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?
Incorporate your answers to these questions in an essay on the topic, The Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds in Its Narrative Context. Length: 850-1000 words.
On measures for the elimination of kulak households in districts of comprehensive collectivisation.” The resolution originated from the Politburo therefore it is definitely true in representing the methods deemed viable by Stalin – he had significant influence within the Politburo since the Left and Right Opposition had been eliminated. The resolution categorised kulaks into; those that were to be shot or imprisoned, those that were to be sent to Siberia, the North, the Urals or Kazakhstan after confiscation of their property and those to be evicted and used in labour colonies. As a result, 500,000 kulaks were killed. The advocation of social cleansing as a policy firmly demonstrates that the policy of collectivisation was incredibly extreme; too extreme to ever be considered justifiable by its achievements. However, even if there is evidence explaining the significant injustices of the methods of collectivisation, the achievement cannot be disregarded. Ward argues “there were some dramatic advances. In these four or five years the Soviet economy was fundamentally transformed.” If the morality debate of the methods is removed, then there is little challenge to Ward’s argument and the achievement of collectivisation from an economic standpoint. Albeit it yielded less than expected, the key objective was to free labour to move to the cities. This is definitely credited by statistics. In 1930 23.6% of farms were collectivised and by 1941 98% had been, although it must be acknowledged that by this stage the USSR had just declared war against Nazi Germany. Hence, many of the peasants could have opted to join the kolkhozes in an act of patriotism and this could distort the statistics. It does indicate an almighty achievement to have nearly all farms collectivised in a 10-year period. As a result, it enabled 25 million small holdings to convert into a quarter of a million collective farms freeing up millions of peasant workers that were relocated the cities for factory work. Hence, it can be argued that the methods of collectivisation can be justified by the achievements since the key objective was achieved. The mass movement of the population into kolkhozes was successful to the point of freeing up workers to enable the industrial growth that was needed to advance USSR and give the country a strong footing to kept up with the West and especially its German counterparts. Peter Gattrell acknowledges that Stalin was coercive in his methods but stressed that the outcome was an economy strong enough by 1941 to sustain the USSR through four years of the most demanding of modern wars. He suggests that although it is difficult for many Western liberals to accept, it may be that Russia could not have been modernised by any other methods. There is overwhelming support for Gattrell’s argument when considering that the objective of collectivisation was to free a large proportion of the agrarian labour force to move into the cities for the purpose of increasing production of industrial goods. From this aspect the methods of collectivisation resulted in significant achievement. By 1941 98% of farms had been collectivised. As a result, by the end of the First Year’ Plan half the urban labour force had been made up of peasants. Therefore, Stalin’s policy may have been the only viable option to achieve his objectives despite how horrendous they have been considered. His methods were brutal and resulted in the breakdown of traditional>GET ANSWER