Do you want to know what the kingdom of God is like? How it spreads? How it’s accessed? In Mathew’s gospel we find that Jesus spotlights these key aspects of the kingdom of God. Prior to chapter 13 Jesus teaches about:
- The Lifestyle of the Kingdom (Chapters 5-7) – we are saved into new identity in Christ that’s full of character traits that please God and blesses us and others;
- The Mission of the Kingdom (Chapters 9:35-10) – we are called to tell of and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom with signs and wonders.
Here in chapter 13 we hear from Jesus about the Growth of the kingdom through a series of parables (stories with a hidden meaning):
- The Sower – Jesus is advancing the kingdom by reaching people through the preaching of the gospel which is like the scattering of seeds. We shouldn’t worry if nothing comes about with 3 of every 4 people we tell about Jesus. From the one out of every four who do come to faith, there can be many more that come to faith as a result.
- The Weeds – the kingdom of Satan will grow alongside the kingdom of God until they are separated at the final harvest when Christ returns. Don’t grow weary in doing good in the face of the challenges, pain and evil that exist but rejoice knowing that the kingdom is manifest through your good works and the kingdom of Satan shall one day be completely overthrown.
- The Mustard seed – the preaching of the gospel, like a tiny mustard seed, shall bring about phenomenal outward growth of the kingdom of God. And it has – from a small band of disciples in Jerusalem to the reality of believers in every nation of the world, and wherever a believer is, there God’s kingdom exists. The kingdom of God is greater than any other kingdom that exists.
- Leaven – Jesus like the housewife in the parable, has put the gospel (or leaven) in the hearts of believers (dough) and the gospel causes phenomenal inward growth as well as outward growth. The gospel is truly transforming the lives of believers and it’s changing the world as more and more people are added to the church and the kingdom of God.
- Hidden Treasure and Pearl of Great Price – The kingdom of God is like treasure or a pearl of matchless value that comes at the great expense of 1) Jesus’s death on the cross and 2) the suffering of believers for the sake of Christ’s glory.
- The Net – the kingdom of God shall through the preaching of the gospel that shall draw many people like a net; some of whom shall be redeemed and others not so and they shall be separated at Christ’s return.
- New and Old Treasures – every believer who follows Christ shall be trained by Him to understand and benefit from insights about God and the kingdom hidden in the old testament (old treasures) of the bible as well as those of the new testament (new treasures). The old isn’t abolished but accomplished in Christ.
The kingdom of God is matchless and phenomenal in it’s transformative power to change lives and it shall one day change the entire world, wiping out mourning, pain, and death (Revelation 21:4). Till then let’s go for it in sharing this matchless treasure with all that we can.