Matthew 13 Parables - Part Eleven - Have You Understood All These Things?

Part 11 - Matthew 13 Parables - Revisted series
By: John Herbert | Mar 14, 2010
Mt 13:51 Jesus said to them, "Have you understood all these things?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord."

At the end of the sequence of 7 parables in Matthew Chapter 13 the Lord asks His disciples whether they have understood all that He has just been teaching, to which they say, 'Yes Lord'. Exactly what it is that they understood and what this meant for them and us will be the subject of our study today

Message Notes

Page 1 of 11
Sunday March 14th 2010
Matthew 13 Parables ? Part Eleven
?Have You Understood All These Things??
1). Mt 13:51 Jesus said to them, "Have you understood all these things?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord." 52 Then He said to them, "Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old."
2). At the conclusion of our 7 parables here in Matthew Chapter 13 Jesus asks His disciples the question, ?have you understood all these things?? To which they give a positive response, ?Yes, Lord?.
a). So let?s be clear then what He has revealed to them in the parables that they say they have understood ? we see this in - Mt 13:11 He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,
And also this in - Mt 13:35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: "I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world."
b). The disciples say then that they have understood, have put together those things that had been kept secret from the foundation of the world ? and these ?things kept secret? are described by Christ as ?the mysteries of the Kingdom of the Heavens?.
c). Let?s be clear then ? this is not a simple case of comprehension, ?Did you understand the words?? but is rather a question concerning understanding the spiritual truth of God?s prophetic revelation contained within the parables.
d). This is the principle that is given to us in -1Co 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
e). Such an understanding of spiritual truth however, can only come about through the work of the Spirit as that spiritual truth is brought forth from above. This is exactly the experience Peter has at Caesarea Philippi - Mt 16:16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
f). And it is the same principle that the Lord points out to Nicodemus in ?
Page 2 of 11
Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is brought forth from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
g). This is exactly what is intended by Christ?s often repeated statement ?
Mt 13:9 "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
3). This is the same experience we see recorded concerning the disciples on the road to Emmaus on the day of the Lord?s resurrection - Lu 24:30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
? It was the One from above, God the Son, who opened their eyes to understand the scriptures by firstly giving them the keys of understanding ? Lu 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
a). This is the very same thing He did for the rest of the disciples later that same day - Lu 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
4). In our opening scripture for today?s study we find the Lord makes a statement to His disciples based on their answer of ?Yes, Lord? - "Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old."
a). And so, what we see here is a process. Those who would understand ?all these things?, those who will grasp and understand the spiritual truth revealed through the word of the Kingdom, those to whom it has been given to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of the Heavens, will possess a key to understanding that will enable them to unlock more and more of the scriptures ? to bring from their treasure ?things new and old?.
5). We should note that the disciples who heard the Matthew 13 parables said they ?understood? and this would be a completely true statement within the context in which it was made, but then their understanding, that which they had said they understood at that time, is opened still further on the day of the Lord?s resurrection as He showed them how to comprehend the scriptures. Their subsequent faithfulness in rightly dividing the word of truth according to the way Christ had taught them enabled the Holy Spirit to continue to give them spiritual revelation. It is impossible for us to know the level of their understanding when the Lord asks
Page 3 of 11
them the question, ?have you understood all these things??, but we can know for certain that they would have understood more and more about that which Christ taught them as the scriptures were subsequently opened to them.
a). And so continuing in this process they were then able to bring out of their treasure things new and old.
b). And here we find explanation and fulfillment of that which the Lord said in ? Mt 13:12 "For whoever has,[an understanding of the word of the Kingdom] to him more will be given, and he will have abundance;
- there is great encouragement for us in this.
6). Now, we can see exactly this same process with regards to our own personal experience. We are here today and understanding the scriptures today as a consequence of our response to what is written in - Re 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
a). We have heard His voice and we have opened the door and let Him in and now we are dining with Him and He with us as we feast on the word of the Kingdom.
b). For some of us our understanding of the word of the Kingdom may be in its infancy and for others it may be much more advanced. But what it has given us all is the key to unlocking the scriptures so that we may grow into spiritual maturity and be steadfast in the faith, if we will continue patiently in the process and apply that which we find in - 2Ti 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
c). And the scriptures are continually unlocked for us by a work of the Spirit from above, just as the scripture says - Joh 16:13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 "All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
d). And according to the scriptures it is in Christ that we will find all the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge - Col 2:1 ? For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 ? Now
Page 4 of 11
this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
e). Note what the scripture says in Proverbs about wisdom - Pr 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.8 Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. 9 She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you."
f). Wisdom = Hebrew ? ?chokmah? ? from a root meaning ?to be wise?
g). So, how would we understand being wise? - Pr 11:30 ? The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.
Pr 3:35 The wise shall inherit glory, But shame shall be the legacy of fools.
Pr 14:35 ? The king's favor is toward a wise servant, But his wrath is against him who causes shame.
Mt 24:45 "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 "Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 "Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.
h). And this concerning wisdom and knowledge in - Pr 24:13 ? My son, eat honey because it is good, And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste; 14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; If you have found it, there is a prospect, And your hope will not be cut off.
Ec 7:12 For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense, But the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.
Ho 4:6 ? My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
i). And so how would we draw from this treasure of wisdom and knowledge that will make us wise to the winning of the soul, that we may have life and that our hope will not be cut off?
j). The answer to our question is really very straight forward - through prayerful study of the word thereby allowing the Spirit to guide us into all truth. Christ is the word made flesh and so it is in the Word that we find Christ and in Christ as the Word that we find the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge - Lu 11:9 "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 "If a son asks for
Page 5 of 11
bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 "Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
k). Perhaps with all this in mind we can now better understand Paul?s prayer for the Ephesians in - Eph 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
l). And the cry of Paul?s own heart in - Php 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 ? and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection[lit. ?out resurrection] from the dead.
m). Do you remember the admonishment of - Eph 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
n). And being continually filled with the Spirit, by comparing scripture with scripture, happens only one way - Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,
o). The word of Christ and the word of the Kingdom are one and the same thing. We can?t understand the Christ apart from His coming Kingdom and we can?t understand the Kingdom apart from the Christ for whom it is intended.
7). And let us not forget that it is the word concerning the Christ that is the very foundation upon which His Church, those who will be the pearl of great price, will be built - Mt 16:5 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.
Page 6 of 11
a). The revelation that Peter receives, ?You are the Christ, the Son of the living God? is something that can only be received through the work of the Spirit. This is why in v20 He commands His disciples that they ?should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ?. This is a truth that can only be revealed in the spiritual realm, it can?t ever be embraced as an action of the human intellect.
b). And the reason that this is entirely a spiritual revelation is contained in the phrase itself. ?The Christ? literally means, ?the anointed One? and in this is the understanding that Jesus has been anointed to be Prophet, Priest and King. He came as Prophet like Moses at His first coming - De 18:15 ? "The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,
c). He is now our great High Priest providing cleansing for the sins of the saved and in that future Day He will come as the great King/Priest after the order of Melchizedek. It is not possible to understand what is meant by ?the Christ?, without entering into error without understanding God?s plans and purposes for His son and Man with regards to rulership, which will be brought to fulfillment in the 7th Day.
d). And the same thing would be true for the phrase, ?the Son of the living God? ? this seemingly simple phrase takes us back to the promise God made David in - 2Sa 7:12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.
e). Contained in our phrase then is the absolute certainty that Jesus is the greater Son of David, the One who will have the throne of His Kingdom established forever ? the One who is literally the Son of God. And again the inescapable truth of the Kingdom Age to come and the fulfillment of God?s plans with regards to it ? just remember how the Book of Matthew begins ?
Mt 1:1 ? The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
f). And how would we understand the promised ?keys? to the Kingdom of the Heavens that Christ says He will give? Simply this ? in understanding that Jesus is ?the Christ, the Son of the living God?, which itself is the foundation of the word of the Kingdom, we have a key that will unlock the scriptures for us, which if we are faithful to them, will provide an opening into the Kingdom of the Heavens for us - 2Pe 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 ? For this reason I will not be negligent to
Page 7 of 11
remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
g). And then in that Day, if we have been found faithful to the scriptures, we will be given the keys of the Kingdom of the Heavens, in the sense of ownership ? in that Day, for the faithful, the Kingdom of the Heavens will be theirs as a joint heir with Christ.
h). And also in that Day as rulers with Christ, whatever we bind on the earth will have already been bound in the Kingdom of the Heavens and whatever we loose on the earth will have already been loosed in the Kingdom of the Heavens. Binding and loosing are part of rulership in the age to come and have nothing to do with us now.
8). In the midst of our excitement at seeing the scriptures open before our eyes let us remember that in the race of faith there are winners and losers and that winning is not just an accumulation of knowledge for its own sake, but a lifestyle of continual faithful obedience. Many who understand Kingdom truth will nevertheless be denied a position with Christ because of their poor choices ?
Ga 5:7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
a). Heb 4:11 ? Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
b). Re 2:4 "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
9). We would do well to remember the admonition of James - Jas 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
a). Remember the word faith and believe are the same word in the Greek language and mean the same thing. It is not enough for us to believe what God has said about the coming Kingdom age on its own. What we have believed, the faith we have, must be converted into action, that which the scriptures call, ?works?. It was Abraham acting upon his faith, what he had believed, concerning God?s promise with respect to Isaac that made his faith perfect, literally brought it to completion. And it is only through our faith being brought to completion that we
Page 8 of 11
will achieve the salvation of our souls and thereby receive our inheritance as a joint heir with Christ ? becoming part of His Bride and then His wife.
b). 1Pe 1:3 ? Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 ? In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
c). This is why we must follow that recorded in - Jas 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
d).And that which we see in -1Pe 1:13 ? Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." 17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;
e). And -Heb 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The LORD will judge His people." 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Page 9 of 11
f). We should take this warning in the Book of Hebrews very seriously because it would not be there if it were not a possibility for us. The Lord through His grace and mercy has provided us with an incredible key to unlock the scriptures. Our understanding of the word of the Kingdom, at whatever stage it is, enables us to study and bring out of the enormous treasure of His word things that we already knew, things that the word of the Kingdom confirms for us and also allows us to see things and understand things that we have never understood before. Things we may just have missed or things that caused us confusion. Those scriptures we were told we were not meant to understand just open up before our eyes as the word pictures of the Old Testament find their fulfillment in the pages of the New. Everyone of us has experienced bringing out something new from the treasure of His word.
g). This is always very exciting and an experience that goes beyond our wildest expectations. But the Lord opens the scriptures from above not just for our intellectual gratification, but also to call us to repentance, to obedience, to life change.
h). Obedience is not a burden, it is a privilege. It took the death of God to make it possible.
10). He calls us and draws us just like the oldest servant in Genesis Chapter 24 ? displaying his master?s goods and making known the inheritance - 1Co 2:9 But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
a). He calls us and draws us like an ardent lover wooing His bride ?
Song 4:7 You are all fair, my love, And there is no spot in you. 8 ? Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, With me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, From the top of Senir and Hermon, From the lions' dens, From the mountains of the leopards. 9 You have ravished my heart, My sister, my spouse;
b). And demonstrating the enormity of His love for us through His sacrifice
Heb 12:1 ? Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Page 10 of 11
11). But remember that our God is also righteous and just in all His dealings and is without partiality - Ro 11:22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
a). If we were to reject what He has made possible for us then we are rejecting God Himself and there would be no choice but for us to be cast into ?the furnace of fire?, ?Gehenna?, ?the outer darkness? for the whole of the Millennial Kingdom ? Divine justice would demand it.
b). Our love for Him is not expressed merely in words or emotion ?
Joh 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.
c). But through our faithful obedience.
12). Throughout the scriptures we see that there is the choice to obedience or disobedience, faithfulness or unfaithfulness. There is a choice for us to make each and every moment of each and every day.
a). Ro 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
b). The perfect will of God is that we should become a joint heir with His Son in the Millennial Kingdom. The transformation of our mind, literally a metamorphosis, will be an experiential proof for us of His will for us now, in the present, and will ultimately be an absolute proof for us as its completion will enable us to ascend Christ?s throne with Him in that coming Day, yet future.
c). Not conforming ourselves to this world, not following the pattern of this age is an action of our own free will. The transforming of our mind, the metamorphosis, is a work of the Spirit brought forth from above.
d). Again - Jas 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
13). This implanted word, the word of the Kingdom, is the central message of the New Testament and the primary focus of God?s revelation to us, and has been throughout, the subject of our study of the Matthew 13 parables.
a). And we have seen through the parable of the Sower, the Wheat and the Tares, the Mustard Seed and the Leaven the extraordinary lengths the enemy of our soul will go to in order to prevent this word from producing fruit ? in those who hear it. And we are not exempt from his efforts.
b). As we come to the end of our study of the Matthew 13 Parables there remains just one question to ask of you ? ?Have you understood all these things??
Page 11 of 11
Other messages from this series Audio Video PDF Study Notes
Choose Where You Are Planted
Part 1 - Matthew 13 Parables - Setting the Context
Part 2 - Matthew 13 Parables - Setting the Context Continued
Part 3 - Matthew 13 Parables - The Parable of the Sower
Part 4 - Matthew 13 Parables - Part Four - The Wheat and Tares
Part 5 - Matthew 13 Parables - The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Part 6 - Matthew 13 Parables - Part Six The Parable of the Leaven
Part 7 - Matthew 13 Parables - Part Seven - Without a Parable
Part 8 - Matthew 13 Parables - Part Eight - The Treasure
Part 9 - Matthew 13 Parables - Part Nine - The Pearl
Part 10 - Matthew 13 Parables - Part Ten - The Parable of the Dragnet
Part 11 - Matthew 13 Parables - Part Eleven - Have You Understood All These Things?