Jesus revealed to His disciples the mysteries about the kingdom of God in Matthew 13 (Mark 4:1–34; Luke 8:4–18). The parables of Matthew 13 are not identical with the yet to be revealed church age, even though there is some major overlap. Matthew 13 surveys this present age in its relation to the kingdom since the parables cover the period of time between Christ’s two advents—His first and second comings. This includes the present church age, the rapture, the tribulation, the second coming, and the sheep/goats judgment.
Previously we began a look at the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven or kingdom of God as noted in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. I have also gone over the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1–23 in which the parables were called “mysteries” of the kingdom of God. Therefore we learned that during the interim period between the two comings of Jesus, the parable of the sower indicates there will be varied responses to the proclamation of the message, which is the gospel.
Passage: Matthew 13:17 & Matthew 13:35
In our study of the mysteries in the New Testament I have defined them as a secret part of God’s original plan for mankind that is revealed to the church. This understanding is supported by Matthew 13:17 and 35. Verse 17 is a clear reference to Old Testament prophets and righteous men who did not see prophetically many of the things that Jesus’ disciples were witnessing. They were hidden from those in the Old Testament, even though all of these events were part of God’s original plan from the beginning. This is known as progressive of revelation.
In our continued study of the Christ’s mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, we now arrive at the fourth parable of Matthew 13—the parable of the leaven. This parable is also found in Luke 13:20–21: “And again He said, ‘To what shall I compare the kingdom of God It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of meal, until it was all leavened.’” The gospel of Mark excludes this parable. Even though worded a little different, both renditions of the parable of the leaven are essentially the same. The leaven parable is second and last of the growth parables; ...
Passage: Matthew 13:44-46
The parables of “the hidden treasure” (Matt. 13:44) and “the pearl of great price” (13:45–46) appear to many to constitute a pair related in some way. These parables are the first two not spoken publicly but only to the disciples in private. Jesus uses the introductory formula “the kingdom of heaven is like . . .” It is likely there is a connection between Jesus’ quotation of Psalm 78:2 in Matthew 13:35 and 13:44 since both use the word “hidden.” ...