Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Matthew 13:44-14:33

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Treasure in a field - Matthew 13:44-46

Treasure hidden in a field. This parable teaches the greater value of the kingdom of heaven compared to anything in the world, worth giving up all else to get. The opposite example of a disciple is the rich young man Jesus encounters later (Matt. 19:16-22) who is unwilling to give up everything he has to follow Jesus because he does not perceive Jesus as the greater treasure. Wealth always has the potential to blind people to the value of God's future kingdom (Matt. 19:23-26).

Have you understood? - Matthew 13:51

Have you understood all these things? Jesus taught that the difference between his disciples and those outside is whether God has revealed understanding to them (Matt. 11:25-27; 13:11-16). Because they understand his parables (with his help in explaining them — 13:36) they are scribes of the kingdom of heaven who can teach the truth to others (Matt. 13:52).

The carpenter's son - Matthew 13:55

Is not this man the carpenter's son? In Jesus' day a person almost always worked in the tradition of their family business. In an effort to discredit Jesus his opponents questioned whether the son of a carpenter could really be a rabbi or sage, teaching God's truth to people.

Because of their unbelief – Matthew 13:58

Because of their unbelief. Jesus' power was not limited by those around him, but his goal was to develop faith in people, not just to perform miracles.

Herod - Matthew 14:1

Herod the tetrarch. Herod Antipas was one of the sons of Herod the Great who had tried to kill the infant Jesus (Matt. 2:13-18). He had the title "tetrarch" because he was the governor of one of the four regions into which the Romans had divided Israel.

Herodias – Matthew 14:3

Because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. John the Baptist spoke out boldly against the sin of Herod Antipas who married Herodias, the former wife of his brother Philip (or half-brother; it is difficult to be certain about which Philip this is). Lev. 18:16 prohibited getting married to a living brother's former wife. As a result of this public shaming by the prophet, Herodias devised a plan to have John killed.

A New Exodus - Matthew 14:13-33

The most defining moment in Israel's history was the exodus when God rescued his people from slavery in Egypt through Moses. Central to the exodus were the miracles of God's power of water with the parting of the Red Sea and his provision of food in the wilderness. These two crucial events were redone by Jesus with his own authority, showing his divinity, his greater-than-Moses role, and his re-creation of the people of God through a new exodus. Additionally, according to Ezek. 34:23-24 the coming Son of David will shepherd and feed God's people. (See note on Matt. 14:20.)

He had compassion on them – Matthew 14:14

He had compassion on them. Jesus' miracles and healings were not merely showing his power but come from his great love and compassion for people in their suffering (Matt. 9:36; 15:32; 20:34). Jesus' compassion contrasts with the Pharisees and scribes who were more concerned about upholding rules than showing mercy to those in need (Matt. 9:10-13; 12:1-14; 23:23).

Give them something to eat – Matthew 14:16

You give them something to eat. Jesus was attempting to develop the faith of his disciples so that they would trust God for his provision in all situations. Jesus has already taught them that their Father God will always provide (Matt. 6:25-34; 7:7-11) and they had experienced his authority when he sent them out (Matt. 10:1). He then wanted them to trust God to provide for the multitudes' need, but their faith was not strong enough.

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