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

Matthew 13:36-43 – Parable of the Zizania in the Field Explained

MT13:36 Then Jesus released the crowds[1] and came into the house. His disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the zizania of the field.”[2] MT13:37 Jesus responded by saying, “The One sowing the good seed is the Son of Humankind. MT13:38 The field is the world.[3] The good seed are the sons of the Realm;[4] but the zizania are the sons of the Evil One.[5] MT13:39 The enemy sowing them is the Devil.[6] The harvest is[7] the consummation of a period.[8] The reapers are angels.[9] MT13:40 So, even as the zizania are gathered[10] and burned in fire,[11] thus it will be at the consummation of the Period.[12] MT13:41 The Son of Humankind will send forth his angels[13] and they will cull out of his Realm[14] everything that causes scandal[15] and those doing lawlessness.[16] MT13:42 The angels will cast out[17] [the sons of the Evil One] into the furnace of fire. There will be lamentation[18] and grinding of teeth. MT13:43 Then the righteous[19] will shine forth like the sun[20] [Daniel 12:3] in the Realm of their Father. Let the one with ears, hear.”[21]

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[1] Released the crowds: Or, KJV: sent the multitude away; NWT: dismissed. One wonders how he did this.

[2] The parable of the zizania of the field: The disciples give us their title for the parable. We see also the critical point they wondered about.

[3] Field is the world: The Greek for “world” is KOSMOS and means something arranged in a certain order to characterize it. The whole world of humankind is the field of the Lord.

[4] Good seed are the sons of the Realm: Jesus has used the phrase “sons of the kingdom” earlier. In Matthew 8:12 these are children of Israel. The Nazarene tells that Jewish generation that the kingdom will be removed and given to another nation (Matthew 21:43). That nation proved to be a spiritual one identical to the Christian Church (1 Peter 2:5-9; Galatians 6:16). The “sons of the Realm” are the children of God within the realm of profession. Compare 2 Timothy 2:19.

[5] The sons of the Evil One: That is, children of the Devil. This distinction is made by Jesus in the writings of John (John 8:44; 1 John 3:10). According to the apostle John what primarily identifies the children of the Devil is hatred and lack of love (charity). On this matter compare Matthew 25:31-46.

[6] Enemy sowing them is the Devil: Like the fermenting leaven, the Devil is at work even within the Realm of the Son (2 Corinthians 11:3, 4, 14, 15).

[7] The harvest is: Is the harvest a generational period covering over a hundred years? Or, is it the end of a period that brings judgment?

[8] The consummation of a period: The whole phrase in Greek is TE SYNTELEIA TOU AIONOS. It is nearly identical to Matthew 24:3 (see notes) and Hebrews 9:26. The phrase is also rendered: KJV: the end of the world; TCNT: the close of the age; NWT: conclusion of the system of things. It seems the disciples draw their use in Matthew 24:3 from Daniel 9:26 where SYNTELEIAS occurs in the Jewish Greek Bible (LXX). Jerome translates SYNTELEIA by consumatis.

[9] Angels: Compare Matthew 24:30, 31 and Matthew 25:31 where angels attend the King when he arrives to judge his realm. This is the parousia-judgment. The Nazarene’s parables in Matthew chapters 24 and 25 also deal with this judgment of his own household of faith.

[10] The zizania are gathered: Note from the initial statement of the parable that the zizania were bound and burned “first.” That is, their judgment occurs before the “sons of the Realm” are seen within the Father’s Kingdom. The parousia-judgment is a time of judging the Church upon its resurrection. For, Paul says, “we must ALL stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:10) These are those “of Christ at his Parousia.” (1 Corinthians 15:23) Within the Household of Faith all professing Christians are resurrected to their judgment day upon the Return of Christ (Daniel 12:1, 2; John 5:28, 29). Those thus raised to judgment will have two outcomes: life or shame (Daniel 12:2; 1 John 2:28; 4:17). This is the truth taught by Jesus’ Parousia parables (Matthew 24, 25). Consider the word study on judgment day.

[11] Burned in fire: Compare Matthew 25:46. Consider word study on Gehenna.

[12] The consummation of the Period: Similar to the previous phrase but now with the article in Greek. This is the end of the Age or Period prior to the Return of Christ when the Harvest begins. It may also be the end of the Gospel Age or Age of the Church.

[13] Send forth his angels: Compare Matthew 24:31 and Matthew 25:31.

[14] Cull out of his Realm: Or, gather, collect out. There are certain undesirables within the Son’s Realm. Are they not the lawless of Matthew 7:21? Compare 2 Thessalonians 2:7-9.

[15] Causes scandal: The Greek is SCANDALA and is usually rendered: KJV: things that offend; ASV: cause stumbling; MOF: all who are hindrances; PME: spoiling; BECK: who lead others to do wrong. The history of the Church has been scandalous. These will meet their King with shame (1 John 2:28).

[16] Lawlessness: Compare Matthew 7:21. These break the two commandments of 1 John 3:23.

[17] Cast out: The Greek is related to the same word for exorcising demons.

[18] There will be lamentation: This will occur before the judgment-seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 John 2:28).

[19] The righteous: Compare the “righteous” at Matthew 25:37. The “righteous” are contrasted to the “lawless” for righteousness is the same as being law-abiding. The key law is that of love expressed by charity and hospitality as the parable of Matthew 25:31-46 shows.

[20] Shine forth like the sun: The strong allusion is from Daniel 12:3. The “sons of the kingdom” have now become part of the Father’s Kingdom in heaven. Note this verse in Daniel follows upon the foretold “oppression” associated with the appearing of Michael (Daniel 12:1, 2 JBS; compare Matthew 24:30).

[21] Let the one with ears, hear: Compare notes on Matthew 13:9.

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Preceding

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

Matthew 8:5-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Servant of Army Officer Healed

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

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Additional reading

  1. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  2. The Right One to follow and to worship
  3. Memorizing wonderfully 7 Exodus
  4. Looking for a spiritual new life
  5. Thought for September 8 Weak but standing strong in the ground swell
  6. Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil
  7. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  8. The one who set the standard
  9. To whom do we want to be enslaved
  10. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  11. Humility and the Fear of the Lord
  12. We all are changed into the same image from glory to glory
  13. We Are The Children Of God
  14. Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel
  15. Laboring in the Vineyard or Sitting on the Hillside with Jonah?

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Related

  1. Just a Thought
  2. The Judgment Seat of Christ
  3. The Gift of Today – April 11 – The Judgment Seat of Christ
  4. The Judgment Seat of Christ: Romans 2:1-2:16
  5. Revealed by Fire
  6. The BEMA Judgment Seat of Christ – Our Rewards
  7. Stuck! Ten Areas That Will Bury You as a Believer and How to Dig Your Way Out! (Area #7- Success) (con’t)
  8. My reward is with me – Revelation 22:12
  9. Judgment Seat of Christ Series #7 – Part 144 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
  10. God’s accessment of our work (of our lives)
  11. Be Sheep Not Goats! The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations
  12. Children of the Devil.
  13. Jesus was numbered with the transgressors that his sheep might be numbered amongst the children of God
  14. How shall I put thee among the children

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

Matthew 13:18-23 – Parable of the Seed and Soil

|| Mark 4:13-20; Luke 8:11-15

MT13:18 “So, you [disciples], listen [to the meaning] of the parable[1] of the Sower. MT13:19 Anyone hearing the kingdom message[2] and failing to understand,[3] the Evil One[4] comes and steals[5] those things sown in the heart[6] – this is the seed sown beside the road. MT13:20 Now, the seed sown on the gravel – this is a person who at first hearing accepts [the message] with joy.[7] MT13:21 But, because of having no inner roots nothing lasts,[8] for as soon as oppression or persecution[9] occurs because of the message[10] the person stumbles.[11] MT13:22 Now, the one sown among thorns – this is the person who hears the message[12] but the anxieties of that Period[13] and deceptive riches[14] choke the message[15] and the person is unproductive.[16] MT13:23 However, the seed sown in good soil – this is the person who hears the message and understands and actually is productive:[17] one person a hundred times, another person sixty times, and another thirty times.”

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[1] Listen [to the meaning] of the parable: Or, WEY: I will explain the parable. Evidently only directed to his disciples.

[2] Kingdom message: TCNT: the Message of the Kingdom; KNX: the word by which the kingdom is preached. This is the “word” (LOGOS) about the Realm of Heaven: the opportunity for membership within the realm of profession.

[3] Failing to understand: Or, NJB: without understanding; KIT: not comprehending; NWT: does not get the sense of. It is difficult to accept that the literal words carry the exact meaning. It is possible the Nazarene’s intent is: ‘hearing the message without attempting to understand it.’ Mark 4:15 omits the part about failing to understand. Luke 8:12 merely has “heard.”

[4] Evil One: The Greek is PONEROS. Or, KJV: wicked one.

[5] Steals: The Greek is HARPAZEI which means to “snatch” or “grab.” Or, GDSP: robs him; KJV: catcheth away; ASV: snatcheth away. The word is related to that one in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and the Rapture. Compare also Philippians 2:6.

[6] Things sown in the heart: GDSP: sown in his mind. Something has germinated but likely this person only shows a cursory interest without the inner person being moved to further effort. There is an initial interest but for a variety of self-rationalizations the kingdom theme does not strike a cord in the heart.

[7] At first hearing accepts [the message] with joy: Or, KJV: and anon with joy receiveth it; TCNT: at once accepts it joyfully; MOF: with enthusiasm. There is some follow through by this person who hears and “receives” the kingdom message – but without conviction. Luke 8:12, “they may not believe and be saved.” There may be a degree of interest resulting in joyful gladness. How far this disciple matures is not explained (Luke says there is no belief) but it appears this is a neophyte about to face realities.

[8] Having no inner roots nothing lasts: Literally, this may read: “but he has no root in himself but is transitory.” (UBSInt) Or, KJV: hath not root in himself; GDSP: takes no real root; NEB: strikes no root. Whatever initial joy the person had in the kingdom message no serious effort was forthcoming to cause the “word” to take hold. Some take up Christian discipleship but within a short time run out of enthusiasm. “Nothing lasts” may also be rendered: KJV: dureth for a while; TCNT: stands for only a short time; RIEU: he cannot hold out long. Mark 4:15 has it, “they continue for a time.” And, Luke 8:12, “they believe for a season.” The Christian walk is not a sprint but a marathon. It has been observed that many Christians “last” only three years before slowing down with some grinding to a halt. Consider word studies on endurance.

[9] Oppression or persecution: The Greek for “oppression” is THLIPSEOS (Matthew 24:20, 21) and here related to “persecution.” Or, WEY: when suffering comes. Luke 8:13 has this, “a season of testing.” From the very beginning Christianity knew only persecution and oppression. Despite the joy of accepting the kingdom message the high cost of discipleship takes its toll.

[10] Because of the message: The reason for the oppression or tribulation is not that caused by Life itself. The difficulties are related to the kingdom message.

[11] The person stumbles: Or, KJV: is offended; WEY: turns against it; MOF: at once repelled; RIEU: promptly recants; NOR: at once gives it up. The Greek is SCANDALIZETAI. Luke 8:13 has it, “they fall away (or, stand off).” A word study, stumble or stumblingblock.

[12] Hears the message: This disciple listens but will come against other problems.

[13] The anxieties of that Period: The Greek may also mean “overly concerned.” The word “period” is rendered from the Greek AIONOS which is also rendered: KJV: world; RHM: age; TCNT: life. Each age or period of human history and existence has its own particularly anxieties or concerns. Those of Jesus’ period may not be the same as in the modern period. On the matter of anxiety or being overly concerned see notes on Matthew 6:20-33. GDSP: the worries of the time. Luke 8:14 has it, “by being carried away by anxieties.”

[14] Deceptive riches: Or, KJV: the deceitfulness of riches; TCNT: the glamour of wealth; LAM: the deception caused by riches; MOF: the delight of being rich; RIEU: the lure of riches. The word “rich” describes that person with a surplus and the leisure time that goes with it. Jesus uses the words often and it is worthy of a word study on rich, riches, or, money. The word “rich” is also an interesting one to explore in an unabridged dictionary. Compare 1Timothy 6:17-19. Luke 8:15 adds, “pleasures of this life.” And, Mark 4:18 includes, “the desires for the rest of the things.” (Compare 1 John 2:15-17)

[15] Choke the message: Or, strangle, smother; BAS: put a stop to.

[16] The person is unproductive: Or, KJV: unfruitful; TCNT: it gives no return. Compare John 15:1-10; 2 Peter 1:5-8. What fruit or produce is Jesus expecting? Surely the main emphasis is on what a person does with the kingdom message regarding others. It would seem likely that it would also involve “fruitage of the spirit” and its manifestations (Galatians 5:22, 23).

[17] Hears the message and understands and actually is productive: There are three parts here: listening to the kingdom message, achieving some understanding or comprehension, and then bearing fruitage or evidence the message has taken root. Or, TCNT: really yields a return; BECK: goes on producing good things. Note, however, that this production or fruitage is not the same for all genuine Friends of the Nazarene (John 15:14). Like the “widow’s mite” it depends on individuality and circumstances, as well as a heart driven by faith. Perhaps one of the most outstanding examples of producing a hundred-fold is the apostle Paul (Romans 1:13). Paul defines Christian fruitage: Sharing (Romans 15:27, 28; Philippians 1:22); holiness (Romans 6:21); goodness, righteousness, truth (Ephesians 5:9); good work ad knowledge (Colossians 1:10); praise and charity (Hebrews 13:15).

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Preceding

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

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

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Related

  1. Spiritual Plague-the blindness of mechanical religion
  2. Are You Too Busy?

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