What’s a Synoptic?
Matthew is what we call a Synoptic Gospel. There are three: Matthew, Mark and Luke. They are so named because they tell a large number of the same stories, often with word for word language. Together they form a synopsis. Unlike the Gospel of John, they tell the same basic portion of Jesus’ life and ministry in basically the same order.
But there are unique interests and therefore minor differences in the three synoptic gospels. They apparently shared a similar source while preserving at the same time individual eyewitness account. Matthew, an apostle, wrote from his own personal experience.
In chapter 12 we read of disturbing conflict with the religious leaders of Jesus day. Chapter 13 is a rich presentation of parables. The purpose for Jesus’ use of parables (13:10-17) relates most likely back to this tension, which is highlighted in chapter 12.