Matthew 13:34
All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
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(34) Without a parable spake he not unto them.—The words are, of course, limited by the context to this occasion, but it is noticeable from this time forward that parables are the dominant element in His teaching to the multitude, and that the mysteries of the kingdom are reserved for the more esoteric instruction of the disciples.

Matthew 13:34-35. All these things spake Jesus in parables — Mark has it, With many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to bear it. That is, he preached the doctrines of the gospel in these and many other parables of a like nature, according as his hearers were able to receive them. And without a parable spake he not unto them — That is, not at this time; at other times he did. That it might be fulfilled — That is, whereby was fulfilled; that which was spoken by the prophet — Namely, by Asaph, Psalm 78:2, whose words the evangelist here quotes, and accommodates to Jesus. See notes on Matthew 2:15; Matthew 2:17.

13:31-35 The scope of the parable of the seed sown, is to show that the beginnings of the gospel would be small, but its latter end would greatly increase; in this way the work of grace in the heart, the kingdom of God within us, would be carried on. In the soul where grace truly is, it will grow really; though perhaps at first not to be discerned, it will at last come to great strength and usefulness. The preaching of the gospel works like leaven in the hearts of those who receive it. The leaven works certainly, so does the word, yet gradually. It works silently, and without being seen, Mr 4:26-29, yet strongly; without noise, for so is the way of the Spirit, but without fail. Thus it was in the world. The apostles, by preaching the gospel, hid a handful of leaven in the great mass of mankind. It was made powerful by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts, who works, and none can hinder. Thus it is in the heart. When the gospel comes into the soul, it works a thorough change; it spreads itself into all the powers and faculties of the soul, and alters the property even of the members of the body, Ro 6:13. From these parables we are taught to expect a gradual progress; therefore let us inquire, Are we growing in grace? and in holy principles and habits?That it might be fulfilled - This is taken from Psalm 78:2-3. The sense, and not the very words of the Psalm, are given. Christ taught, as did that prophet - Asaph - in parables. The words of Asaph described the manner in which Christ taught, and in this sense it could be said that they were fulfilled. See the notes at Matthew 1:22-23. 34. All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them—that is, on this occasion; refraining not only from all naked discourse, but even from all interpretation of these parables to the mixed multitude. See Poole on "Matthew 13:35".

All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude,.... In the hearing of his disciples, whilst in the ship, the multitude being on the shore,

in parables; in the four foregoing ones,

and without a parable spake he not unto them: not that he never had preached but in a parabolical way unto them, or that he never did afterwards use any other way of speaking; for it is certain, that both before and after, he delivered himself plainly, and without figures: but the meaning is, that in that sermon, and at that time, he thought fit to make use of no other method, as appears from the many other parables he afterwards delivered; and though he explained the meaning of some of them to his disciples, at their request, yet he dismissed the multitude without any explication of them.

All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
Matthew 13:34. Οὐδὲν ἐλάλει] κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν ἐκεῖνον δηλαδή, Euth. Zigabenus; comp. Chrysostom. This is further indicated by the imperfect relative (previously aorists were being used). The absolute sense in which the words are understood by Baumgarten-Crusius and Hilgenfeld is inconsistent with historical facts; nor could Matthew, or Mark 4:34, have intended the words to be so taken without being guilty of the grossest absurdity. This in answer no less to Weiss, Holtzmann, Volkmar.

Matthew 13:34-35 contain a reflection more suitable for the close of the collection of parables in this chapter, brought in here apparently because the evangelist has under his eye Mark’s narrative, in which a similar reflection is attached to the parable of the mustard seed (Mark 4:33-34).

Verses 34, 35. - The parallel passage in Mark 4:33, 34 is as follows: "And with many such parables spoke he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it; and without a parable spoke he not unto them: but privately to his own disciples he expounded all things." The same general idea underlies our present verses, but although each evangelist appears to have used the same words as a basis, he has worked them out in his own characteristic way. For while both writers contrast our Lord's treatment of the multitudes and his treatment of the disciples in the matter of parables, St. Mark barely alludes to his using them as a judicial punishment upon the people, and St. Matthew merely hints here at the fact that Christ explained them to his disciples (see further, ver. 35b, note). It will be noticed that our verses have much in common with the thought of ver. 10, sqq. It seems just possible that both paragraphs had one common nucleus from which they were each developed. But according to existing evidence, ver. 10, sqq., and the parallel passages in Mark and Luke serve to introduce explanatory matter to the disciples, and our present verses with the parallel in Mark to close a series of parables. Verse 34 - All these things (ταῦτα πάντα). All seems to imply that the four preceding parables are but a few typical ones taken from a larger collection (cf. Mark, "with many such parables;" also vers. 3, 51). Spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; in parables unto the multitudes (Revised Version); for the order of the Greek is the same as in the next clause. Observe the "parallelism" of the two clauses (contrast Mark). Is it due to the influence of Hebrew Christians? And without a parable spake he not (nothing, Revised Version, ebony) unto them, As happens often in Semitic writers (cf. St. John's Gospel), the thought of the preceding clause is now expressed negatively, and yet a fresh thought is added, namely, that he spake in parables alone. Nothing (Revised Version); i.e. under these circumstances, when large crowds of Galilaeans were listening to him. Spake (ἐλάλει: contrast ἐλάλησεν before); i.e. during this period. Matthew 13:34
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