As we have seen already, Mark 4:1-34 presents Jesus teaching about the kingdom of God. The discourse begins with the Parable of the Sower and it followed by other short parables and sayings. There is a comparable discourse in Matthew 13:1-52. This discourse begins with the same parable and Jesus’ interpretation of it, but what follows is both similar and different in comparison with Mark 4:1-34. Some of the sayings and parables that elaborate the Parable of the Sower in Matthew are unique to Matthew or are found only in Matthew and Luke. The placement of the discourse in Matthew’s narrative is also different and significant. Where Mark’s parable discourse occurs in the first part of the narrative, Matthew’s parable discourse lies in the middle.
- Note points of similarity and difference between Matthew’s “kingdom of heaven” discourse (13:1-52) and the comparable discourse in Mark 4:1-34. First note sayings in Matthew’s discourse that are absent from Mark. Some of these are Q sayings (common to Matthew and Luke, but absent from Mark) and others are unique to Matthew. (Powell’s book has charts for Q sayings and sayings unique to Matthew.) Then note the few instances where Matthew omits or modifies sayings found in Mark’s discourse. In each discourse, what does Jesus presume about his disciples’ capacity to understand what he is teaching them?
- Reflect on the placement of the Parable of Wheat and Weeds (Matt 13:24-30) within Matthew’s narrative. How is the point of this parable, which is found only in Matthew, related to teachings of Jesus in the two earlier discourses in the narrative–the Sermon on the Mount (chaps. 5-7) and the Mission Discourse (chap. 10)–each of which is comprised of sayings unique to Matthew or found only Matthew and Luke (Q material)? Is Jesus here presuming his disciples’ understanding of what he has taught them already and their engagement in the mission to which he has called them?
- Consider how Jesus’ instructions to Peter in Matt 16:17-19 and his instructions in Matthew 18 (the fourth discourse of the gospel) relate to the meaning of the Parable of the Wheat and Weeds, particularly its meaning in relation to Jesus’ teachings and instructions to his disciples in the earlier discourses. Murphy’s brief commentary on these passages is insightful.
- Matthew’s Gospel is written for a church engaged in missions Jesus entrusts to his disciples in 10 and 28. What is the nature of that mission and does the Parable of the Wheat and Weeds relate to it? How should this parable when read in the context of Matthew’s Gospel as a whole inform the missional activity of churches today?
7, retail e-commerce sales in Canada reached new record setting heights. eMarketer (2018) estimates that this record setting sales total of $45.1 billion CAD recorded in 2017 will be eclipsed in years to come. The report by eMarketer (2018) predicts that retail e- commerce sales are expected to grow by up to 9-13% annually from 2018 to 2021. While traditional retail or in-store sales in Canada has failed to keep up with the pace. A bulletin by Statistics Canada (2018) found that traditional retail sales in 2017 only increased by 6.4% due to rising prices. This increase was the highest annual growth rate recorded in 10 years by Statistics Canada. The dramatic growth of retail e-commerce sales will be driven by increased consumer spending and an increase in the total number of e-commerce users in Canada. Reports by Canada Post (2016) indicates that more Canadians will begin to shop online in the future. A 2018 report by Forrester Research indicates that Canadians spending per year is expected to increase by 54% in 2019. These statistics point to a strong trend of growth in e- commerce and a healthy Canadian retail sector. Opportunity Researchers point to the rapid growth of retail e-commerce sales in Canada as a great opportunity for SMEs to find consumers particularly in new markets. Gessner and Snodgrass (2015) explain that increased cross-border trade are one of the many benefits for Canadian SMEs that adopt e-commerce capabilities. Citing research by O’Brien (2015) the authors suggest that Canadian SMEs should look no further than the US for inspiration. O’Brien (2015) explains merchants in the U.S. have benefited from Canada’s appetite for products from the U.S.. A report by Microsoft (2015) on cross-border shopping estimates that two-thirds of Canada’s online shoppers have made purchases from U.S. merchants. This report by Microsoft (2015) adds further support to the position held by Gessner and Snodgrass (2015). It found that Canadian SMEs could see a 25% increase in revenues if they sold both online and cross- border (Microsoft, 2015). While a large sales opportunity exists for Canadian SMEs in the U.S., Gessner and Snodgrass (2015) explain that relative few SMEs have taken advantage of e- commerce and cross-border opportunities.>GET ANSWER