Matthew 13:1-58 – The Parables of the Kingdom and the Rejection at Nazareth


Matthew 13:1-58


Jesus the Messiah has announced the kingdom of God in word and deed. But response to this message is mixed. In his teaching in parables Jesus describes the righteous as those who are blessed in their hearing and who thus receive the surprising treasure of the kingdom with understanding. Those who reject it are the weeds that live in the meantime among the wheat but will be separated out at the end of the age.


The third major discourse of Jesus in Matthew collects a series of parables of Jesus on the kingdom of God, in which Matthew expands on Mark’s original. As opposition to Jesus’ ministry and message grows (see especially chapters 11 and 12), Jesus now turns more directly to teaching on discipleship and the kingdom in this collection of Jesus’ teaching in parables, which also reflects the understanding of that message for Matthew’s own community. Two themes especially characterize Matthew’s collection–the understanding and the blessing of the disciples–both of them grounded in scriptural prophecy (13:14-17). Once again the discourse proper ends with Matthew’s typical formula conclusion (13:53) and then is followed by the account of Jesus’ rejection even in his own home town of Nazareth (13:54-58). The people take offense at Jesus and the impact of their unbelief is confirmed in his inability to do deeds of power in that place any longer.