Read Matthew 13 at Bible Gateway.
In this chapter, Jesus begins teaching in parables about the kingdom of heaven. We learned a few chapters ago that the message, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” IS the gospel. The kingdom of heaven is where Messiah rules and reigns as King. Where His will is done, and His commands are obeyed. Jesus teaches us, that the kingdom of heaven is like:
- hidden treasure
- dragnet cast into the sea
Seed and yeast are alike, in that they are something small, that is hidden from sight in the beginning, but then its growth makes itself known. The kingdom of heaven does not appear full grown overnight, in anyone’s life, in any family, community, or country. The advancement of the kingdom of heaven is a process, that starts small, and increases over time. Growth from seeds requires patience, trust, faithfulness (in providing what the seed needs to continue), and time.
The truth about a seed is, as long as it is given what it needs to grow, it will grow and increase. Wherever we are today, we will be more tomorrow, if we give our hearts what it needs in order to nourish the seed of the kingdom that is planted there. This is true, whether want is planted there is of the Spirit or of the flesh. We can determine, in other words, whether we will grow or not, and whether the kingdom of heaven will increase in us or not.
A seed needs things like water, food, soil, and sunlight. And we need things like communion with the Lord in prayer and worship (water and light), reading the Word of God (food), and a soft heart yielded to His voice (soil). We need all of those things going in our lives on a daily basis if we are going to grow right, strong, without weaknesses or defects.Whatever we don’t have at the moment, we can change, we can add.
And when we cast out the seed of the Word of God into the lives of others, the fact is we might not see a result right away. There is a period of time when a seed is planted, where nothing is visible at first, but that does not mean the seed is not growing below the surface. We can take heart, that if we are doing our job of sowing the seed, of casting out the Word, that God will do His job of watching over that seed and nurturing it in everyone whose heart is ready to receive it.
All of the parables have an interesting commonality, and that is that the kingdom of heaven is hidden, not visible, not evident, until the end. Seeds and yeast are hidden in the soil, or in the lump of dough, where they do their work unseen, below the surface. When it is finally evident that something is growing, like fruit or a leavened lump, the plant or the yeast is so well established that it cannot be uprooted. The lump of dough or the soil of the garden by that time has been completely transformed by the little amount of yeast or seed that was from the beginning. The hidden treasure is hidden, out of sight. The dragnet is below the surface of the sea, and the fishermen do not know what they have, quantity or quality, until the end when it is time to pull the net up and see what the catch has been.
We can focus our attention, our effort, on sowing and casting the Word of God out. On being witnesses. And we can trust the Lord to do His job, whether we ourselves see a result or not. 🙂
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