What do we know about God’s Kingdom? The Kingdom of God in heaven, and the Kingdom of God on earth? We can learn a lot by looking at these parables and understand the description Jesus gave. What did Jesus say about the Kingdom of God? Is it pomp and circumstance? Is it only for the rich? Is it only for the perfect people? The most important thing we need to know about the Kingdom of God is how to get there, but today I want to share with you what Jesus taught.
Jesus used common scenes from everyday life to teach new truths about the Kingdom of God. The amazing thing is that we can experience these truths here on earth to prepare us for that glorious day when Jesus comes to take His own to Heaven with Him. I am looking forward to that glorious day, are you?
Let’s begin in Matthew 13 and also one is found in Mark 4. In these parables Jesus would start with the saying, “The Kingdom of God is…” or “The Kingdom of Heaven is…” and then He would tell a story.
1. The Parable of the the Wheat and Tares
We looked at this parable earlier. It is the first of seven parables concerning the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 13:24 – 30 NKJV
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
Then Jesus explained the parable…
Matthew 13: 36 – 43 NKJV
Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
God has sown seeds in the soil of our hearts. What type of soil are you? We need to always have soil that receives the truth from the Word of God. This is Kingdom mindedness! We have to remember that growth starts small and in time, the seeds will mature into a strong, healthy plant.
Jesus wants us to be this kind of person. Seeds don’t have a choice as to what kind of soil they fall on, but we have a choice as to what kind of soil we will be for the seed. We can choose to respond to the gospel. When trials come, we can choose to stick with the gospel, or to fall away. When life gets boring or worrisome, we can choose whether to bear fruit for the kingdom. That’s the kind of message Jesus gives us.
I believe there are wheat and tares in this world and in every church. So many issues in this world where the wrong is right and the right is wrong. Homosexuality and transgenderism, marijuana legalized, hatred, self-absorption and so much more are infiltrating our lives and the church. Either we believe the Bible or we don’t, there is no in between. Are you wheat or a tare? We can’t be suede by the world. We have to stand and believe the Word of God as the only truth, if not we are a tare and will be burned up at harvest time.
2. The Parable of the Growing Seed
Mark 4:26 – 29 NKJV
And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
This story is all about growth. The seed sown into the good and honest heart brings forth fruit with patience; and this fruit daily increases, even though we know not how the Word and Spirit work that brings the increase; and then Christ the husbandman, at the time of the harvest, gathers in this good seed into the kingdom of heaven. Again, let us be the good soil and grow and yield to Christ. We should always be growing in Christ. If you are not, ask God why and He will show you. You might be neglecting your relationship with Him, you might be feeding yourself with other things instead of God. There will be a harvest, a gathering of the wheat to be stored in barns, or heaven. Allow yourself to grow in Christ and be a part of this harvest.
3. The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Matthew 13:31 – 32 NKJV
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
Here Jesus described the kingdom not just as a seed, but as the smallest seed. Jesus is not describing a kingdom that arrives in a blaze of glory—he is describing a kingdom that begins very small. This is not what the Jews expected, but this is the kingdom that Jesus said was near. The kingdom is a story about gradual growth.
This is a story of not despising small beginnings. It is a story about faith in God to bring the growth! It also is a story of growing your fire or zeal for the Lord.
Mustard Seed: Thayer Definition: mustard, the name of a plant which in oriental countries grows from a very small seed and attains to the height of a tree, 10 feet (3 m) and more; hence a very small quantity of a thing is likened to a mustard seed, and also a thing which grows to a remarkable size.
What can a small mustard seed accomplish? It seems too small to have any worth or value. But, a mustard seed is very fiery in smell and taste. When you plant it, it grows into a huge tree full of more fiery small seeds. This is an example of our faith and growth and what we can accomplish when we are on fire for God and spreading the good news to others. More and more people come to know God and are set ablaze for Him all by one person stepping out of their comfort zone.
4. The Parable of the Leaven
Matthew 13:33 NKJV
Another parable He spoke to them: “The Kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
When yeast is first mixed into bread dough, it is not very noticeable, but a small amount eventually produces a large result. The kingdom begins small and inconspicuous, but it grows large. In the parable of the wheat, it also produces a crop for harvest.
The small beginning of the kingdom would have surprised Jesus’ listeners. They were hoping that a Messiah would lead the Jewish people to a great victory over the Romans. They were hoping to become an independent nation, with the power of David’s kingdom and the wealth of Solomon’s. But Jesus was announcing that the kingdom must begin in a very small way.
These parables describe a long, slow growth process for the kingdom. The kingdom of God is not just a seed, and it is not just a fully grown plant. It is the entire story—something small that grows into something large.
You might think you are very small or inconspicuous. What can you accomplish? God sees you differently. He sees your potential and you and Him together will accomplish much. Allow the seed to grow, or the yeast to enlarge the dough. Be ready for a big harvest because it is coming!
5. The Parable of the Hidden Treasure
Matthew 13:44 NKJV
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
This is a powerful story because the man went to great lengths to obtain and keep the hidden treasure he found. It cost him all that he had. He realized what he had was nothing compared to the hidden treasure he found.
This is a parable of the hidden treasure we find in Jesus and the Kingdom of God. To others, they only see a barren field when it comes to knowing God, but to those who have found this hidden treasure, it means everything.
Psalm 119:72 GW
The teachings that come from your mouth are worth more to me than thousands in gold or silver.
Matthew 6:20 NKJV
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Luke 12:33 NKJV
Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.
Nothing compares to the treasure we have in Jesus, and eternal life, the incorruptible inheritance, riches of glory, treasure in heaven; Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and all the riches of grace and glory; even more so the Gospel, which is a treasure consisting of rich truths, comparable to gold, silver, and precious stones; of the most valuable blessings, and of exceeding great, and precious promises; and reveals the riches of God, of Christ, and of the other world; and is a treasure unsearchable, solid, satisfying, and lasting: this is said to hide in a field. (John Gill’s Expository of the Whole Gospel)
6. The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price.
Matthew 13:45 – 46 NKJV
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
A pearl is a result of an injury suffered by a living organism, such as an oyster. It could be a grain of sand or parasite intruder. Out of much suffering, an object of beauty is produced. The offending particle becomes a pearl of great worth.
We can see the pearl can represent a few things. First, it represents Christ, who came and offended many and suffered much for our sake. He is a pearl of great price and we should go to great lengths to seek and find Him.
Second, the pearl can be you and I. We have experienced much suffering and pain in this life. But God can make beauty from ashes, and joy for mourning. When we allow Christ to be Lord of our life, He makes what was ugly and worthless, beautiful from glory to glory just like a pearl is formed layer upon layer of nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, coat the grain of sand until the iridescent gem is formed. Cultured pearls are made in the same way. The only difference is that instead of accidental circumstances, a “pearl farmer” embeds a grain of sand into the mollusk.
God is making all of us a pearl of great price. Don’t be surprised by your trials. They are forming you into something beautiful for God’s glory.
7. The Parable of the Dragnet
Matthew 13:47 – 50 NKJV
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
The net is the Gospel of redeeming grace that sweeps across this world, from generation to generation, collecting all who will be collected. This net collects good and bad fish. But there will be a separation from the wicked from the just; the good and bad.
It is our job to bring in the fish, it will be the angels job to separate the just from the unjust. We gather and invite all to come, good and bad; the Angels, according to Christ’s word, are to separate the bad from the good, the tares from the wheat.
This parable and the first one we looked at are very similar. Both show there will be good and bad together and at the end they will be separated and the bad fish and the tares will be cast into the furnace where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. If we are not God’s wheat, then we must be Satan’s tares.
It is interesting how these two parables sandwich the rest of the Kingdom parables together. Ultimately there will be a judgement day where we all will have to account for what we have done, said, and thought.
Recap of the Kingdom of God
- Parable: Wheat and Tares – There will come a time where the tares will be separated from the wheat and be burned. Where those who know and live for God and those who don’t will be separated.
- Parable: Growing Seed – There will be a harvest of fully grown wheat. We will grow and be taken up to heaven for eternity.
- Parable: Mustard Seed – God uses small and insignificant things to accomplish much.
- Parable: Leaven – Something small has much affect and grows into something large.
- Parable: Hidden Treasure – We have a hidden treasure in the Word of God, Jesus!
- Parable: Peal of Great Price – Jesus paid a great price for our salvation, and He can make something beautiful out of your life, even when you think there is no value.
- Parable: The Dragnet – The bad fish will be separated from the good and thrown into the fiery furnace.
Take these Kingdom principle to heart. Be ever growing in Christ, and stay close to Him throughout your life. Realize you have much to offer for the Kingdom of God. Even if you think you are insignificant, God sees you as mighty and will have much affect for the Kingdom.
Jesus, the Pearl of Great price, went to great lengths to save you. Your life matters and He can make you forever beautiful. Don’t be deceived into thinking like the world thinks. Know God’s word, and stand on it. It is a sure foundation that will never change.
We are promised an eternal reward in Heaven if we don’t give up here on earth. Trust me, this world has nothing to offer you compared to eternity with the One Who saved you from burning in the lake of fire, which is hell. Nothing in this world is worth risking that.
From one Kingdom minded person to another,
Pastor Kris Belfils