Matthew 13: Kingdom Extravaganza (7)
Pray Psalm 110.3, 4.
Your people shall be volunteers
In the day of Your power;
In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning,
You have the dew of Your youth.
The LORD has sworn
And will not relent,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
Sing Psalm 110.3, 4.
(Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
Filled with the Spirit’s power, in holy robes of love,
from early morning’s hour they serve their Lord above.
Christ reigns a priest forever, the King of Righteousness
and King of Peace who ever His chosen ones will bless.
Read and meditate on Matthew 13.1-58.
1. How many different ways does Jesus illustrate the Kingdom of God in this chapter?
2. What’s the purpose of all these parables?
Matthew 13 is like watching a trailer for a movie entitled, “The Coming Kingdom of God!” We get to see the Kingdom from a variety of angles, using a wide assortment of illustrative devices. Jesus didn’t teach the Kingdom in abstract, philosophical or theological terms. He was not appealing primarily to the minds of His hearers.
Jesus aimed at their hearts. He wanted them to desire the Kingdom, not to be able to define or debate it. He projected the Kingdom on them in familiar tropes – fields, plants, pearls, treasure, nets. The people who heard Him knew these things, and Jesus showed how each offered a powerful insight to the Kingdom He had come to proclaim and bring near.
Those who had ears to hear would have grasped immediately what Jesus was seeking to convey. And they would have been reminded of what Jesus taught each time they came across one or another of those items during the course of their day.
Jesus made His teaching “sticky” – easy to remember and exciting to contemplate. He drew from Old Testament prophecies and types as well as New Testament images and truths. He wants us to desire the Kingdom, so that we will seek it as the defining priority of our lives (Matt. 6.33), and pray earnestly and every day that it might come on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6.10). Jesus wants us to lay hold on the Kingdom with holy spiritual violence (Matt. 11.12), so He describes it in terms we can readily grasp, and that excite us with the prospects of what can happen as the Kingdom over which He rules as Lord comes in and through us and throughout the world.
What a Kingdom we have to bring to our Personal Mission Fields!
1. Jesus said that some people would not get excited about the Kingdom of God. Why not?
2. How would you summarize what Jesus taught us to think about the Kingdom of God?
3. Why is it a good idea to meditate on these parables of the Kingdom?
We then say, Those things which are brought forth from the old are enlightened through the new. We therefore come to the Lord that the veil may be removed. Augustine (354-430), Sermon 74.5
Fill me with longing to know more of Your Kingdom, Lord, as I…
Pray Psalm 110.1-3, 5-7.
Seek the Lord to help you proclaim His Kingdom and righteousness today.
Sing Psalm 110.1-3, 5-7.
Psalm 110.1-3, 5-7 (Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
“Sit by Me at My right hand,” the Lord says to my Lord,
“until I make Your foot stand on all who hate Your Word.”
From in His Church the Savior rules all His enemies;
while those who know His favor go forth the Lord to please.
The Lord at Your right hand, Lord, in wrath shall shatter kings,
when judgment by His strong Word He to the nations brings.
Then, all His foes defeated, He takes His hard-won rest,
in glorious triumph seated with us, redeemed and blessed!
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).