The Story Part 25 – Jesus And The Kingdom Of God
Key Bible Reference: Matthew Chapter 13 verses 31 to 33
and verses 44 to 45 .
The Big Idea: To introduce the Kingdom of God and to talk about how Jesus demonstrated the Kingdom and that he calls us to pursue the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Talk Notes and Summary
To listen to the talk online, please click here.
To download the talk, please click here.
Have you ever had that experience of being in one of those furniture shops and seeing something you like and thinking that looks amazing, that would look great in my house? The problem is that you get it home and you discover that your walls aren’t perfectly flat and your floors aren’t perfectly level. And when you build it, it doesn’t look like it did in the store, because in the store the walls are perfectly flat and the floors perfectly level.
Jesus was sent by his Father – God, from heaven and heaven is perfection – in heaven God is reigning as King and his Kingdom, the Kingdom of God is perfect. In heaven the Kingdom is manifested completely – it is like that furniture shop – everything works perfectly, everything looks fabulous.
In heaven there is no pain, no suffering, no evil, no war, no famine, no struggles or difficulties, relationships work perfectly. God wanted that for his creation on earth too, he wanted perfection – he wanted earth to reflect heaven. But because human beings decided to rebel against God, go their own way, choose their own importance and desires over God’s, earth isn’t that perfect reflection. It is imperfect – the walls aren’t flat and the floors aren’t level.
But because God continues to want to pursue his people, he sent Jesus to demonstrate what the perfect Kingdom of God looks like:
That’s why Jesus healed people – so we could see that in the perfect Kingdom of God there is no illness.
That’s why Jesus raised people from the dead – so we could see that in the perfect Kingdom of God there is no death, we are raised to eternal life.
That’s why Jesus fed the hungry and served the poor – so we could see that in the perfect Kingdom of God there is no hunger and famine, there is no poverty.
That’s why Jesus proclaimed peace and freedom – so we could see that in the perfect Kingdom of God there is no war and everyone is free.
That’s why Jesus reached out to people to encourage them to enter into a relationship with God – so we could see that in the perfect Kingdom of God human beings are in a relationship with their heavenly Father.
What we see is the Kingdom of God breaking in, heaven invading earth and the really good news is that it didn’t stop with Jesus.
Jesus told various stories – we call them parables and quite a few of them were about the Kingdom of God. You can read two of them in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ life chapter 13 verses v31-33. Click here to read those verses.
There are some similarities between these two stories and the main one is that a very small thing (seed, yeast) can have a great impact. This is the Kingdom of God, small things making massive impact.
Because although earth is damaged and imperfect, God is the master builder and he can still demonstrate his building capabilities on earth. One person, one act, one prayer, one step of faith can have a great impact for the Kingdom of God.
We can be a part of seeing heaven break in on earth. But here’s the kicker, here’s the deal breaker and it comes a bit further on in what Jesus was saying in Matthew chapter 13 verses 44 to 45. Click here to read that passage.
When you catch a glimpse of the Kingdom it is so precious and so valuable that you have to sell yourself out to it. When you find the Kingdom of God, it should become the absolute priority in your life. When you glimpse a bit of all that is to come, you will do anything to see in break in here and now.
I think the reason why we don’t see more of this is because many of Christians haven’t got a big enough vision for the Kingdom of God, for heaven. It is worth giving up everything for, nothing is as important, because it is so beautiful, so amazing, so priceless.
Can you imagine a place where there is no suffering, no pain, no war, no fear, no famine, no relationship breakdown. That’s heaven, and that was always God’s plan for earth. But because human beings rejected God, earth is not perfect…the walls aren’t flat and the floor is uneven. Jesus came to help us catch a glimpse of heaven and he showed that it was possible for one person to sow the seeds of the Kingdom, one person to mix the yeast into the rest of the dough
Questions and reflections (to think about on your own or to discuss in your small group)
Have you had that experience of flat pack furniture? Can you think of any other examples of something being an imperfect reflection of the perfect, but which points to the perfect?
What do you think of when you think of the Kingdom of God? What do you think of when you think of heaven?
Do you have a vision of how amazing heaven is going to be? How does that shape how you live now?
Do you think Jesus had a vision for heaven? How did his life point people to the Kingdom of God?
What were the things that Jesus did and said that were signposts to the Kingdom of God?
How can your life be a similar signpost? What would you need to do?
Is your vision of the Kingdom big enough to mean that you pursue it with everything you have?
How does the thought of selling everything for the Kingdom strike you?
What might you do to be the seed the yeast for the Kingdom?