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THE  TEACHINGS  OF  JESUS

PARABLES

The Sower & the Seed The Net The Two Foundations The  Infinite Fatherhood of God
The Seed Growing of Itself The Defilement The Men of This Generation The Rich Fool
The Mustard Seed The Son The Two Debtrors The Watching Servants
The Tares The Bridegroom & the Bottles The Lighted Candle The Barren Tree
The Leaven The Blind Leading the Blind The Good Samaritan The Great Supper
The Hidden Treasure The Mote in the Eye A Desparate Man  
The Pearl of Great Price      
       

Matt 13:1-3

1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying...  
(KJV)

13:1,2    Place.      Departure.    "Out of the house".
       13:3-9     A Man    (The Sower)
               13:10-23    Question from Disciples.     Answer not understood.
                        13:24-33    The Kingdom of Heaven is Like -  A Man,   Grain of Mustard Seed,  Leaven
                                    13:34,35     Multitudes.
13:36-     Place.      Departure.    "Into the house".

                                    13:-36-43    Disciples.
                        13:44-50    The Kingdom of Heaven is Like - Treasure,   A Merchant,  A Net
                13:51        Questions to Disciples.     Answer understood.
        13:52      A Man    (The Scribe)
13:53    Place.    Departure     "Thence".

Matt 13:10-19

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in     parables?
11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
     (KJV)

Mark 4

    "And He began again to teach by the sea side"

After spending some time teaching those whom He had called out to Himself as disciples (mathetes = learners), our Lord resumes His wider ministry among the people at various points along the sea shore. "To teach" is a present infinitive in the Greek text, and thus durative in action, "to be teaching," emphasizing, not the fact of teaching, but the process. It was line upon line, precept upon precept. The teaching was simplicity itself, and possibly oft repeated in order that the people that could understand might indeed understand.

    "In parables"

His teaching took the form of    CONCRETE ILLUSTRATIONS
                            alongside of   
A TRUTH TO EXPLAIN IT.
Jesus adapted the simplicity of His teaching to the limitations of His hearers. But even with this our Lord’s words often fell on dull ears, hard hearts, and unresponsive wills.

    "In His doctrine"

The word  ‘doctrine’  is the Greek word didache which is allied in form to the Greek words meaning "to teach" and "teacher." Thus, this word means "that which is taught."

Translation. "And He was teaching them many things by means of parables, and was saying to them in His teaching."

    "Hearken

The word in the Greek is akouete, in the imperative mode, present tense. "Be listening." It was a crowd more interested in coming in contact with the Lord Jesus in order to be HEALED than in SALVATION FOR THIER SOULS.

Behold

The Greek word here is idou. It is a demonstrative particle which is used to give a peculiar vivacity to the style by bidding the reader or hearer to ATTEND TO WHAT IS SAID. It can be translated by "behold, see, lo,"

Translation. "Be listening. Give attention to this. The sower went out to sow."

PARABLE  OF  THE  SOWER   &  THE  SEED    
(Matthew 13:3-23,  Mark 4:3-25,  Luke 8:5-18)

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   The Parable

Mark 4:3-8

3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.   
(KJV)

   The Purpose

Mark 4:14-20

14 The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.    
(KJV)

     "There went out"

This parable is repeated in Luke 8:4 under different circumstances from those in Matthew 13:3, which accounts for the variation of wording. The antecedents in Matthew and Mark are the visit of His kinsfolk, 3:31-34 (which is a consequent in Luke 8:4). The consequent in Matthew and Mark is the question of the Twelve concerning others who asked the meaning. In Luke the consequent is the question of the Twelve as to its meaning (thus hearing it for the first time), followed by the visit of His kinsfolk. Why should not a parable be repeated several times? Why need they be identical? And why should not two accounts of the same be supplementary?

THE FOUR CLASSES OF SOIL

Exposed to the word of God but Satan takes it from them before any  effect.   
Claim an experience but have no depth in Christ.
Have a good experience with God, but overtime they try to serve two masters.
Have a good experience with God and produce fruit according to their ability.

    "Wayside"

This is the Greek word hodos, which means a road.

Translation. "And it came to pass that while he was sowing, some indeed fell alongside the road, and the birds came and ate it up."

    "Some"

The Greek word here is allo, "other (seed) of the same kind." It was all the same kind of seed. The type of ground upon which it fell determined the amount and kind of fruit that would result.

Translation. "And other (seed) of the same kind fell upon ground full of rocks, where it did not have much earth. And immediately it sprang up because it did not have depth of earth."

Translation (4:6). "And when the sun arose, it was burnt with the heat, and because it did not possess rootage, it dried up."

    "Some fell among thorns."

"Some" is the translation of the Greek word allo, "another of the same kind." It is to be understood that the seed fell into the midst (Greek eis) of seeds of thorns. No one would plant seed in the midst of growing thorns, bramble-bushes or briers.

    "Choked it"

The Greek verb here is sumpnigo which means "to choke utterly." It is used in Luke 8:42, where it means "to press round or throng one so as to almost suffocate him." The word means "to strangle, throttle." The prefixed preposition sun, carries the idea of compression.

Translation. "And other (seed) of the same kind fell into the midst of thorns, and the thorns sprang up and utterly choked it, and it did not give fruit."

    "Did yield"

Imperfect in tense. Kept on yielding, as opposed to a one-time event. That sprang up and increased. These are present tense participles to be translated, "growing up" and "increasing," thus describing the ongoing, or continuous process spoken of in the imperfect verb more vividly.

    "Brought forth."

Again, an imperfect tense =  "kept on bearing."   Continued to bear fruit, regardless of circumstances.

Translation. "And other (seeds of the same kind) fell on ground that was good, and they kept on yielding fruit, growing up and increasing, and they kept on bearing, (some) up to thirty, and (some) to sixty, and (some) to one hundred. And He was saying, He who has ears to be hearing, let him be hearing."

   "They that were about Him."

These were not His kinsfolk of 3:21, the par’ autou, those closest to Him, but the outer circle of disciples, the peri auton, that group from which the Twelve were chosen.

    "The Parable"

The best texts have this word in the plural number. The disciples asked the explanation of the meaning of the parables when they were alone with Jesus, because they did not want the multitude to see that they did not understand His teaching. The construction in the Greek indicates that as soon as they were alone, the disciples lost no time in asking Jesus the answer.

Translation. "And as soon as He was alone, those about Him, with His disciples, went to asking Him concerning the parables.

    "The Mystery"

The Greek word is musterion, from which we get our word "mystery." The word is derived from the Greek word mustes, "one initiated," and this word from the Greek mueo which means "to close or shut." The mystery-religions had their secrets and signs as modern secret societies have today. The Greek word musterion as used in Scripture means "the secret counsels of God which are hidden from the ungodly - but when revealed to the godly, are understood by them."

The mystery is not in the fact that they are difficult of interpretation, but that they are impossible of interpretation until their meaning is revealed, when they become plain. The disciples had been initiated into these secret things.

    "Unto you it is given."

The verb is in the perfect tense, speaking of an act completed in past time having present results. The idea of permanency attaches to this construction. The disciples had been given so as to be a PERMANENT POSSESSION, the mystery of the Kingdom of God. They were initiates. They possessed the secret. It was now for them to come gradually into a CLEAR UNDERATANDING OF THE TRUTH.

    "To them that are without."

Our Lord explains that His parables are open to His disciples, but CLOSED TO THE PHARISEES with their hostile minds. The parables are thus a condemnation on the willfully blind and hostile, while a guide and blessing to the enlightened.

This is on the same principle as God hardening Pharaoh’s heart by forcing him to an issue which he did not want to meet (Romans 9:14-18). Here, these Pharisees, were attempting to show that our Lord was in league with Satan. They did not want the truth. Thus, rejecting the truth, they in a sense blinded themselves. The parables are so adjusted that they blind the one who wickedly rejects the truth, and enlighten the one who desires it.

    "The kingdom of God"

The Kingdom of Heaven

The Kingdom of God

Has Messiah for its King Has God for its Ruler
It is From Heaven; and Under the heavens upon the earth It is In Heaven, Over the earth
It is Limited in its scope It is Unlimited in its scope
It is Political in its sphere It is Moral and Spiritual in its sphere
It is Jewish and Exclusive in its character It is Inclusive in its character (embracing the natural and spiritual seeds of Abraham, "the heavenly calling", and the "Church" of the Mystery).   Hence -
It is National in its aspect It is Universal in its aspect
It is the special subject of Old Testament prophecy It is (in its wider aspect) the subject of New Testament revelation
It is Dispensational in its duration And will be Eternal in its duration

    "They should be converted."

The verb means "to turn one’s self about, to turn to, to return to, to cause to return, to bring back." It reefers to a reversal of one’s position concerning anything previously held.

    "Their sins should be forgiven them."

The words "their sins," are not in the best texts. The verb is third person singular, not plural. The translation is "It is the purpose of condemnation for willful blindness and rejection such as suits the Pharisees after their blasphemous accusation against Jesus….Jesus is pronouncing their doom in the language of the Prophet Isaiah. It sounds like the dirge of the damned." The singular number of the verb "it should be forgiven them," ostensibly refers to a single sin, in this context, the WILLFUL REJECTION OF THE TRUTH.

Translation. "And He was saying to them; To you the mystery of the kingdom of God has been given, and it is in your permanent possession. But to those who are outside, in the form of parables are all these things done, in order that seeing they may be seeing and may not perceive and hearing, they may be hearing and may not understand, lest haply they turn again and it should be forgiven them."

    "Know ye not"

The explanation of the parable of the sower, is preceded by a gentle reproach that explanation should be needed. Our Lord’s question implies surprise at their dullness, even though initiated into the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Their incapacity to understand this parable, raises a doubt as to whether they are able to understand all the others. The definite article before the word "parables" indicates that our Lord is pointing to the parables He has already given and those which He will give. The implication in the question of our Lord is that
        to understands the parable of the Sower,
        is to understand all the parables.
The word "how" is the Greek word pos, "how is it possible," declaring the impossibility of knowing all the parables, if one does not know the one about the Sower.

Translation. "And He says to them, Do you not know this parable? And how is it possible that you will know all the parables?"

    "Word"

In effect, this statement teaches that the seed which is sown is the WORD OF GOD.

   "Satan"

"Satan" is from a Hebrew word which means "adversary." The definite article precedes it, showing that a particular adversary is in the mind of the writer whom both the writer and the reader know. It is "The Satan." Matthew in the parallel passage (13:19), calls this terrible being "the evil one," the Greek word being ho poneros, "the evil one" There are two words translated "evil" in the new Testament, kakos, "evil in the abstract," and poneros, "evil in active opposition to the good." The kakos man is content to perish in his own corruption. The poneros man wants to drag everybody else down with him into that corruption. The word "pernicious" is an excellent rendering. Luke in his parallel passage (8:12), calls him ho diabolos, in English "the Devil," the meaning in Greek being "the slanderer, the false accuser."

    "Taketh away"

The verb is airo "to take away from another what is his or what is committed to him, to take by force."

   "That was sown"

The verbal form is a perfect participle. This tense speaks of a completed work having present results. The act of sowing the seed of the Word had been a completed work, having a certain result. That is, the Word had found lodgment in the heart of the individual, and was starting, like seed, to germinate. But Satan snatches it out by force before it has time to grow up into the plant.

Translation. "And these are those alongside the road where the Word is being sown; and whenever they hear, immediately there comes Satan and snatches away by force the Word which has been sown in them."

    "Likewise"

The translation of homoios, "equally, in the same way." The meaning here is, "on the same method of interpretation."

   "Stony ground"

Is the Greek word ta petrode, a plural article and noun, "the ground full of rocks."

   "Have no root in themselves"

Thayer says, this is "spoken of one who has but a superficial experience of divine truth, has not permitted it to make its way into the utmost recesses of his soul."

   "Offended"

This word is the translation of the Greek word skandalizo, "to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way upon which one may trip or fall." Thus, to be offended in someone is to find occasion of stumbling in him, to see in another what one disapproves of and what hinders one from acknowledging his authority. Here, those who are like seed sown on ground full of rocks, are offended at the afflictions and persecutions in the sense that they find occasion of stumbling in them since they disapprove of them.

Translation. "And these are on the same principle of interpretation, those who are being sown on ground full of rocks, who, whenever they hear the Word, immediately with joy receive it; and they do not have rootage in themselves, but last only for a time; after that, affliction or persecution having come because of the Word, immediately they are displeased, indignant, resentful."

   "These are they."

The word "these" is not in the best text. The word "others" which is the Greek word Alloi is substituted by Nestle. Expositors in there study on this says that "it fixes attention on the third type of hearers as calling for SPECIAL NOTICE. They are such as, lacking the thoughtlessness of the first and the shallowness of the second class, and having some depth and earnestness, might be expected to be fruitful; a less common type and much more interesting."

    "The cares of this world"

The word "Cares" is the Greek word merimna, which is derived from a root which means "to be drawn in different directions," thus, "to be distracted." The word means "care," in the sense of "anxiety." The word is closely akin to a Greek word for "worry." "World" is the translation of the Greek word aion, referring to the course of life as it is lived currently on this earth by those who do not know God. Our Lord is referring to the WORRIES OF THE PEOPLE of this age who live APART FROM GOD.

   "The lusts of other things"

The Greek word translated "lusts" means in itself "a craving or passionate desire," the character of which, either EVIL OR GOOD is determined by the context in which the word is found in each instance. The word today is obsolete, having changed its meaning to that of an immoral desire. The words "other things" is the Greek word ta loipa, which means literally, "the rest of the things that are not of a specified class or number."

Translation. "And others are those who are being sown in the midst of thorns. These are those who heard the Word, and the anxieties of the present age and the deceitfulness of wealth, and the passionate desires of the rest of the things not in these categories entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful."

Translation. "And those are they which were sown on ground that is good, which are of such a nature as hear the Word and receive it, and bear fruit, some thirty-fold, some sixty, and some one hundred."

PARABLE OF THE SEED GROWING OF ITSELF
(Mark 4:26-29) (Mark 4:26-29)

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26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.    
(KJV)

    "So is the kingdom of God"

This parable is mentioned only by Mark, a proof that Mark did not abridge Matthew. which by supposes it to refer to the good ground spoken of before, and paraphrases it thus:-- "What I have said of the seed sown upon good ground, may be illustrated by this parable. The doctrine of the kingdom, received in a good and honest heart, is like seed sown by a man in his ground, properly prepared to receive it; for when he hath sown it, he sleeps and wakes day after day, and, looking on it, he sees it spring and grow up through the virtue of the earth in which it is sown, though he knows not how it doth so; and when he finds it ripe, he reaps it, and so receives the benefit of the sown seed. So is it here: the seed sown in the good and honest heart brings forth fruit with patience; and this fruit daily increaseth, though we know not how the Word and Spirit work that increase; and then Christ the husbandman, at the time of the harvest, gathers in this good seed into the kingdom of heaven," I see no necessity of inquiring how Christ may be said to sleep and rise night and day; Christ being like to this husbandman only in sowing and reaping the seed.

Expositors says, "This new parable refers to:

The disciples as representing the fertile soil.
Is a pendant to the parable of the Sower.
Teaching that even in the case of the fourth type of hearers.
Production of fruit is a gradual process demanding time."

    "Seed"

Figurative. As the prolific principle of future life, seed in Scripture is taken for the posterity
    of man (<Gen. 3:15; 4:25>, marg.; etc.),
    of beasts <Jer. 31:27>,
    of trees (<Gen. 1:11-12,29>; etc.).

The seed of Abraham denotes not only those who descend from him by natural issue but those who imitate his character, independent of natural descent (<Rom. 4:16>, see marg.). In this sense the NIV usually translates "offspring." Seed is figurative of God's Word <Luke 8:5,11; 1 Pet. 1:23>, and its preaching is called "sowing" <Luke 8:5; Matt. 13:32; 1 Cor. 9:11>.

Sowing seed is symbolical of
    scattering or dispersing a people (<Zech. 10:9>, marg.),
    dispensing liberally <Eccles. 11:6; 2 Cor. 9:6>,
    working evil <Job 4:8>,
    righteousness <Hos. 10:12>,
    deeds in general <Gal. 6:8>.

Christ compares His death to the sowing of seed with its results <John 12:24>; Paul likens the burial of the body to the sowing of seed <1 Cor. 15:36-38>.
(from New Unger's Bible Dictionary)   (originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (C) 1988.)

    "Should cast seed"

The verb is aorist subjunctive, speaking of a hypothetical case, and the fact of casting without referring to the details of the action. The word "seed" is preceded by the definite article in the Greek text, the force of the article being to call attention to that particular seed which he had to sow.

   "Should sleep and rise"

That is, he should sleep by night, and rise by day; for so the words are obviously to be understood.

The verbs are present in tense, speaking of progressive action, "should be sleeping and rising," "suggestive of the monotonous life of a man who has nothing particular to do beyond waiting patiently for the result of what he has already done" (Expositors).

    "Should spring and grow"

Again, durative in sense, "should be sprouting and lengthening."

   "He knoweth not how"

The order in the Greek is "How, he knows not," the emphasis being on the word "how."

Robertson has a valuable note on the latter expression: "The mystery of growth still puzzles farmers and scientists of today with all our modern knowledge. But nature’s secret processes do not fail to operate because we are ignorant. This secret and mysterious growth of the kingdom in the heart and life is the point of this beautiful parable by Mark. ‘When man has done his part, the actual process of growth is beyond his reach or comprehension’ (Swete)."

How a plant grows is a mystery in nature.  Ror the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.   (Adam Clarke Commentary)

   "The earth bringeth forth fruit of herself"

Greek:  automatee (Strong's Concordance # 844). By its own energy, without either the influence or industry of man. Similar to this is the expression of the poet:    (from Adam Clarke Commentary)

The words "of herself" are the translation of automate which is made up of autos (self,)and memaa "to desire eagerly." The word means in its totality, "self-moved, spontaneously, without external aid, and also beyond external control, with a way and will, so to speak, of its own that must be respected and waited for."

"And He-said thus is the kingdom of the God as if-ever human sh’d-be-casting the seed on the land and he-may-be-down lounging and may-be-being roused night and day and the seed may-be-germinating-up and may-be-lengthening as not has-perceived he same-impelled the land is-fruit-carrying before-most fodder thereafter ear (of-plant) thereafter full grain in the ear (of—plant) when-ever yet may-be-beside-giving the fruit straightway he-is-commissioning the sickle that has-beside-stood the harvest."

Based on Weymouth’s collation of the texts of Alford, Tischendorf. Tregelles, Lachmann, Westcott and Hort, the Revisers, and others, and gives all the readings of the three most ancient manuscripts, Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticas. The Concordant Version The Scared Scriptures Concordant Publishing Concern 1955

"And he said, Such is the kingdom of God as a man who casts seed into the ground. And he sleeps and rises up night and day, and the seed springs up and grows while he is not aware of it. For the earth causes it to yield fruit; and yet first it becomes a blade of grass, then an ear, and at last a full grain in the ear. But when the fruit is ripe, then immediately comes the sickle, because the harvest is ready." The Peshitta by Lamsa 1957 Printer A.J. Holman company Philadelphia

"And he said, Thus is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast the seed upon the earth, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and be lengthened how knows not he; of itself for the earth brings forth fruit, first a blade, then an ear, then full corn in the ear. And when offers itself the fruit, immediately he sends the sickle, for has come the harvest." The Greek New Testament by Berry Publisher Zondervan Publishing house Grand Rapids, Michigan 1961

"And he said: So is the kingdom of God, as if a man would cast seed into the earth, And should sleep, and rise, night and day, and the seed should spring, and grow up whilst he knoweth not. For the earth of itself bringeth forth fruit, first the blade, then the ear, afterwards the full corn in the ear. And when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come."

PARABLE  OF  THE  MUSTARD  SEED
Mark 4:30-34, Matthew 13:3-35

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Mark 4:30-34
30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?
31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.
33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.
34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples. 
  (KJV)

Expositors has an excellent note: "This introductory question, especially as given in the text of W.H. is very graphic-how shall we liken the Kingdom of God, or in (under) what parable shall we place it? The form of expression implies that something has been said before, creating a need for figurative embodiment, something pointing to the insignificance of the Kingdom. The two previous parables satisfy this requirement-the word "fruitful" in only a few, and even in them only after a time. What is the best emblem of this state of things?"   

    "Liken"

The verb "liken" is homoioo "to liken, to compare." The noun of the same root refers to a likeness or a resemblance between two things. The use of the first person plural "we," taking in the hearers with a fine tact, into consultation, is just another instance of our Lord’s masterful teaching technique.

    "With what comparison shall we compare it?"

This is literally, "With what parable shall we put it?" A parable, therefore, is an explanation, presenting a likeness to the thing which one wishes to explain, thrown in alongside of the fact discussed.

Translation. "And He was saying, In what way shall we liken the kingdom of God? In what parable shall we set it forth?"

The question, "In what way shall we liken the kingdom of God? " is answered in this verse.    
The words begin, "Like a grain of mustard seed."  The sense of the parable is:

The mustard seed is the least of all seeds when it is sown or at the time of sowing,
yet, after sowing, it springs up and becomes greater than all herbs.

The latter word has the definite article, the word thus speaking of herbs which people plant in their gardens. It denotes garden or pot-herbs, as distinguished from wild herbs.

Vincent speaks of one of the Talmudists describing the mustard-plant as a tree, of which the wood was sufficient to cover a potter’s shed. He quotes Professor Hockett as saying that on the plain of Akka, toward Carmel, he found a collection of mustard-plants from six to nine feet high, with branches from each side of a trunk an inch or more in thickness. Dr. Thompson, he says, speaks of the fact that near the bank of the Jordan, he found a mustard-tree more than twelve feet high.

    "Lodge"

The word "lodge" is literally, "pitch their tents."

Translation. "Like a grain of mustard seed, which when it is planted on the earth, is less than all the seeds which are upon the earth; and when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all of the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the heaven are able to find shelter under its shadow."

    As they were able to hear

The verb "to hear" (akouo) refers not only to the act of hearing, its usual meaning but also in some contexts, to the act of understanding, as in I Corinthians 14:2.

1 Cor 14:2
For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.   (KJV)

Here, our Lord spoke in parables, adjusting His discourse, to their capacity to understand. The implication is clear that parables were employed to make truth plain.

    "Spake He not"

The verb is in the imperfect tense, showing habitual action. Without a parable He was not in the habit of speaking to them.

    "He expounded"

The verb is epiluo. Luo means "to unloose." The prefixed preposition epi is perfective in its force, and makes the composite word mean "to give additional loosening." So as to explain, make plainer and clearer, the Word of God, even to the point of revelation. What Jesus taught was fresh revelations concerning the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.

Heb 5:12-14
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
   (KJV)

If you let that small seed (the Word of God) grow in your heart and desire the milk of the word until you can eat the meat of the Word then you will see others become secure in your branches or your knowledge of the Divine mysteries of the Living Word of God. The mustard seed doesn’t look like much until it is grown.

                A SUMMARY OF THE FIRST THREE PARABLES:

    The Kingdom of Heaven

The Lord spoke in Aramaic; certainly not in the Greek of the Gospel documents. The kingdom of heaven, occurs only in Matthew, where we find it thirty-two times. But in the parallel passages in the other Gospels we find, instead, the expression "the Kingdom of God" (compare Matthew 11:11 with Luke 7:28). Our suggestion is that in all the passages where the respective expressions occur, identical words were spoken by the Lord, "the Kingdom of heaven"; but when it came to putting them into Greek, Matthew was Divinely guided to retain the figure of speech literally ("heaven"), so as to be in keeping with the special character, design, and scope of his Gospel; while, in the other Gospels, the figure was translated as being what it also meant, "the Kingdom of God"

So the Kingdom of Heaven is like what?????

First Parable is the key.

THE SOWER THE SEEDS THE SEED
THE PEOPLE OF THE KINGDOM
The Soil is what you are looking at  -  
The sower soweth the word. (Mr. 4:14)
THE FOUR CLASSES OF SOIL.
The sower is the Lord.
The Seed is the Word of God.
Remember that man is made from dirt Gen.

THE LORD OF THE KINGDOM
The Sower is what you are looking at 
This shows the Patience of God towards us.
Remember that the Church grows because of God.
Earth brings forth of herself and sheep bear sheep.

Acts 2:47
Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.     (KJV)

THE GROWTH OF THE WORD OF THE KINGDOM
The Seed is what you are looking at
Desire milk to grow by:
1 Cor 3:2-10

Remember that the number 8 is the number of a new beginning or Resurrection.

    There are:
        8 Parables - The Kingdom of Heaven
        8 Beatitudes
        8 Woes

THE PARABLE OF THE TARES
Matt 13:24-30

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24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
   (KJV)

     "Put he forth"

A problem, is derived, while the word here used means rather to set before or offer. Often used of meals, to serve up. Hence, better, set he before them.

    "Is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field"

In general, the world may be termed the field of God; and in particular, those who profess to believe in God through Christ are his field or farm; among whom God sows nothing but the pure unadulterated word of his truth.

    "But while men slept"

When the professors were lukewarm, and the pastors indolent his enemy came and sowed tares (degenerate, or bastard wheat). The righteous and the wicked are often mingled in the visible Church. Every Christian society, how pure soever its principles may be, has its bastard wheat-those who bear a resemblance to the good, but whose hearts are not right with God.

    "Tares"

The Greek word zizania, which is here translated tares, and which should rather be translated bastard or degenerated wheat, is a Chaldee word; and its meaning must be sought in the rabbinical writers. In a treatise in the Mishna called kelayim, which treats expressly on different kinds of seeds, the word zunim, or zunin, is used for bastard or degenerated wheat; that which was wholly a right seed in the beginning, but afterwards became degenerate-the ear not being so large, nor the grains in such quantity, as formerly, nor the corn so good in quality

First , Christ seems to refer, first, to the origin of evil. God sowed good seed in his field; made man in his own image and likeness: buts the enemy, the devil (verse 39), corrupted this good seed, and caused it to degenerate.

Secondly, Christ seems to refer to the state of the Jewish people: God had sowed them, at first, wholly a right seed, but now they were become utterly degenerate, and about to be plucked up and destroyed by the Roman, armies, which were the angels or messengers of God’s justice.

Thirdly , Christ seems to refer also to the state in which the world shall be found, when he comes to judge it. The righteous and the wicked shall be permitted to grow together, till God comes to make a full and final separation.

    THE PURPOSE

Matt 13:36-43
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.  
(KJV)

THE PARABLE OF THE LEAVEN
Matt 13:33

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Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.   (KJV)

    "LEAVEN"

From the Greek meaning to boil or seethe, as in fermentation. The English leaven is from the Latin word levare, which means to raise, and appears in the French word levain. As the property of leaven is to change, or assimilate to its own nature, the meal or dough with which it is mixed, so the property of the grace of Christ is to change the whole soul into its own likeness; and God intends that this principle should continue in the soul till all is leavened-till the whole bear the image of the heavenly, as it before bore the image of the earthly.

Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ…….
Let that mind be in you that was in Christ…..
Let Christ be perfectly formed within you……

 PURPOSE

Sower = Son of Man = Jesus
Field = the World
Good Seed = Children of the kingdom
Tares = Sons of the evil one
Enemy = the Devil
Harvest = End of the World
Reapers = the Angels
THE PARABLE OF THE HIDDEN TREASURE
Matt 13:44

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Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.    (KJV)

     "The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field"

The Greek here is, to a hidden treasure. We are not to imagine that the treasure here mentioned, and to which the Gospel salvation if likened, means a pot or chest of money hidden in the field, but rather a gold or silver mine, which he who found he could not get at, or work, without turning up the field, and for this purpose he bought the field.

As the Lord has already stipulated (Matt 13:36-43), the field is the world, and that which is in the field are the children of God.  Here it is carried further:    He was willing to sacrifice everything in order to obtain that which was most valuable to Him - the treasure hidden in the field - those who would believe on Him.  We were purchased with the highest of prices - His own blood.

Acts 20:28: "...the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood"

THE PARABLE OF THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE
Matt 13:45-46

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45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.  
(KJV)

     "A merchant man, seeking goodly pearls"

A story very like this is found in the Talmudical tract Shabbath: "Joseph, who sanctified the Sabbath, had a very rich neighbour; the Chaldeans said, All the riches of this man will come to Joseph, who sanctified the Sabbath. To prevent this, the rich man went and sold all that he had, and bought a pearl, and went aboard of a ship; but the wind carried the pearl away, it fell into the sea, and was swallowed by a fish. This fish was caught, and the day before the Sabbath it was brought into the market, and they proclaimed, Who wishes to buy this fish? The people said, Carry it to Joseph, the sanctifier of the Sabbath, who is accustomed to buy things of great value. They carried it to him, and he bought it, and when he cut it up he found the pearl, and sold it for thirteen pounds’ weight of golden denarii!" From some tradition of this kind, our Lord might have borrowed the simile in this parable.

Jesus began this parable with "Again", showing He is carrying on the thought, just looking at it another way.

He is the Merchant that came to "seek" (Luke 19:10) that which was most valuable to Him.
He sold all that he had to purchase us - we cannot purchase Him.

THE PARABLE OF THE NET
Matt 13:47-50

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47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  
(KJV)

     "Net"

A long draw-net, the ends of which are carried out and drawn together. Martinius states "Which is cast into the water to catch fish, and the particular use of which is to drag them up from the bottom." As this is dragged along it keeps gathering all in its way, both good and bad, small and great; and, when it is brought to the shore, those which are proper for use are preserved, and those which are not are either destroyed or thrown back into the water.

By the net may be understood the preaching of the Gospel of the kingdom, which keeps drawing people into the profession of Christianity, and into the fellowship of the visible Church of the living God. By the sea may be represented that abyss of sin, error, ignorance, and wickedness in which men live, and out of which they are drawn, by the truth and Spirit of God, who cordially close in with the offers of salvation made to them in the preaching of the Gospel.

    "Drew to shore"

By drawing to shore, may be represented the consummation of all things see verse 49, when a proper distinction shall be made between those who served God, and those who served him not; for many shall doubtless be found who shall bear the name without the nature of Christ. By picking out the good, and throwing away the bad, verse 48, is meant that separation which God shall make between false and true professors, casting the former into hell, and bringing the latter to heaven.

It is probable that this parable also refers, in its primary meaning, to the Jewish state, and that, when Christ should come to judge and destroy them by the Roman power, (AD 70 Titus of Rome), the genuine followers of Christ only should escape, and the rest be overwhelmed by the general destruction.

        THE QUESTION.

Matt 13:51

Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.    (KJV)

        THE ANSWER.

Matt 13:52

52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
53 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.
   (KJV)

     "Have ye understood all these things?"

Divine truths must not be lightly passed over.-Our Lord’s question here shows them to be matters of the utmost weight and importance: and that they should be considered again and again, till they be thoroughly understood.

    "Every scribe"

Minister of Christ; who is instructed-taught of God; in the kingdom of heaven-in the mysteries of the Gospel of Christ; out of his treasury-his granary or store-house; things new and old-a Jewish phrase for great plenty:

A small degree of knowledge is not sufficient for a preacher of the Gospel.
The sacred writings should be his treasure, and he should properly understand them.
His knowledge does not consist in being furnished with a great variety of human learning.
His knowledge must consists in being well instructed in the things concerning the kingdom.
He must acquire the art of soul winning as led by the Spirit of God.

THE PARABLE - NOT OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN- BUT OF DEFILMENT
Matt 15:1-15

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1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
   (KJV)

10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. 
   (KJV)

    "Hear and understand"     -    A most important command.

Hear    -    make it a point of conscience to attend to the ministry of the word.
Understand    -    be not satisfied with attending places of public worship merely; see that the teaching be of God, and that you lay it to heart.

    "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth"

This is an answer to the question of the Pharisees, mentioned in verse 2, Why do thy disciples eat with unwashed hands? To which our Lord here replies, That what goes into the mouth defiles not the man; in other words, that if, in eating with unwashed hands, any particles of dust, cleaving to the hands, might happen to be taken into the mouth with the food, this did not defile, did not constitute a man a sinner; for it is on this alone the question hinges: thy disciples eat with unwashed hands; therefore they are sinners; for they transgress the tradition of the elders, in others words the oral law, which they considered equal in authority to the written law; and, indeed, often preferred the former to the latter, so as to make it of none effect, totally to destroy its nature and design.

    THE ORAL LAW

The Jews believed that, when God gave Moses the written law, he also gave him the oral law, which is the interpretation of the written law. This law, Moses at first deliverers to Aaron then to his sons Eleazar and Ithamar; and ,after these, to the seventy-two elders, who were six of the most eminent men chosen out of each of the twelve tribes. These seventy-two with Moses and Aaron, delivered it again to all the heads of the people, and afterwards to the congregation at large.

They say also that, before Moses died, he delivered this oral law, or system of traditions, to Joshua, and Joshua to the Elders which succeeded him-They to the Prophets, and the Prophets to each other, till it came to Jeremiah, who delivered it to Baruch his scribe, who repeated it to Ezra, who delivered it to the men of the great synagogue, the last of whom was Simon the Just. By Simon the Just it was delivered to Antigonus of Socho; by him to Jose’, the son of Jochanan; by him to Jose’, the son of Joezer; by him to Nathan the Arbelite, and Joshua the son of Perachiah; and by them to Judah the son of Tabbai, and Simeon, the son of Shatah; and by them to Shemiah and Abtalion; and by them to Hillel; and Hillel to Simeon his son, the same who took Christ in his arms when brought to the temple to be presented to the Lord: by Simeon it was delivered to Gamaliel his son, the preceptor of Paul, (disciple of Jesus), who delivered it to Simeon his son, and he to Rabbi Judah Hakkodesh his son, who compiled and digested it into the book which is now called the Mishna ; to explain which the two Talmud’s, called the Jerusalem and Babylonish Talmud’s, were compiled, which are also called the Gemara or complement, because by these the oral law or Mishnah is fully explained.

    "That which cometh out of the mouth"

That is, what springs from a corrupt unregenerate heart-a perverse will and impure passions-these defile, or make him a sinner.

When Jesus spoke of that which comes out of a man which defiles him, He was referring to the extra-biblical teachings of the Pharisees (Oral law) which defiled them in the sense that these teachers were, by their teachings which were in direct opposition to God’s Word, constituted false teachers, thus, not hallowed or set apart for God.

Translation. There is not even one thing that from the outside of the man, entering into him, is able to defile him. But the things proceeding out from the man are those that defile the man.

THE PARABLE - NOT OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN- BUT TO THE LEADERS OF ISRAEL
Mark 12:1-13

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1 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.
2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.
3 And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.
4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.
5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.
6 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.
7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.
8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.
9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.
10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:
11 This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
12 And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.  
(KJV)

Our Lord’s teaching changed its manner of presentation to that of parables. Bruce says: "The circumstances called forth the parabolic mood, that of one whose heart is chilled, and whose spirit is saddened by a sense of loneliness, and who, retiring within, by a process of reflection, frames for his thoughts forms which half conceal, half reveal them." Our Lord was accusing the spiritual leaders of Israel of being the future murderers of the Messiah, and this in the presence of the crowd. His purpose was to expose the true character of the hostility of the Sanhedrin.

The vineyard was a recognized symbol of Israel itself as the covenant people, and both the members of the Sanhedrin and the better-taught among the crowd, could not but understand the symbolism. The man who planted the vineyard is God, the husbandman, the spiritual leaders of Israel. The hedge is God’s protection.

Translation. And He began to be speaking to them in parables. A man planted a vineyard, and set a hedge about it, and digged a place for a wine-press, and built a tower, and let it out for his own advantage to vineyard men, and went away to foreign parts.

    "Fruit of the vineyard"

The rent of the vineyard was to be paid in kind, namely, a stipulated portion of the wine. "Servant" is the Greek word doulos, a bondslave. The season was the time of the harvest. The bondslave speaks of the Old Testament prophets sent to Israel.

Translation. And he sent off to the vineyard at the season, a bondslave, in order that from the vineyard men he might receive from the fruit of the vine.

    "Beat"

The word "beat" is the word dero, originally "to flay," but in the New Testament, "to beat severely, to scourge." The failure to receive fruit points to the failure of Israel to heed the preaching of the prophets.

Translation. And having taken him, they beat him severely, and sent him off empty.

    "they cast stones"

The second bondslave met a worse fate than the first. The reading "they cast stones" is rejected by Nestle.

Translation. And again he sent off to them another bondslave. And that one they knocked about the head and grossly insulted.

Translation. And another he sent off. And that one they killed; and many others; some on the one hand, beating severely, and others on the other hand, killing.

    "one son"

The Greek text reads, "Yet he had one," that is, one person to send, after all his bondslaves were either maltreated or killed. He reasons that the vineyard men would not dares to harm his son. In using the words "beloved son," our Lord may have had in mind, the words of the Father at His baptism, "This is my Son, the beloved One, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17.

    "This is the heir"

The Sanhedrin recognized our Lord for what He was, the Son of God, the Messiah of Israel. The Lord had come to claim the vineyard, Israel, for Himself. He had received friendly recognition from the people. This had aroused the jealousy of their spiritual leaders. They tried in desperation to recover their waning power over the people by giving Him over to the Gentiles for crucifixion.

Translation. And those vineyard men said to themselves, This is the heir. Come. Let us put him to death, and ours will be the inheritance.

    "cast him our of the vineyard"

Our Lord’s crucifixion outside of the walls of Jerusalem symbolized this expulsion from the community of Israel.

"….for they knew that He had spoken the parable against them" Mark 12:12

THE PARABLES OF THE BRIDEGROOM AND THE BOTTLES
Mark 2:18-22;  Matt 9:14-17;  Luke 5:33-39

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THE PHARISEES' QUESTION

Luke 5:33
And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?   (KJV)

THE LORD’S ANSWER

    "The children of the bridechamber"

The phrase is a Hebrew idiom, meaning the friends of the bridegroom. While Jesus was with the disciples, there was no reason for mourning. But he intimated (v. 35) that some day he would be taken away from them, and that then fasting would be in order.   (from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)

    "Garments"

The Lord's parables were illustrations or incidents taken from daily life by which he conveyed spiritual teaching. They revealed truth to those who could discern it, and concealed mysteries from those who were not ready for them. Patched garments were common in Palestine, because the people were poor. New cloth, sewed on an old garment, will shrink when washed, and so will pull apart the older and weaker cloth.   (from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)

    "Bottles"

were not glass containers, but skins of animals used as sacks for liquid. The old wineskins had lost their elasticity, and would not hold the new wine, which might still be in partial process of fermentation. Likewise the new teaching of the kingdom of God could not be contained within the forms of the Law, but must be expressed in new ways. A fresh revelation had come in Christ, which demanded a different form of worship   (from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)

Luke 5:34,35
5:36
3 5:37,38
4 5:39
The Sons of the Bridechamber
Old and New Garments
Old and New Wine-skins
Old and New Wine

It was a wonder of his grace that Christ reserved the trials of his disciples for their latter times, when by his grace they were in some good measure better prepared and fitted for them than they were at first. Now they were as the children of the bride-chamber, when the bridegroom is with them, when they have plenty and joy, and every day is a festival. Christ was welcomed wherever he came, and they for his sake, and as yet they met with little or no opposition; but this will not last always. The days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, v. 35. When Christ shall leave them with their hearts full of sorrow, their hands full of work, and the world full of enmity and rage against them, then shall they fast, shall not be so well fed as they are now. We both hunger and thirst and are naked, <1 Cor. 4:11>. Then they shall keep many more religious fasts than they do now,.  (from Matthew Henry's Commentary)

THE PARABLE - NOT OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN - THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND
Matt 7:1,2;  Luke 6:37-41

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Luke 6:39
And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?   (KJV)

Luke 6:39
[Can the blind lead the blind?] This appears to have been a general proverb, and to signify that a man cannot teach what he does not understand. This is strictly true in spiritual matters. A man who is not illuminated from above is utterly incapable of judging concerning spiritual things, and wholly unfit to be a guide to others. Is it possible that a person who is enveloped with the thickest darkness should dare either to judge of the state of others, or attempt to lead them in that path of which he is totally ignorant! If he do, must not his judgment be rashness, and his teaching folly?-- and does he not endanger his own soul, and run the risk of falling into the ditch of perdition himself, together with the unhappy objects of his religious instruction?   (from Adam Clarke Commentary)

Luke 6:40-46
40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
   (KJV)

THE PARABLE OF THE MOTE IN THE EYE
Matt 7:3-5; Luke 6:41-45

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Luke 6:41-45
41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.  
(KJV)

The parable is illustrating getting rid of our own faults before attempting to get rid of those of others; and showing the faults of others are not nearly as bad as our own. Also the secret of discerning mere professors. See Matthew 7:15.

[And why beholdest thou the mote] Karphos (grk 2595) might be translated the splinter: for splinter bears some analogy to beam, but mote does not. I should prefer this word (which has been adopted by some learned men) on the authority of Hesychius, who is a host in such matters; Karphos, keraia xulou leptee, Karphos (grk 2595) is a thin piece of wood, a splinter. It often happens that the faults which we consider as of the first enormity in others are, to our own iniquities, as a chip is, when compared to a large beam. On one side, self-love blinds us to ourselves; and, on the other, envy and malice give us piercing eyes in respect of others. When we shall have as much zeal to correct ourselves, as we have inclination to reprove and correct others, we shall know our own defects better than now we know those of our neighbour. There is a caution very similar to this of our Lord given by a pagan:

"When you can so readily overlook your own wickedness, why are you more clear-sighted than the eagle or serpent of Epidaurus, in spying out the failings of your friends?" But the saying was very common among the Jews, as may be seen in Lightfoot.

[Or how wilt thou say] That man is utterly unfit to show the way of life to others who is himself walking in the way of death.

(from Adam Clarke Commentary)

The prohibition; Judge not. We must judge ourselves, and judge our own acts, but we must not judge our brother, not magisterially assume such an authority over others, as we allow not them over us: since our rule is, to be subject to one another. Be not many masters, (James 3:1).

We must not sit in the judgment-seat, to make our word a law to every body.
We must not judge our brother, that is, we must not speak evil of him, so it is explained, (James 4:11).
We must not despise him, nor set him at nought, (Rom. 14:10).
We must not judge rashly, nor pass such a judgment upon our brother as has no ground, but is only the product of our own jealousy and ill nature.    (from Matthew Henry's Commentary)
THE PARABLE OF THE TWO FOUNDATIONS
Matt 7:24-27; Luke 6:43-49

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Luke 6:47-49
47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.    (KJV)

    "Digged deep"

The A.V. regards the two words as a strong expression of a single idea; but the idea is twofold: he dug (through the sand), and deepened down into the solid rock. In other words, he digged and went deep.

    "Upon the earth without a foundation"

Matthew, upon ‘the sand’. The two men are conceived as alike selecting a spot where the sand overlies the rock. The one builds directly upon the sand, the other digs through and down into the rock.

It is a interesting fact that Luke a Physician used medical terms in describing the teachings of Jesus:

Beat vehemently - more literally, brake. Used by physicians of a rupture of the veins.

It fell - In medical language used of the falling-in of parts of the body. Thus Hippocrates, "the temples fallen in: the limb quickly collapses or shrivels."

Ruin - A medical term for a laceration or rupture.

Matthew 7:24

[Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine] That is, the excellent doctrines laid down before in this and the two preceding chapters. There are several parables or similitudes like to this in the rabbis. I shall quote but the two following:

Rabbi Eleasar said, "The man whose knowledge exceeds his works, to whom is he like? He is like a tree which had many branches, and only a few roots; and, when the stormy winds came, it was plucked up and eradicated. But he whose good works are greater than his knowledge, to what is he like? He is like a tree which had few branches, and many roots; so that all the winds of heaven could not move it from its place." Pirke Aboth.

Elisha, the son of Abuja, said, "The man who studies much in the law, and maintains good works, is like to a man who built a house, laying stones at the foundation, and building brick upon them; and, though many waters come against it, they cannot move it from its place. But the man who studies much in the law, and does not maintain good words, is like to a man who, in building his house, put brick at the foundation, and laid stones upon them, so that even gentle waters shall overthrow that house." Aboth Rab. Nath.

Probably our Lord had this or some parable in his eye: but how amazingly improved in passing through his hands! In our Lord's parable there is dignity, majesty, and point, which we seek for in vain in the Jewish archetype.

[I will liken him unto a wise man] To a prudent man-- andri (grk 435) phronimoo (grk 5429), to a prudent man, a man of sense and understanding, who, foreseeing the evil.
(from Adam Clarke Commentary)

THE PARABLE OF THE MEN OF THIS GENERATION
Matt 11:16-19; Luke 7:29-35

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Luke 7:31-35
31 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?
32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
35 But wisdom is justified of all her children.   
(KJV)

They made but a jesting matter of the methods God took to do them good :
"Whereunto shall I liken the men of this generation?
What can I think of absurd enough to represent them by?
They are, then, like children sitting in the market-place, that mind nothing that is serious, but are as full of play as they can hold.
As if God were but in jest with them, in all the methods he takes to do them good, as children are with one another in the market-place, they turn it all off with a banter, and are not more affected with it than with a piece of pageantry."
This is the ruin of multitudes, they can never persuade themselves to be serious in the concerns of their souls.
Old men, sitting in the sanhedrim, were but as children sitting in the market-place, and no more affected with the things that belonged to their everlasting peace than people are with children's play.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary)

THE PARABLE OF A CREDITOR AND TWO DEBTORS
Luke 7:41-43

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41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.  
(KJV)

Creditor = God
Two Debtors = Simon and the Woman
Owed 50 pence, or denarii = Simon, a Pharisee, and had the law, would abstain from outward iniquity
Owed 500 pence, or denarii = The Woman, a pagan, having no rule to regulate her actions

Simon's debt to God might be considered, in reference to hers, as fifty to five hundred.
However, we find, notwithstanding this great disparity, both were insolvent.
Simon, the religious Pharisee, could no more pay his fifty to God than this poor pagan her five hundred;  and,

if both be not freely forgiven by the divine mercy,
both must finally perish.

Having NOTHING to PAY, he kindly FORGAVE them both

Luke 7:46

My head with oil thou didst not anoint but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

   "My head with oil thou didst not anoint"

Anointing the head with oil was common among the Jews as washing the face with water is among us. See <Ruth 3:3; 2 Sam. 12:20; 14:2; 2 Kings 4:2>; and <Psa. 23:5>, where the author alludes to the Jewish manner of receiving and entertaining a guest. Thou preparest a table for me; anointest my head with oil; givest me an overflowing cup. See <Matt. 5:17>

Luke 7:47

Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to who little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

   "For she loved much"

Or, THEREFORE she loved much. It appears to have been a consciousness of God's forgiving love that brought her at this time to the Pharisee's house. In the common translation her forgiveness is represented to be the consequence of her loving much, which is causing the tree to produce the root, and not the root the tree. I have considered hoti (grk 3754) here as having the sense of dioti (grk 1360) therefore; because, to make this sentence suit with the foregoing parable, <Luke 7:42-43>, and with what immediately follows here, but he to who little is forgiven loveth little, we must suppose her love was the effect of her being pardoned, not the cause of it. Hoti (grk 3754) seems to have the sense of therefore in <Matt. 13:13; John 8:44; 1 Cor. 10:17>; and in the Septuagint, in <Deut. 33:52; Isa. 49:19; Hos. 9:15>; and <Eccl. 5:6>. Both these Pericles are often interchanged in the New Testament.

   "Loved much: but to who little is forgiven, the same loveth little"

That is, A man's love to God will be in proportion to the obligations he feels himself under to the bounty of his Maker.

(From Adam Clarke Commentary)

Now comes a wondrous verse of Scripture.

Luke 7:48-50
48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
50 And he said to the woman,
Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.   (KJV)

THE PARABLE OF THE LIGHTED CANDLE
Mark 4:21-25; Luke 8:16-18

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Luke 8:16-18
16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
  (KJV)

Luke 8:4-21

Needful instructions given to those that are appointed to preach the word, and to those also that have heard it.

1. Those that have received the gift must minister the same. Ministers that have the dispensing of the gospel committed to them, people that have profited by the word and are thereby qualified to profit others, must look upon themselves as lighted candles: ministers must in solemn authoritative preaching, and people in brotherly familiar discourse, diffuse their light, for a candle must not be covered with a vessel nor put under a bed, v. 16. Ministers and Christians are to be lights in the world, holding forth the word of life. Their light must shine before men; they must not only be good, but also do well.

2. We must expect that what is now done in secret, and from unseen springs, will shortly be manifested and made known, v. 17. What is committed to you in secret should be made manifest by you; for your Master did not give you talents to be buried, but to be traded with. Let that which is now hid be made known; for, if it were not manifested by you, it will be manifested against you, will be produced in evidence of your treachery.

3. The gifts we have will either be continued to us, or taken from us, according as we do, or do not, make use of them for the glory of God and the edification of our brethren: Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, v. 18. He that hath gifts, and does well with them, shall have more; he that buries his talent shall lose it. From him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath, so it is in Mark; that which he seemeth to have, so it is in Luke. Note the grace that is lost was but seeming grace was never true. Men do but seem to have what they do not use, and shows of religion will be lost and forfeited. They went out from us, because they were not of us, <1 Jn. 2:19>. Let us see to it that we have grace in sincerity, the root of the matter found in us; that is a good part which shall never be taken away from those that have it.
(From Matthew Henry's Commentary)

THE GOOD SAMARITAN: THE TRUE NEIGHBOR
Luke 10:30-37

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30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
  (KJV)

    "Thieves"

These were not petty stealers, but men of violence, as was shown by their treatment of the traveler. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho passed through a wilderness (Joshua 16:1), which was so notorious for robberies and murders that a portion of it was called "the red or bloody way", and was protected by a fort and a Roman garrison.

    "Half dead"

The full force of the expression cannot be rendered into English. The Greek word throws an element of chance into the case. It means, happening to be half-dead; or "leaving him half dead, as it chanced;" his condition being a matter of unconcern to these robbers.

Luke 10:31

Priest and Levite are mentioned here, partly because they were the most frequent travellers on this road, and partly to show that these were the persons who, from the nature of their office, were most obliged to perform works of mercy; and from whom a person in distress had a right to expect immediate succour and comfort; and their inhuman conduct here was a flat breach of the law, <Deut. 22:1-4>

(From Adam Clarke Commentary)

Luke 10:31-32

Samaritan is mentioned merely to show that he was a person from whom a Jew had no right to expect any help or relief, because of the enmity, which subsisted, between the two nations.
(From Adam Clarke Commentary)

    "Inn"

Modern travelers mention remains of two khans, or inns, on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem. Porter ("handbook of Syria and Palestine") speaks of one about a mile from Bethany, and another farther on, at the most dangerous part of the road, an extensive, ruined caravansary, called Khan el Almah, situated on the top of a bleak ridge. There stands a pile of stones, archways, lengths of wall, which the wandering Arabs call Khan Houdjar, and still make use of as their own resting-place for the night. These ruins are those of a noble inn; the lewan, the fountain, and the court, being plainly traceable in the ruins.

    "Was neighbor"

More correctly, has become neighbor. Jesus throws himself back to the time of the story. "The neighbor Jews became strangers. The stranger Samaritan became neighbor to the wounded traveler" (Alford).

THE PARABLE OF A DESPERATE MAN: BOLDNESS OF GOD’S FRIENDS
Luke 11:5-10

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5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 
(KJV)

    "But if he persevere knocking"

This sentence is added to the beginning of <Luke 11:8>, by the Armenian, Vulgate, four copies of the Itala, Ambrose, Augustin, and Bede. On these authorities (as I find it in no Greek manuscript) I cannot insert it as a part of the original text; but it is necessarily implied; for, as Dr. Pearce justly observes, unless the man in the parable be represented as continuing to solicit his friend, he could not possibly be said to use importunity: once only to ask is not to be importunate.

I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

(From Adam Clarke Commentary)

    "Importunity"

Only here in New Testament. A very striking word to describe persistence. Literally shamelessness. As related to prayer, it is illustrated in the case of Abraham’s intercession for Sodom (Genesis 18:23-33); and of the Syro-Phoenician woman (Matthew 15:22-28).

    "Ask, seek, knock"

"The three repetitions of the command are more than mere repetitions; since to seek is more than to ask, and to knock than to seek" (Trench, "Parables").

THE PARABLE OF THE INFINITE FATHERHOOD OF GOD: THE ALL-INCLUSIVE GIFT
Luke 11:11-13

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11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?  
(KJV)

11:5-8    The Friend.
    11:9,10     Application.               
11:11,12 The Father.
    11:13          Application.

He stirs up and encourages importunity, fervency, and constancy, in prayer, by showing,

That importunity will go far in our dealings with men, v. 5-8.
Suppose a man, upon a sudden emergency, goes to borrow a loaf or two of bread of a neighbour, at an unseasonable time of night, not for himself, but for his friend that came unexpectedly to him.
His neighbour will be loth to accommodate him, for he has wakened him with his knocking, and put him out of humour, and he has a great deal to say in his excuse.
The door is shut and locked, his children are asleep in bed, in the same room with him, and, if he make a noise, he shall disturb them.
His servants are asleep, and he cannot make them hear; and, for his own part, he shall catch cold if he rise to give him.
But his neighbour will have no nay, and therefore he continues knocking still, and tells him he will do so till he has what he comes for; so that he must give it to him,
to be rid of him: He will rise, and give him as many as he needs, because of his importunity.

He speaks this parable with the same intent that he speaks that in <Lu 18:1>:

That men ought always to pray, and not to faint

Not that God can be wrought upon by importunity; we cannot be troublesome to him, nor by being so change his counsels. We prevail with men by importunity because they are displeased with it, but with God because he is pleased with it. Now this similitude may be of use to us,  to direct us in prayer.     (From Matthew Henry's Commentary)

17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.
18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.
19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore shall they be your judges.
20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.
25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.
26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.    (KJV)

    "A house divided against itself falleth"

Some make this an enlargement on the previous sentence-a more detailed description of the general is brought to desolation, and render house falleth upon house. So Rev., margin. It might be taken metaphorically: the divided kingdom is brought to desolation, and its families and households in their party strafes are brought to ruin. Wyclife states, and an house shall fall on an house. Tyndale says, one house shall fall upon another.

THE LORD’S ANSWER TO THEIR THOUGHTS

                     Illustrations

    11:17,18    The divided Kingdom
        11:19,20     Application
    11:21,22     The strong man’s house
        11:23          Application

                    Parable

    11:24-     Departure
            11:-24-     Search. For rest
        11:-24     Return
                11:25    Condition
    11:26-    Departure
            11:-26-     Search For other spirits
        11:-26-     Return
                11:-26    Condition

THE PARABLE OF THE RICH FOOL
Luke 12:16-24

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16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?  
(KJV)

    "Thou fool"

To imagine that a man's comfort and peace can depend upon temporal things; or to suppose that these can satisfy the wishes of an immortal spirit!

    "This night"

How awful was this saying! He had just made the necessary arrangements for the gratification of his sensual appetites; and, in the very night in which he had finally settled all his plans, his soul was called into the eternal world! What a dreadful awakens of a soul, long asleep in sin! He is now hurried into the presence of his Maker; none of his worldly goods can accompany him, and he has not a particle of heavenly treasure! There is a passage much like this in the book of Ecclesiasticus 11:18,19. There is that waxeth rich by his wariness and pinching, and this is the portion of his reward: Whereas he saith, I have found rest, and now will eat continually of my goods; and yet he knoweth not what time shall come upon him; and that he must leave those things to others, and die. We may easily see whence the above is borrowed.
(From Adam Clarke Commentary)

THE PARABLE OF THE WATCHING SERVANTS
Luke 12:35-46

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THE INSTRUCTION

35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

THE QUESTION

41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?

THE ANSWER

42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they
will ask the more.   (KJV)

12:35-48   HIS SERVANTS

    12:35-38     Watchfulness
        12:39,40     Parable. Thief
                12:41    Peter’s question
        12:42-46     Parable. Servants
    12:47,48    Preparedness

THE PARABLE OF THE BARREN TREE
Luke 13:6-9

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6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.   
(KJV)

A person, tis
(Strong's Greek Concordance: #5100)
= God Almighty
Had a fig tree = the Jewish church
Planted in his vineyard = established in the land of Judea
He came seeking fruit = he required that the Jewish people should walk in righteousness, in proportion to the spiritual culture he bestowed on them
The vine-dresser = the Lord Jesus, for God hath committed all judgment to the Son, <John 5:22>
Cut it down = let the Roman sword be unsheathed against it
Let it alone = Christ is represented as intercessor for sinners, for whose sake the day of their probation is often lengthened; during which time he is constantly employed in doing everything that has a tendency to promote their salvation.
Thou shalt cut it down = a time will come that those who have not turned at God's invitations and reproofs shall be cut off, and numbered with the transgressors

     "Behold these three years"

From this circumstance in the parable, it may be reasonably concluded that Jesus had been, at the time of saying this, exercising his ministry for three years past; and, from what is said in <Luke 13:8>, of letting it alone this year also, it may be concluded likewise that this parable was spoken about a year before Christ's crucifixion; and, if both these conclusions are reasonable, we may thence infer that this parable was not spoken at the time which appears to be assigned to it, and that the whole time of Christ's public ministry was about four years. See Dr. Pearce. But it has already been remarked that Luke never studies chronological arrangement. See the Preface to this Gospel.    (From Adam Clarke Commentary)

THE PARABLE OF THE GREAT SUPPER
Luke 14:16-24

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16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.     (KJV)

    "Sent his servant"

"If a sheikh, bey, or emeer invites, he always sends a servant to call you at the proper time. This servant often repeats the very formula mentioned in Luke 16:17 Come, for the supper is ready. The fact that this custom is confined to the wealthy and to the nobility is in strict agreement with the parable, where the man who made the supper is supposed to be of this class. It is true now, as then, that to refuse is a high insult to the maker of the feast (Thomson, "Land and Book").

    "Make excuse"

Also rendered in New Testament refuse, Hebrews 12:19,25, where both meanings occur. See also 2 Timothy 2:23. Our phrase, beg off, expresses the idea here.

Forward to the Next Section: Beatitudes

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