“On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. Then He spoke many things to them IN PARABLES saying…”
Up to a certain point in His ministry, Jesus had spoken plainly and openly to the Jewish people. Notice in the first 12 chapters of Matthew, notice there are no parables. Finally, in the 12th of Matthew, He revealed Himself in His 3-fold glory. He plainly said He was greater than the temple, meaning greater than any other priest and greater than Solomon, meaning greater than any king. Finally, He stated that He was greater than Jonah, a prophet in the Old Testament. Thus, in terms of all prophets, priests and kings, JESUS IS THE GREATEST OF THEM ALL. What the leaders and the elders of the Jews do in response? They rejected Him. It was the last straw.
After being direct and open with them, plainly and openly revealing His glory, in the very next chapter, He changed tactics.
Jesus Begins To Teach In Parables.
In the very beginning of the very next chapter, 13, He suddenly began to share everything with them in parables, beginning with seven kingdom parables. Why parables all of a sudden? I’m glad you asked!
His disciples posed the very same question: “‘…Why do You speak to them in parables?’ He answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, BUT TO THEM IT HAS NOT BEEN GIVEN.’”(Matthew 13:10-11).
HEREIN IS THE GREAT LOVE OF OUR GOD. If Jesus had continued to speak the truth to them openly, as in chapter 12, and they continued to reject Him, THEIR GUILT WOULD BE HEAVIER. That is why He cloaked His teachings in parables. It was both a judgment and Grace. You see, parables are meant to hide truths from those with no heart for it. They will hear, not understand, and won’t receive, while those who are hungry will. THAT’S DIVINE WISDOM!
The passage further goes on to say that afterward, Jesus “left the HOUSE” and went and sat “by the SEA.” “HOUSE” is always a reference to natural “Israel” whereas “THE SEA” represents the Gentiles, meaning the non-Jewish nations. He left HOUSE (Israel), went and sat by THE SEA (Gentile nations), then afterwards went back to the HOUSE (Israel).
The chapter ends with seven Kingdom parables which He shared with them. They are divided into two groups: The first four and the last three; four outside (the (house); three inside (the house).
The Field, The Sea, And The Dragnet.
The first parable of the field, or GROUND, speaks of NATURAL ISRAEL. He died for natural Israel as well as for the whole world, meaning the nations or Gentiles. We…non-Jews…are the pearls of GREAT price He found “IN THE SEA!”
If you’d like to read more about the Pearl of Great Price, you may follow the link below. You might be quite surprised at what you find:
Last of all is the parable of the dragnet that was cast into the SEA: The nations. This will take place during the millennium. During that 1,000 year period, the gospel message will go out to the whole world and bring in all kinds of “fish” from its four corners! These 3 three parables are a prophetic timeline, as well. Obviously we are not yet in the parable of the dragnet, but we’re definitely, prophetically speaking, in the parables of the treasure in the field and the sea.
Most traditional teaching would have you believe that you must give up everything to “buy,” as it were, “the Pearl of great price, thinking it is Jesus. Have you heard that before? AS IF!” You and I are the poor, the blind and the naked. BUY JESUS? Are you kidding me? We have NOTHING to offer. We are bankrupt! Ain’t no way we can purchase anything…..least of all Jesus! But that’s what you get when man puts himself in the center.
NEWS FLASH: You and I are not the center. JESUS IS. He is The One Who died for the entire world to get the treasure and the pearls. HALLELUJAH!!!
Go back and read the parable of the treasure in the field sometime. Did you ever notice that the treasure in the field was hidden not once, but twice? “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure HIDDEN in a field, which a man found and HID; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44)
Why twice? Because much of natural Israel was already hidden when Jesus was born. In the Old Testament, many were hidden among the nations. Each time they were taken captive after their many indiscretions, many returned from those foreign lands…but not all. First they were captured by the Assyrians, then the Babylonians. Next came the Medo-Persia, then the Greeks under Alexander the Great and finally, the Romans, who were in charge when Jesus was born.
Why Did God Hide His People?
He had come to reveal Himself to His own, but because they rejected Him. So, He hid them a second time. Today, they are largely still scattered among all the nations, even though Israel once again has a land to call home. Many have returned but not all. Not by a long shot.
God had wanted them to be the His flagship; the savior nation; the kingly nation leading all others, preaching the gospel to them; the head and not the tail. Instead, they struggled to survive for 2,000 years. The place where they safest and flourish the most is in their own land: Israel.
If you’d like to see what it is that God really wanted to happen, you may follow the link below to part 6 to find out!