Lectionary Year A
July 28, 2002
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Step II: Disposition

A. Genre

(JFC) Here Jesus tells the disciples six parables signifying the value of what might be discovered, is found, purchased and/or selected. Then, He concludes these sayings with an interpretation telling what the kingdom of heaven-trained scribes/lawyers/Christians(?) will do with his treasures = bring out the old and the new. This conclusion seems almost shocking upon first reading. Does the master reveal his treasures and differentiate the old from the new in a pejorative way? Wonder where that presumption got generated? Oh, that question leads us to the next section of the study. Meanwhile, let's notice how these parables resemble each other in parallel introductory statements and the first, fourth and, especially the fifth, have extra predictions, re: what they might mean.

B. Personal Interaction

(JFC) So, let's begin with that query up in II, A, the presumption of judgment. Could it be that it originates in presuppositions that God separates people into good and bad camps? Our family had a discussion just yesterday (how timely) about how some fundamentalists the children have encountered while growing up (they are both in their twenties now) who think God is going to send them to hell because they dance, wear jewelry, dress in nice clothes (not even necessarily name-brand stuff) and live in an upscale neighborhood, etc. We know/believe better, but our society's ideas influence us some, admittedly. So, too, did Jesus' contemporaries, as well, huh? Furthermore, just how realistic are these finders-of-treasures acting when they sell all they have to buy what they've found? Or are the parables exaggerating to make a point? And, too, what does Jesus' final statement mean here? Also, if parables seek to make one main point each, do these six parables make six different major points or is there some overlap?

C. Organization

(JFC) The presumed judgment call comes in the 49th and 50th verses. The selling all to buy found treasures occurs in verses 44f. Jesus' closing declaration is verse 52.

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