Jesus, Please Describe Your Kingdom
Jan 13, 2014
Do you ever wonder what the kingdom of God is like? Jesus talked about it all the time, so I had a really great thought (also very deep and very intellectual, so I hope you are impressed). Are you ready for this? Here it comes...
Why not just ask Jesus what the kingdom of God looks like? "Jesus, could you please describe for the audience what this kingdom looks like?"
"What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sewed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches." And again he said, "To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened." (Luke 13:18-20, ESV)
These are some of Jesus' own words about the kingdom of God, recorded for us in Luke's gospel. Jesus loves to answer with stories and word-pictures, and he uses two of them here:
- A man "plants" a tiny seed, really tiny, like a mustard seed, into the dirt. This tiny seed grows into a mighty tree, large enough for the birds of the air to nest in its branches.
- A woman "hides" leaven in three measures of flour and the whole lump of flour becomes leavened!
According to Jesus, this is what the kingdom of God is like. When sown into your life it grows up mightily. When sown into a community of people its effect is life-altering. Highly potent, it affects change wherever it goes. God's kingdom at work in the earth is a powerful change-agent, both in the human heart and in the culture at large (precisely because the hearts of real people are being "leavened" with its power). Christians should breathe a sigh of relief here because this takes the pressure off of us! The power is in the "seed," the "leaven," and the seed of the gospel will grow in our hearts with mighty results. Others around us will reap the benefits of God at work. Because Jesus has declared the effectiveness of His kingdom, Christians can also take a second deep breath and get to work, knowing that our work in the kingdom of God will be effective and fruitful!
God Himself, the King of the Kingdom, sows the seed of the gospel into our hearts. He also sows us, his people, as seed-bearing agents into the world around us. He sows us strategically into places of business, into neighborhood relationships, into schools and universities, and into various cities and towns of all shapes and sizes. The seed doesn't fall accidentally in this story, and the leaven is worked into the flour on purpose. Imagine the trees that are to grow up from the dirt where God has placed us and where He continues to place us. Imagine the aroma of fresh "bread" to come from the "lump" of a situation in which we may find ourselves! You and I carry the seed of the kingdom wherever God plants us. That means positive change will happen in due time.