LESSON THREE: MARK AND LUKE
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of G-d. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience… Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.“
Luke 8:5-8; 11-16; 18
- In the Book of Matthew we saw how Mattityahu Levi used the entire book to declare that Yeshua was the long-promised Seed of David.
- He revealed the how the Master/Disciple relationship would be used to fulfill the promised redemption.
- He spent a considerable amount of time on the events of the Passover week with Yeshua’s death and resurrection.
- Likely written by John Mark, who was an aide to Peter.
- Purpose: to declare that Yeshua is Messiah, and that He is the Son of G-d (1:1)
- 1:2-3: Although written in Greek, the Hebraic thought is immediately obvious. Employing a rabbinic method (gezerah shavah) he links quotes together by common key words. In this case “prepare” and “way.” Ex 23:20; Mal 3:1; Is 40:3
- Written by Luke, the traveling companion of Paul. Reference to him in Paul’s epistles imply he was Gentile, but it is not conclusive. If he was, he was likely a proselyte to Judaism before coming to faith in Messiah.
- Purpose: to provide an orderly account (chronological) of Yeshua’s ministry (1:1-4).
- There is a high emphasis on the Temple and on the last week of Yeshua’s ministry.
- Many parables.
Yeshua’s Use of Parables
- Matt 13:10-13: Although parables are used to reveal and obscure, this passage does not mean that Yeshua used parables to teach in a hidden and metaphoric way.
- The use of parables, or stories, is highly Hebraic. Some of the same parables that Yeshua used are used in the Talmud. The language and methodology is found everywhere in extant Jewish texts of the day.
- The Hebraic parable is NOT used to make many points, or to teach complex doctrines. That is their misuse every time.
- The Hebraic parable: use everyday things in story form, to make one or two points.
- “It is like this” or “There was a man” were phrases to identify that a parable was being told. Multiple parables together (usually pairs), using different stories, making the same point; helps identify the main point.
- Untold damage has been done by people using parables incorrectly. Imagine people reading modern sermons years from now and taking the sermon illustrations and creating complex doctrines from them. They are about one or twomain points.
Redemptive Theme of Yeshua’s Parables
- Yeshua used parables most often to describe the “Kingdom of Heaven.” Remember, from Matthew we learned that the Gospel message is, “Repent, the Kingdom of G-d is at hand.” In other words: the long-promised Seed, the Son of David, the King is coming – and His Kingdom will be an earthly Kingdom.
- Mark 4:26-32: Parables of the Scattered Seed and the Mustard Seed: The Man = Yeshua; The Seed = The Kingdom of Heaven; Soil = the World; Grain to be Harvested = Kingdom when fully realized; Singular Point = The Kingdom starts small, but will grow to its full size in time. Matthew includes the parable of the yeast. Same point.
- Luke 5:36-39: Parables of Old/New Garment and Old/New Wineskins. Ironically, these make the point opposite their traditional view. It is about the kinds of disciples, not theology or superiority of Christianity to Judaism. Old Garment = previously uneducated students (Yeshua’s disciples); Patch = teaching; New Wineskins = previously uneducated students (Yeshua’s disciples); New Wine = new teaching; Old Wine = old teaching. Singular point = New teaching requires previously uneducated students to be well-received. In other words, Yeshua chose “country bumpkins” because they were “clean slates” – not to introduce a “New Religion.”
- The teaching methods of Yeshua were not unique. His use of disciples was not a new thing. His message was not a new message.
- What was different, was the Person. He took on flesh to look and sound like us. He spoke our language. He was different not because He brought a new religion. He was different because He was “Im manu El” [G-d with us].
- Using Yeshua’s parables incorrectly will lead to theological perversion, and ultimately anti-Semitism, whether overt or cloaked in “theology.”