Bigger Than the World

is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43 (ESV)

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

So, is the kingdom analogous to the man? The field? The plants? What?

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” — Matthew 36–43 (ESV)

The kingdom is all of it.

In His explanation of the parable, Jesus details the role of many parts and players, but He doesn’t label any of them as the kingdom itself. The whole parable is about the kingdom.

The world is just a part of that.

Also notice who the sons of the kingdom are. Jesus is king of all, but not everyone is a son of the kingdom.

From Matthew 13:33, we learned that the kingdom would grow until there’s nothing left outside the kingdom. From this parable, we learn that inside the kingdom there are both friends and enemies.

Those who aren’t sons of the kingdom, are still in the kingdom; they’re still part of the kingdom.

They just aren’t citizens.

All the weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.