Matthew 13


Matthew 13:17

“For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

(a) Righteous men. Before the cross, no one could be made righteous. The gift of righteousness had not been given and the “one act of righteousness” had not be done (Rom. 5:18). Yet Old Testament saints such as Abraham were credited with righteousness on account of their faith in God (see entry for Rom. 4:3). In the old days, righteousness was credited to those who believed or longed for the Messiah.

(b) Desired to see what you see. The prophets and saints of old longed to see Jesus.


Matthew 13:19

“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.

(a) The word of the kingdom is synonymous with the gospel of King Jesus or the gospel of grace because Jesus is the embodiment of the Father’s grace (John 1:14).

(b) What has been sown is the seed. The original word is the same as the word used for sower in the previous verse. Jesus is both the sower and the seed that is sown (Matt. 13:37).


Matthew 13:20

“The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

The rocky places describe the mindset of someone who is trusting in the tablets of stone or the law. Since they are relying on the law, the word of grace is unable to take root in their life.


Matthew 13:21

yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.

(a) He has no firm root. Jesus is the Root of Jesse, the Root of David, and the Righteous Root that sustains us (Rom. 11:18, 15:12, Rev. 5:5). Those who look to the law to establish their own righteousness have no firm root because their trust is in themselves.

(b) When affliction or persecution arises because of the word. Some hear the gospel of grace and rejoice only to wilt under the frowns of those preaching of law and dead works.

(c) He falls away. The one who relies on his own moral or law-keeping performance is unable to stand because he is not rooted in the Righteous root.


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