StoneBridge Community Church
All This Took Place #6: Speaking in Parables
Pastor Jeff Cheadle
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Campus
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:30 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:30 AM
  • Growth Groups
    Simi Town Center Way, Simi Valley, CA 93065, USA
    Sunday 12:00 PM

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Commentary on Chapter 13

Bob Utley, "Chapter 13" From the series Matthew: The First Christian Primer.

The Parables of Matthew 13

Hampton Keathley IV, "The Parables of Matthew 13" From the series The Parables
The immediate context of Jesus' teaching in parables in Matthew 13 is the growing hostility to him recorded in Matthew chapters 11-12.

James Tissot (1836-1902). "The Pharisees and the Herodians Conspire Against Jesus" (Detail). Brooklyn Museum.

James Tissot (1836-1902). "The Sower" (Detail). Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum.

1. People will respond to Jesus…
1. People will respond to Jesus and his message in very different ways.
For reflection/discussion
For reflection/ discussion: Why are some people drawn to Jesus and love the church, while others are disinterested in, put off by, or hostile to Jesus and the church?

While everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat…

Tares/ Darnel

"Lolium temulentum, typically known as darnel, poison darnel, darnel ryegrass or cockle… usually grows in the same production zones as wheat and was a serious weed of cultivation until modern sorting machinery enabled darnel seeds to be separated efficiently from seed wheat. The similarity between these two plants is so great that in some regions, darnel is referred to as "false wheat". It bears a close resemblance to wheat until the ear appears." Wikipedia article
2. Evil will be…
2. Evil will be weeded out in God's perfect timing.
“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains ... an unuprooted small corner of evil. ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956
For reflection/discussion
For reflection/discussion:(1) What does Jesus' parable of the wheat and the tares tell us about the presence of evil in the world that God created good? (2) Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and others drew a distinction between the "visible church" and the "invisible church" in order to address the difference between people who had an authentic, saving faith, and those who merely professed faith. The idea is that, in the end, those who belong to God are known to God alone. What are your thoughts on this idea? (3) Read the quote from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn above. Why is it important for us to be aware that evil runs through every human heart, our own included? (4) In what way is Jesus' parable of the wheat and the tares good news? How does it also serve as a warning?

Messianic Expectation

Craig Keener, "Messianic Expectation." Prepared for the Yale Center for Faith & Culture Consultation on “Expectation and Human Flourishing,” June 2015.
3. We shouldn't despair…
3. We shouldn't despair over small beginnings.
At this point in Matthew's Gospel Jesus' public teaching draws to a close. His teaching from this point forward will be private and directed to his disciples. The teaching and parables that follow are recorded only in Matthew.
For reflection/discussion
For reflection/discussion: (1) In what ways did Jesus' ministry defy, disappoint, and redefine Jewish expectations about the coming of the Messiah? (2) How can the parables of the mustard seed and the leaven help us deal with feelings of discouragement?

The Treasure in the Field. Artist Unknown

4. Nothing is more valuable or precious…
4. Nothing is more valuable or precious than the good news of God's love that we have found in Jesus.
For reflection/discussion
For reflection/discussion: (1) If you are a Christian, how did you become a believer? Was it the result of an intentional search, or were there unexpected, surprising elements involved? (2) Is your relationship with God the most important thing in your life? If not, why not? Who or what is more important?

Seine Fishing

"Seine fishing (or seine-haul fishing) is a method of fishing that employs a seine or dragnet. A seine is a fishing net that hangs vertically in the water with its bottom edge held down by weights and its top edge buoyed by floats. Seine nets can be deployed from the shore as a beach seine, or from a boat…" Wikipedia article.

Fishermen using a Seine. Photo: Eric Matson Collection, Library of Congress.

5. The Church will always be…
5. The Church will always be imperfect with a wide mix of people.
For reflection/discussion
For reflection/discussion: (1) How does the Parable of the Dragnet speak to our mission to share the good news with and welcome everyone without discrimination? (2) If someone were to point out that there are less than perfect people in the church, how might your knowledge of this parable help you address them? (3) Do you have confidence that you are among the "good fish" and, if so, on what basis?

Valentin de Boulogne (1591–1632) "Saint Paul Writing His Epistles" c. 1618-1620. Oil on Canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

6. God reveals himself and speaks to us…
6. God reveals himself and speaks to us in the Old and New Testaments taken together.

Why the Old Testament Matters

David Murray, "Jesus on Every Page: Seven Reasons to Study Your Old Testament" The Gospel Coalition, August 26, 2013
For reflection/discussion
For reflection/discussion: (1) How well do you know both the Old and New Testaments? (2) The early church denounced a man named Marcion of Sinope (c. 85-160 AD) because he rejected the God of the Old Testament in favor of the God of the New. What error did he commit, and why was it important to challenge him? (3) Because of Jesus, the ritual law laid out in the Old Testament is no longer binding on Christians. Why is a knowledge of the Old Testament still important to followers of Jesus?

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