|Dr. Couch, you have said that the parables of Matthew 13 have nothing to do with the church today. Does this mean that the parables of the sower, and the wheat and tares, apply strictly to Israel and the Jews?|
ANSWER: All of the parables in Matthew 13 have to do with Israel. It is said ten times in the chapter that Christ is teaching about "the kingdom of heaven," or simply "the kingdom." Now is the "kingdom of heaven" the church? It is not. All of Jewish history tells us that "the kingdom of heaven" and "the kingdom of God" are two descriptions of the messianic reign of Christ on earth; the Davidic rule of the Lord during the millennium. This in no way can be the church age!
I believe the best treatment of this issue is found in my Classic Evangelical Hermeneutics book (Kregel), chapter 17. There, I deal with each parable and explain that Christ is speaking about things not revealed about the kingdom in the OT. I will not take the space here to repeat what I explain in detail in my book, except simply to give the three views about Matthew 13.
(1) The Allegorical/Amillennial view. Ellicott says of this: "The interpretation of the parable lies almost on the surface. Here again the sower is the Son of Man; but the seed in this case is not so much the "word," as the Christian society, the Church."
(2) New Program of the kingdom: "This view is held by the premillennialist J. Dwight Pentecost and others who claim that there is an added dimension to the kingdom not revealed in the OT. The kingdom would be seen in a new spiritual form, specifically including the church age."
(3) To reveal new truths concerning the messianic kingdom: But not including anything about the church age! Toussaint writes: "This view states that the King is giving new revelation concerning the kingdom promised to the Jews. The truths relate to the time of the establishing of the kingdom, the preparation for it, and other such material which had never before been revealed. This approach is best."
And I agree! This third view fits the context, and the words of Christ in the chapter.
I hope this helps. Everyone reading this, can for a limited time, have a signed copy of my Hermeneutic book for just $12 donation to: Scofield Ministries 120 CR 3222, Clifton, TX 76634
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (Feb.,10)