What did Jesus mean in Matthew 13:33 and in Matthew 13:52, portions of two of His parables?

Email Received:

Matthew 13 contains numerous parables, many of them referring to the end of this age. But there are verses in two of the parables that seem disconnected:

I would appreciate any insight you can share.

Ted's Response:

As for Matthew 13:33, I believe that "yeast" or "leaven" does not always have to represent "sin," which is merely one type of "leaven." In general, leaven is something that starts out small or localized and then spreads throughout the medium in which it is contained.

Therefore, I would say that the way the Kingdom of heaven (or of God) is like leaven is that it began with upright and honorable men, in and around the area now known as Israel. Through their faith and great works, this Kingdom has spread throughout all the world and is within those who are believers in God and the Messiah, Jesus. When He returns from heaven, His Kingdom not only will permeate but it will dominate the entire world.

As for Matthew 13:52, it speaks first about the teacher of the Law. I immediately equate the Law with the Torah. Now, let's use Paul as an example. He was well-versed in the ancient Torah, and he also was instructed (by divine revelation) about the Kingdom of heaven, epitomized by Jesus.

The Torah is an old treasure, and the Kingdom of heaven—which will spread throughout the earth and will be in control of everything when Jesus returns—is a new treasure. In essence, the old treasure (Torah, Law, or Instruction) taught about the coming Messiah, while the new treasure teaches about the Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus), who has come and who will set up His Kingdom of heaven on the earth. Most Christians have "tossed out" a great many teachings of the Torah, unaware that, by and large, it teaches about all aspects of the coming Messiah.

Jesus did not abolish the Law (Torah) or what was taught by the Prophets; rather, He fulfilled them (Matthew 5:17). He obeyed every rule and regulation of the Torah (including keeping the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath). He even affirmed that not the smallest bit of the Law/Torah would disappear or stop being in effect until the present earth and heavens disappear (5:18), which I believe will take place at the end of the Millennium (Revelation 20:11, 21:1).

I believe that Christendom as a whole—which claims to "follow Jesus' example"—is remiss in having abandoned most of the teachings (old treasures) of the Torah. There are several Bible teachers today who are well-versed in the Torah and who show how the treasures of old (contained in the Torah) must be combined with the new treasures (about Jesus and His heavenly Kingdom) to give us a full, rich, complete picture of what God wants us to know. I believe that people who do this are examples of "the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old" (Matthew 13:52).

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