What does Matthew 13:12 mean?
ESV: For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
NIV: Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.
NASB: For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
CSB: For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
NLT: To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.
KJV: For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Verse Commentary:
Jesus is preaching to a huge crowd of Israelites. He is teaching them in parables: small stories used to illustrate truths about the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 13:1–3). The disciples come to Him and ask why He teaches the people this way (Matthew 13:10). Likely, they are asking why He is not more straightforward about what He means, as He was during the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5—7). Jesus has told them that the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given to them and not to the people (Matthew 13:11).

Now He adds that more will be given to the one who has, but from the person who does not have, even more will be taken away. In this context, what is given and taken is knowledge about the kingdom of heaven. By extension, this also implies the ability to participate in the kingdom. In the arrangement of Matthew's gospel, this follows Christ's statements in the previous chapter about the coming judgment for "this generation" of Israelites. This was due to their lack of repentance and rejection of Him as the Messiah.

The disciples' commitment to Jesus as the Messiah results in them being given more and more understanding about the coming kingdom of heaven. Israel's rejection of the Messiah, as a nation, has resulted—and will result—in being given less and less understanding. Much as with God's approach to Pharaoh in the Exodus (Exodus 4:21; 8:32; 14:4), those who resist God will have their hard-headedness amplified, as a judgment of their disbelief.
Verse Context:
Matthew 13:10–17 comes in between Jesus' telling of the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1–9) and His explanation of that story (Mathew 13:18–23). The disciples ask why Jesus so often uses parables when teaching crowds of people. According to Jesus, the disciples are privileged to know secrets that the prophets and righteous people longed to know. His use of unexplained parables, in part, is because Israel has rejected Jesus as the Messiah. This will fulfill Isaiah's prophecy about those with dull hearts who will hear without understanding. Otherwise, they would turn and be healed.
Chapter Summary:
Matthew 13 focuses mainly on a series of parables. Jesus first describes these to a large crowd along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Later, in a house, He explains to the disciples the meanings of the parables of the sower, the weeds, and the fish caught in the net. Jesus then travels to Nazareth, teaches in the synagogue, and is rejected by the people of His original hometown.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 13 follows Jesus from the overcrowded house at the end of the previous chapter to a crowded beach on the Sea of Galilee. He teaches a large crowd in a series of parables, which He doesn't fully explain. However, He reveals their meaning to His disciples inside a nearby house. Jesus pictures the kingdom of heaven as a sower, a sabotaged field of wheat, a mustard seed, and a pearl dealer, among other things. He then travels to His original hometown of Nazareth where He is rejected by the people He grew up with. This leads Matthew back to depictions of Jesus' miracles, after sadly recording John the Baptist's death.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 4/22/2024 2:41:54 AM
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