Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God more than anyone else in the New Testament. In the Gospels Jesus continually refers to Gods rule as the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of heaven as he describes the place of encounter between people and the living God (Mt 19:23-24). Jesus was providing for His disciples insights in order for them to understand what it means to be a Kingdom person in this age. While we have not yet seen the full manifestation of the Kingdom of God (that which we will see at the end of this current age when Christ returns), Jesus demonstrated the authority and power of the kingdom during His first coming and promised that this would also be available to those who follow Him.
Today we will look at three kinds of parables in which Jesus explains the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 13:11) and how we, as followers of Christ, can understand them and begin to walk them out in our daily lives as true citizens and representatives of Gods heavenly kingdom.
Mystery #1: The Wheat and the Tares: V 24-30
Jesus explanation: V 37-43
1. The field is the world.
2. The harvesters are angels.
3. The wheat are the children of Gods Kingdom.
4. The tares are the children of Satan.
1. Old Information
a. At then end of the age, God will separate those that are His from those who belong to the enemy.
b. Those that dont belong to Jesus are banished to hell. V 42
c. Those who are His are ushered into heaven. V 43 (quotes Daniel 12)
2. New Information
a. Allow both to grow together until the harvest. Why?
Because it is not yet time for the harvest.
- God is giving us time: time for us to grow; time for people to come to Christ
People who dont know Christ need a viable witness of the reality of the Kingdom of God.
- We are in the world, not of it.
- We are light and salt.
- We are not to withdraw from the world.
- We are to mingle.
Transformation is the trademark of the Kingdom.
- The power of the kingdom of God is at work in and through the lives of followers of Christ.
- Jesus describes Kingdom transformation in His response to John the Baptist. Mt. 11:2-6
Go and report to John what you have seen and heard (healings, deliverance, the Gospel preached to the poor).
- There is a possibility for tares to be changed into wheat.
We are not automatically included in Gods kingdom. We start out in Satans kingdom and need to be transferred into Christs kingdom (Colossians 1:13-14).
We are not born into Gods family. We are born alienated and orphaned from God and need to be adopted into Gods family by receiving Christ (John 1:12).
Application: As believers, instead of disassociating ourselves from the world, we can look for where God is opening ways for us to reach out to the world.
Mystery #2: The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven V 31-33.
1. Old Information:
a. The Old Testament Prophets taught that when Messiah came, he would exercise immediate worldwide dominion (Daniel 7:27; Zechariah 14:9; Isaiah 11:9-10).
2. New Information:
a. Gods Kingdom will not begin this way.
b. Rather it will begin as a small seed or a pinch of yeast.
c. It begins virtually invisible, but will increase in stature as the return of Christ nears.
d. It can start with just one.
3. A Double Fulfillment
a. Kingdom growth around the world.
From about 500 followers to over 2 billion.
1900 about 500 million believers
2000 about 2 billion
b. Kingdom growth in the individual.
Personal development in spiritual gifts and power.
Application: John 14:12We may begin in our walk with God in a shaky, inconsistent way. But if we remain humble and faithful, we will see authority, growth and maturity as we commit ourselves to Kingdom life.
Mystery # 3: The Hidden Treasure and the Pearl. V 44-46.
1. Old Information:
a. When the Messiah returns to establish His kingdom on the Earth, every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is the Lord.
b. No one can resist Christ when He returns.
2. New Information:
a. God is gambling that people will recognize Kingdom Life and forsake everything else to have it.
Precious treasure is sometimes small and inconspicuous.
It is not always easily recognized.
But when it is recognized, all other treasures are exchanged for the one treasure.
b. The riches, blessings and authority of the Kingdom of God cost us everything.
We are afforded a choice in obtaining it.
- We either pay all we have or leave it.
- It requires complete abandonment
- We cannot serve two masters.
- We cannot have a backup.
Application: Determine to follow our Lord consistently, even in hard times. Develop kingdom priorities that determine what we do with our resources.
Conclusion: Our evaluation of the Kingdom of God is determined by our own pride or humility, and lived out by our own willingness to trust the promises of Christ.
1. What is my real attitude towards people I would not normally associate with? Do I need for God to adjust it?
2. Do I believe what the Bible says a kingdom person can do with regard to the power of God and the fullness of the Holy Spirit? What is the evidence of that faith in my life?
3. How can I give myself even more to Gods kingdom business in this interim time of the already and not yet.