5x5x5 Matthew and the Parables

Dear 5x5x5 Readers,

We started this week reading Matthew 13.  You can go ahead and draw a big line in your Bible at the chapter break between Matthew 12 and 13, since it is a significant turning point and I don’t want you to miss it!  A good Bible study student sometimes needs to step back and look at the outline of the whole book.  This is what we find for Matthew:

Ch 1-2  Genealogy, birth, younger years
Ch 3-4  Baptism, temptation, start of Jesus’ public ministry (Year 1)
Ch 5-7  Sermon on the Mount
Ch 8-9  Many miracles, healings, casting out demons, and raising the dead
Ch 10   Disciples sent out to do ministry
Ch 11   More preaching and teaching
Ch 12   Huge conflict with Pharisees over the Sabbath, they begin to plot to kill him (end of Year 2)
Ch 13   Jesus begins to teach in parables (Year 3)

Throughout years 1-2 of His public ministry Jesus taught in a straightforward manner so that everyone could understand.  His sermons were full of Old Testament references, and his miracles gave evidence to all that He was the Son of God.  Jesus’ teaching style shifts after the conflict with the Pharisees, and from chapter 13 on He will teach primarily in parables.  For those who seek truth, Jesus is delighted to explain the meaning behind his parables.  But for those who seek only to agitate the crowds and who are not interested in learning, the meaning is veiled.  In fact, “Their hearts have become calloused, they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.” Mt 13:15

There are nearly 40 parables in the gospels, mostly in Matthew and Luke.  If you are intrigued by them, I recommend reading John Macarthur’s recent book Parables: The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Revealed Through the Stories Jesus Told.

Happy reading!


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