In the second message of this series, we learn that a disciple belongs to the Kingdom that is not of this world; the Kingdom of life, dominion, growth, and value. The first words of Jesus’ public ministry recorded in Matthew’s gospel are, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Renewing the kingship of God and bringing people under His reign was central to Jesus’ mission. It is impossible for us to understand ourselves as disciples apart from the reality of the Kingdom of God.
In Matthew 13, we find several parables of Jesus which are all about the nature of the Kingdom and why it’s so important to disciples. First, we learn that the Kingdom of God is the kingdom of new and abundant life. The Parable of the Sower reveals that God’s Word flourishes in those in whom it takes root such that we not only understand it but also bear kingdom fruit in our character transformation, witness, and ministry.
Second, we learn that the Kingdom of God is the kingdom of ultimate dominion. Two parables, the Parable of the Weeds and the Parable of the Net, reveal that history is headed to a definitive point at which God will render judgement. At that judgement, good and evil will finally be separated and ultimate justice will be done.
Third, we learn that the Kingdom of God is the kingdom of surprising growth. The parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven reveal that, though the working of the kingdom may seem insignificant, it will grow into its fullness. The kingdom is always advancing.
Finally, we learn that the Kingdom of God is the kingdom of surpassing value. The parables of the Buried Treasure and the Pearl of Great Value reveal that there is nothing more valuable than the kingdom to those who believe and have entered it by faith. There is nothing in this life worth more than the blessing, life, power, and hope that God’s kingdom brings.