The Mystery of the Kingdom- Matthew 13:11-17

In this passage, Jesus has just told his hearers the parable of the sower. After He finishes, His disciples come to Him and ask Him “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” Jesus answers them, in verse 11, by saying “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them”. A parable is a story from life intended to make a central point. Jesus parables were about the kingdom of God, and were intended to show how the kingdom of God is different from the kingdoms of man. We will examine Jesus response, and discover what He meant in it. The word translated “knowledge” in verse 11 is the aorist active infinitive of ginosko, to know. An infinitive is a verbal noun, a verb which functions as a noun. Its usage here is unusual, and there is a reason for its usage. The infinitive is used here as a noun which retains its verbal characteristics, this is a “knowledge” which requires some kind of activity to procure. The Greek word ginosko describes a particular kind of knowledge, the knowledge of a personal relationship. The knowledge mentioned here is not referring to knowing something, but rather to knowing someone. This knowledge being given to them does not involve the providing of information, but rather the establishment of a personal relationship. The Greek word “secrets” here is mysterion, “mysteries”. In the Bible, a mystery is not something which is solved, not something which we use clues to figure out. A mystery is something which cannot be “figured out”, but which must be revealed. A mystery is not solved, but uncovered, revealed to us rather than figured out by us. The mystery here is the mystery of the “kingdom of heaven”. The Kingdom of Heaven (or God) refers to the realm where God is king. It refers not to a physical location, but to a state of mind, a state of existence. This secret knowledge here has been “given” to the disciples. The Greek word “given” here is the perfect passive indicative of didomi, to give as a gift. This “gift” has been given to the disciples once and for all (perfect tense), by someone else (passive voice). This is a gift sent to them by another, a gift thorough which the knowledge of the mystery of the kingdom of heaven is uncovered before them. So what is this “gift” which has been given to the disciples? This gift is Jesus Himself, and their acceptance of Him as “King”. The Kingdom of God had come because Jesus had come, the coming of the King brings the coming of the Kingdom. Those who accept Jesus as King receive the “knowledge of the mystery of the Kingdom of heaven”, to them the mysteries of the true meaning of the parables are revealed, and these mysteries are not revealed to those who do not accept Him as king. Jesus then, in verse twelve, tells them that those who live with an increasing knowledge of the person of Jesus, who work to develop an ever more intimate personal relationship with Him will “receive” a growing knowledge and understanding of the “mysteries of the Kingdom”. Jesus then quotes the prophet Isaiah in verses 13-15 as to the fate of those who do not accept Him as King, that they will continue to see and hear, but never understand and be healed. Jesus then tells the disciples that they have been blessed because they have eyes that see and ears that hear. Jesus then concludes by telling them that “Many prophets longed to see what you see and did not see it, and to hear what you hear and did not hear it” What must be noted in this verse is the use of the Greek interrogative hos. The English language has several interrogatives, while the Greek language has just one. This Greek word hos is used the same as the English words what, that, which or who. Our contention, in keeping with the context of what has been mentioned above, is that the Greek hos here is used more in the sense of who than in the sense of what. The thing the prophets longed to see and hear, and which the disciples were given the privledge of seeing and hearing, is not something but someone, not a what but a who. They longed to see and hear the Messiah, the King who was to come. The disciples were blessed in a way the prophets were not because they were able to see and hear the Messiah, the King who had come. In conclusion, what we learn here is that Jesus had come, and when he came, so did the Kingdom of God. The kingdom came when the King came, and we are enabled to “see” the mysteries of the Kingdom by “seeing” the King. We will grow to know more and more about the Kingdom of God as we grow to know the King, as we grow to know someone rather than growing to know something.

1 Comment Gospels and Acts  //  Growing In Grace  //  Transformation

One Response so far.

  1. Valerie says:

    Thank you for this enlightenment God bless

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