the Zizania in the Field (go to Matthew 13:37) as well as those within Matthew 24:45-25:46. At the judgment the dragnet will be filled with all those who professed Jesus as Lord as Christians throughout the Gospel or Church Age (Period).

[4] Collect the good fish into vessels: Or, TCNT: sorted the good fish into baskets.

[5] The rotten [fish]: Or, KJV: the bad; RHM: worthless. The Greek SAPROS is rendered rotten or corrupt and often applied to bad fruit of a tree (Matthew 7:17,18; Luke 6:43). These are the same as the “workers of lawlessness” of Matthew 7:21, 22, the zizania of Matthew 13:38, and the “goats” of Matthew 25:40-46.

[6] The consummation of the Period: See notes on Matthew 13:40 and Matthew 24:3. Or, KJV: end of the world; TCNT: close of the age; NWT: conclusion of the system of things. The Age or Period may be the Gospel Age or that time period of the generation that witnesses the Revelation of Christ (Matthew 24:34).

[7] Angels will go forth to separate: As in the parable of the Zizania in the Field. See notes on Matthew 13:39 and Matthew 25:31.

[8] Wicked from among the righteous: There are only two classes of Christians: the good and the bad. On the word wicked (search this word) see the notes on Matthew 12:35 and elsewhere. Note “the righteous” in Matthew 25:40-46. Search righteous for notes elsewhere. The difference between the wicked and the righteous is that the former are hurtful or unloving, and the later law-abiding and charitable.

[9] Into the furnace of fire: On this phrase search under Gehenna and fire for notes elsewhere (Revelation 20:13-15).

[10] Lamentation: The grief is before the throne of Christ and in their shame and reproach prior to being hurled into everlasting extinction (1 John 2:28; Matthew 7:21).

 

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Preceding

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

Matthew 10:5-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

Matthew 12:43-45 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Generation Seven Times Worse

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 13:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable: the Soil and the Seed

Matthew 13:10-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Why Speak in Parables?

Matthew 13:16-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Happy Eyes and Ears

Matthew 13:18-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Seed and Soil

Matthew 13:24-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Field and the Harvest

Matthew 13:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Fermented Whole

Matthew 13:34-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Manner of Teaching Foretold

Matthew 13:36-43 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Zizania in the Field Explained

Matthew 13:44 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Treasure

Matthew 13:45-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Valuable Pearl

False teachers and false prophets still around

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Additional reading

  1. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  2. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  3. Memorizing wonderfully 22 Jealous God not heaving pleasure in the wicked
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity
  5. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
  6. A Living Faith #7 Prayer

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Matthew 4 19

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  26. The Just Judgment of God Part 2 – Romans Study 8
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Matthew 13:45-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Valuable Pearl

Matthew 13:45-46 – Parable of the Valuable Pearl

MT13:45 “Again the Realm of Heaven may be compared to[1] a traveling merchant[2] seeking excellent pearls.[3] MT13:46 Upon discovering a very valuable pearl[4] he leaves to sell everything he possesses[5] and bought the pearl.

*

[1] May be compared to: As if two witnesses were necessary to teach the Nazarene’s point of self-sacrifice to obtain royal promises and privileges. There is something about the Christian Church which is worth leaving all behind to obtain.

[2] Traveling merchant: The Greek is EMPORO from which the English gets “emporium.”

[3] Seeking excellent pearls: The literal Greek is fine or good pearls. The English “pearl” is from the Greek MARGARITAS from which comes the name Margaret. Or, KJV: seeking goodly pearls; RHM: beautiful pearls; TCNT: choice pearls; KNX: rare pearls.

[4] A very valuable pearl: Or, KJV: pearl of great price; BER: exceptional value. The word “pearl” occurs 11 times in the Bible but note particularly Revelation 21:21.

[5] Sell everything he possesses: See the notes on Matthew 13:44. Or, BAS: gave all that he had in exchange for it.

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Preceding

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 13:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable: the Soil and the Seed

Matthew 13:10-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Why Speak in Parables?

Matthew 13:16-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Happy Eyes and Ears

Matthew 13:18-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Seed and Soil

Matthew 13:24-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Field and the Harvest

Matthew 13:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Fermented Whole

Matthew 13:34-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Manner of Teaching Foretold

Matthew 13:36-43 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Zizania in the Field Explained

Matthew 13:44 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Treasure

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Additional reading

The Metaphorical language of the Bible

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  6. The Faith of The New Heaven and of The New Church in its Universal Form
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  9. The Divine Trinity
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  14. Following the Messiah-No-One-Expected and Very Few Want Today

Matthew 13:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31-32 – Parable of the Mustard Seed

|| Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18, 19

MT13:31 Jesus put before them another parable, saying, “The Realm of Heaven may be compared to[1] a grain of mustard[2] which a man took and planted in his field.[3] MT13:32 The mustard grain is smaller than all the seeds[4] but when grown is greater than all vegetation as it becomes a tree.[5] Birds of the sky find lodging in its branches.”

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[1] May be compared to: Something about the Church – the realm of profession (see notes elsewhere) – is like a tiny seed which grows into a great tree where birds roost.

[2] Mustard: The Greek is SINAPEOS. Possibly Brassica nigra with a seed the size of a pinhead growing to as much as five meters. Wild mustard may have been right before them in yellow bloom along the lake. The Jews used the phrase “mustard seed” to refer to the slightest breach of ceremonial law. Compare Matthew 17:20.

[3] Planted in his field: Thus probably Brassica nigra. There is an echo here of the previous parable. May the man and the field be the same? Luke 13:18 has it, “a man took and put in his garden.”

[4] Smaller than all the seeds: ASV: less than all seeds. The Greek is MICROTERON and could infer the “least of all seeds.” There are smaller seeds (orchid) but most feel Jesus is speaking only of the land of Israel. Mark 4:31 reads: “the tiniest of all the seeds that are on the earth (or, in the land).” Also, Jesus has in mind a domestic seed that is planted in a field or garden within the experience of the disciples.

[5] It becomes a tree: What is the meaning of the parable? In what manner is the Church (the realm of profession) like a tiny seed that grows into a great tree? Had Jesus told Pilate that within three centuries Christianity would be the state religion and the Caesar would be a Christian, how would Pilate responded? Approaching the year 2,000 the Christian Church is the largest of the religions on earth with Christian America the most powerful nation on earth. William Barclay writes: “Sometimes his disciples must have despaired. Their little band was so small and the world was s wide. How could they ever win and change it?”

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Preceding

Matthew 9:35-38 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Preaching Tour in a Great Harvest

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 13:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable: the Soil and the Seed

Matthew 13:10-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Why Speak in Parables?

Matthew 13:16-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Happy Eyes and Ears

Matthew 13:18-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Seed and Soil

Matthew 13:24-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Field and the Harvest

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Additional reading

  1. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms
  2. Being in isolation #6 to Hear Call from God and breaking isolation
  3. Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God
  4. Seeds and weeds for being the greatest nation
  5. The Realm of profession in Christianity
  6. Partakers and sons of the Realm
  7. To sacrifice our being for Christ

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Related

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  2. 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Hidden Power of the Kingdom of God

Matthew 11:7-15 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 3 John the Baptist and the Kingdom Goal

Matthew 11:7-15 – John the Baptist and the Kingdom Goal

|| Luke 7:24-28

MT11:7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus started to tell the crowds regarding John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see?[1] A breeze rattling some willows?[2] MT11:8 But, what did you go to see? A human dressed in soft clothes? Look! Those who wear soft clothes[3] are in royal houses. MT11:9 But, why did you come out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet.[4] MT11:10 This person is the one about whom it has been written,[5] ‘Look! I am sending forth My messenger[6] before your person. He will prepare your way ahead of you.’ [Isaiah 40:3] MT11:11 I tell you this truth: None generated by women have been raised up who are greater than[7] John the Baptist. But, a lesser person[8] in the Realm of the Heavens[9] is greater than John. MT11:12 From the days of John the Baptist right up until now the Realm of the Heavens is being zealously pursued[10] and those in energetic pursuit are grabbing for it. MT11:13 For the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.[11] MT11:14 And, if you wish to accept it – John is Elijah,[12] the one who was to come. MT11:15 Let the person with ears listen.”[13]

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File:Accademia - St John the Baptist by Titian Cat314.jpg

St John the Baptist by Titian, Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice.

[1] What did you go out into the wilderness to see: We have learned earlier that all Judea went out into the desert to see this strange prophet who dressed primitively and eat honey and locusts.

[2] A breeze rattling some willows: Possibly a bit of sarcasm? Others render this phrase: KJV: a reed shaken with the wind; RIEU: a reed swaying in the wind; NEB: a reed-bed swept by the wind. As a metaphor John the Baptist could not be characterized like a reed-willow easily blown about (Ephesians 4:14). Rather, he was stalwart and firm – even dogmatic.

[3] Soft clothes: John was dressed roughly in harsh clothing. His clothes and manner must have attracted inquisitive crowds wondering about this strange man. The phrase is rendered by others: WMS: silks and satins; NJB: fine clothes.

[4] More than a prophet: The Bible is fill with “prophets” of the two types: the one foretelling events and the one declaring God’s righteous will. The word “prophet” occurs over 500 times in the Bible. Jesus makes clear the Baptist is more than just a prophet and he now explains what he means. The idea of saying that someone is more or greater than another is something Jesus uses several times. Compare Matthew 12:41, 42; Luke 11:31, 32.

[5] It has been written: Jesus quotes Isaiah 40:3.

[6] My messenger: Literally the Greek is “my angel.”

[7] Who are greater than: John the Baptist is at least equal to Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, or Elijah.

[8] A lesser person: The Greek is MICROTEROS and is rendered: KJV: least; ASV: little; PME: humble.

[9] In the Realm of the Heavens: It is possible this phrase is limited to that Realm of Profession, or the territory or domain over which Lord Messiah reigns – his congregation of disciples. In other words: the most humble member of the Christian Church is greater than John the Baptist and therefore greater than all the ancient worshippers of God. See notes in Matthew chapter 13 on identifying the “kingdom of the heavens.” Some also believe this to mean John the Baptist and the ancient patriarchs would not attain to heaven but would be raised in the resurrection of the righteous on earth (John 3:13; Hebrews 11:39, 40; 1 Corinthians 15:20-24).

[10] Zealously pursued: This is a classically difficult text. Most translators tend toward the idea that the kingdom is attacked violently and the violent seize it. However, from John the Baptist to the present of Jesus’ statement there is little evidence of persecution against the King or his realm. The Greek word here is BIAZETAI and its root meaning is “violent.” Jesus repeats the word group in the next phrase (See Acts 2:2). The word is rare in this form. However, there are two verses in Luke which might shed light on the Nazarene’s intent. Luke 13:24 literally means, ‘agonize to enter through the narrow door.’ And, the parallel in Luke to Matthew here is, ‘everyone is violently forcing [BIAZETAI] themselves into (the Kingdom of The God).’ This could mean violent men force themselves violently into the kingdom; or, it could mean the agonizing struggle to enter the realm of profession. This is the first interpretation the New Jerusalem Bible gives in its footnote “f” – “1. The praiseworthy violence, the bitter self-sacrifice, of those who would take possession of the kingdom.” Strong’s (#971, #973) offers “vital activity, energetic.” Thayer’s (page 101) says: “a share in the heavenly Kingdom is sought for with the most ardent zeal and the intense exertion… utmost eagerness.” Thus, the context and the parallel in Luke suggests the possibility that Jesus is describing the agonizing zeal his disciples have demonstrated in their pursuit of the “kingdom” – willing to make any sacrifice, willing to surrender their soul in the process.

William Barclay suggests a possibility: “‘The Kingdom of the Heaven is not for the well-meaning but for the desperate,’ that no one drifts into the Kingdom, that the Kingdom only opens it doors to those who are prepared to make as great an effort to get into it as men do when they storm a city.… Only the man who is desperately in earnest, only the man in whom the violence of devotion matches and defeats the violence of persecution will in the end enter into it.” (Matthew, Volume 2. page 8)

[11] Prophets and the Law prophesied until John: The complete phrase linking the Law and the Prophets is used by Jesus elsewhere (Matthew 5:17; 7:12; 11:13; 22:40). There is now to be a great transition. Hebrews 1:1 states that The God used to speak in a variety of ways to the prophets of old, but now speaks to us by means of a Son. With the coming of John the Baptist in the year 29 AD a new season, a new age begins to open up – a Messianic one. Grace and Truth will now come by means of Jesus the Nazarene (John 1:17).

[12] John is Elijah: Jesus explains this to his own disciples elsewhere (Matthew 17:10-13; Mark 9:11-13). Compare Luke 1:17. Elijah’s name (My God is Yah) occurs 100 times in the Bible and most importantly at Malachi 4:5 where the prophet is foretold to appear before the Day of Yehowah. The end of the Jewish Temple Age is upon that generation. The name Elijah only occurs twice outside the Gospels (Romans 11:2; James 5:17). Note Elijah is missing by name in the Book of Revelation. He is alluded to at Revelation 11:5, 6.

[13] Let the person with ears listen: This becomes in Revelation a phrase identified with Jesus (Revelation 2:7). PME: the man who has ears to hear must use them.

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Preceding

Matthew 11– Intro to The Nazarene’s Commentary: Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities

Matthew 11:1 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 1 Twelve Sent out to Teach

Matthew 11:2-6 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 2 Imprisoned Baptist Encouraged

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