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The Parable of the Wheat and Weeds in Its Narrative Context

As we have seen already, Mark 4:1-34 presents Jesus teaching about the kingdom of God. The discourse begins with the Parable of the Sower and it followed by other short parables and sayings. There is a comparable discourse in Matthew 13:1-52. This discourse begins with the same parable and Jesus’ interpretation of it, but what follows is both similar and different in comparison with Mark 4:1-34. Some of the sayings and parables that elaborate the Parable of the Sower in Matthew are unique to Matthew or are found only in Matthew and Luke. The placement of the discourse in Matthew’s narrative is also different and significant. Where Mark’s parable discourse occurs in the first part of the narrative, Matthew’s parable discourse lies in the middle.

  1. Note points of similarity and difference between Matthew’s “kingdom of heaven” discourse (13:1-52) and the comparable discourse in Mark 4:1-34. First note sayings in Matthew’s discourse that are absent from Mark. Some of these are Q sayings (common to Matthew and Luke, but absent from Mark) and others are unique to Matthew. (Powell’s book has charts for Q sayings and sayings unique to Matthew.) Then note the few instances where Matthew omits or modifies sayings found in Mark’s discourse. In each discourse, what does Jesus presume about his disciples’ capacity to understand what he is teaching them?
  2. Reflect on the placement of the Parable of Wheat and Weeds (Matt 13:24-30) within Matthew’s narrative. How is the point of this parable, which is found only in Matthew, related to teachings of Jesus in the two earlier discourses in the narrative–the Sermon on the Mount (chaps. 5-7) and the Mission Discourse (chap. 10)–each of which is comprised of sayings unique to Matthew or found only Matthew and Luke (Q material)? Is Jesus here presuming his disciples’ understanding of what he has taught them already and their engagement in the mission to which he has called them?
  3. Consider how Jesus’ instructions to Peter in Matt 16:17-19 and his instructions in Matthew 18 (the fourth discourse of the gospel) relate to the meaning of the Parable of the Wheat and Weeds, particularly its meaning in relation to Jesus’ teachings and instructions to his disciples in the earlier discourses. Murphy’s brief commentary on these passages is insightful.
  4. Matthew’s Gospel is written for a church engaged in missions Jesus entrusts to his disciples in 10 and 28. What is the nature of that mission and does the Parable of the Wheat and Weeds relate to it? How should this parable when read in the context of Matthew’s Gospel as a whole inform the missional activity of churches today?

Sample Solution

Victory is very sweet, but the reason behind the victory is very bitter as it is the reward for the life shed by many of the soldiers. The terrible days are over but the lost life can be retained back to life. The bloodshed had been to the soil to make the people of the soil to live long. The victory of every soldier is due to his courage as he refused to stop fighting. The adventurous trekking: The soldiers prepare themselves for the battle day by undergoing various vigorous training and also adventurous trekking. It gives refreshment to their body and soul. They are physical trained during these trekking. A life of a soldier is always adventurous every second. Camp fire with the team The camp firing is the excellent time to cherish in a soldiers life. Camp fire is the time for his rest and relaxes. He forgets his threats and dangers in his life during the campfire and he celebrates with a hope for the victory in the war and battle. Sharing the Champagne glass A soldier opens his champagne bottle after a victory for fights and struggle. He shares his glass his war mate and shouts his joy for the pain and sorrow that they overcame. The joy after a war is lively experienced by a soldier. Sharing is a symbol of extreme happiness and joy. Predicament after servicing After facing the battle life, it is quite hard for a soldier to live a normal life like other people. The perfection he experienced in the military life is completely absent in the civilian’s life. The truthfulness and honesty had been wiped away in the society which makes the soldier still harder to survive in the normal civilian life. The physical injuries: The injuries he got as a result of the war breaks his physical strength after his service. Some would have lost their body parts and this would make them struggle very badly for jobs. Many had lost their eyes and ears as a result of the war. They are affected by many infections and weird diseases due to the insect bites and poisonous plants during their stay in the forests for the battle. A soldier’s physical body may get destroyed, but the mental strength is always constant. The terrific flashbacks: Though years had rolled down from the day of battle, but the terrific flashbacks would still prevails in the mind of the soldier. He can never forget those days of pain and cry. The memories of his lost companion and his true friends in the war would have created a terrible scar in his life. The miserable memories of our lost friend always spear our heart every time. Effects of radiation during the war: The soldier is the person who is affected by the radiations of the nuclear bombs and

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