For the last week or so, we have been plowing through the parable of the soils. We spent most of our time looking that the descriptions of the soils and their comparisons to our ability to receive and process the Word of God.
The purpose behind many of the parables was to teach those who were able to hear, principles and characteristics of the kingdom of God.
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” And He answered and said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted." (Matthew 13:10 NASB)
Depending on your definition of parable, Jesus used about 60 in His teaching ministry. There are about 40 of them that Matthew retells. After the story we have been considering, Jesus, in the book of Matthew alone starts 13 more parables with a phrase like “The kingdom of heaven can be compared to…”
Over the next few weeks we will dig into these other 13 and see what we can learn of the kingdom of God.
A quick definition first – so you understand – the kingdom of God or the kingdom of Heaven is not a synonym or euphemism for heaven or the after-life. The kingdom of God refers rather to His reign in men and women. We, you and I, those who have given our lives to the Lord of Glory, are His kingdom.
This takes me back to Isaiah’s prophesy of Messiah:
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:7 NASB)
And these from the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to John:
And the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15 NASB)
And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16 NASB)
Why, you may ask is it important for us to understand this kingdom? There is a clue in the verse above from Revelation 19 – He is the King of Kings – and you, beloved, are a Royal Priest – a King or Queen in training.
Check out one final verse from the Revelation:
And there shall no longer be any night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:5 NASB)
You see, our work is not over here. God has created you for an eternal purpose, and this is the training ground, or at least the first training ground. Remember that God will be demonstrating His grace and kindness in the AGES TO COME by what He has done in us. (from Ephesians 2:7)
So lets get to work, learning of this kingdom in which we will one day reign.
See you tomorrow