The fact that God is beginning to reign in our present time and space is presented throughout the Gospels as good news. And it is indeed good news as God’s reign is the only thing that will truly put things right in our lives no matter how messed up they have been. This good news demands that we respond. In this post we will examine two of the King’s stories that illustrate the joyful response of those who make the joyful discovery of the Kingdom of God.
It never ceases to amaze me how the King could take such simple things from everyday life and use them to profoundly illustrate the Kingdom of God. But that is the true essence of a parable. It takes something ordinary and throws it alongside a spiritual truth in order to make it come alive in the minds of those who have ears to hear. In this post we will look at a picture the King took from the kitchens of the day to help us understand how the Kingdom progresses.
What is our conception of the Kingdom of God? In Jesus’ day the Jews had a rather narrow view of the Kingdom. Some of the stories told by the King were intended to expand their understanding of God’s reign. Besides expanding our understanding, the parable we will look at in the post serves as a word of encouragement as well.
In some of the less attractive periods of Church history (think of The Inquisitions and the Salem Witch Trials), the people of God used violent means to purge from their ranks those they considered to be in league with evil. In one of the King’s stories, however, He shows us the way He prefers these things to be dealt with. As we unpack the story we will find there are no witch hunts allowed in the Kingdom of our God.
Through all the teaching and preaching we find in the four Gospels, never once did Jesus provide a clear definition of the Kingdom of God. This was largely due to the fact that His audience, because of their history, would have had some idea what it referred to. He did, however, tell lots of stories related to the Kingdom. What was that all about?