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God’s Kingdom Consummated

Book Reflection // August 27, 2022 // View Series

The Parables of Jesus by James Montgomery Boice

Chapter 4 // Matthew 13:47-52

These parables that we have been looking at for the past few weeks have not only the common theme of describing the kingdom of God, but they also share repetitive points. Jesus uses repetition in a lot of his teaching and it is no different in this set of parables found in Matthew 13. There are very few points mentioned in any of the previous parables that are not also mentioned in one of the others. The parable before us today is focused on the new imagery of fishing but is making the same points as that of the wheat and tares growing together.

The Dragnet

It is important to first remember that the presupposition of these parables is that God has already brought about the regeneration of the two people we are looking at. The man who finds the treasure and the merchant who finds the pearl are like the soil where the gospel has been planted and is beginning to bear fruit. There is an interesting difference between the two people in these parables. First, the one who found the treasure wasn’t looking for it. He is like the person who has no apparent interest in Christ, until one day his eyes are opened and he sees the irresistible love of Jesus. This is an illustration of Isaiah 65:1, “I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.” The second person seems to be searching intentionally for God and salvation and when he finds Jesus presented as the only means of salivation, he is overjoyed.

A Final Separation

The word we see here for judgment is speaking to the essential and necessary step of separation. In Hebrew, the meaning can include making a distinction or to discriminate. In Greek, this is the word from which we derive “crisis”. As Boice says, “A crisis is something that confronts you with a choice; you must respond by going in one direction or the other.” This is how Jesus often spoke about judgment. Presenting us with a crisis point to bring us to a decision. There are several important points to remember from this parable.

Gnashing of Teeth

There is another point that is brought out in this parable and that is the terrible fate of the unrighteous. Jesus confronts our sensibilities and desire to think lightly of judgment. Jesus wants us to awaken to the reality of hell and what separation from Christ for all eternity truly means. He uses the phrase “weeping and gnashing of teeth” to describe the fate of those in hell. There are three points to consider when thinking about the torment and suffering of hell.

A Final Question

This question at the end of the parables is the essential question we should all be asking ourselves. We should ask this question each and every day. This is not just a one-and-done question. This is a daily introspective, be honest with yourself, question. This is the only question that really matters.

Have you understood all these things?

Matthew 13:51

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