Matthew 13:51-52 (NKJV) Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
One of my greatest earthly treasures is my grandmother’s china. It is an antique white with flowers. When she went to be with Jesus, my dad delivered it and I have stored it safely away. Gram used it often and I probably should do the same. I have three daughters. All three have voiced a desire to have these old dishes one day so rather than choose between them – I decided to purchase pieces and integrate them into the set. My goal is to build it up so when I split it between them no one will know which is which. Reading Matthew 13 today, “like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old” made me think that I need to continue my search for more of the pieces. Like everything else, it seems busyness takes over and our original plights, hobbies, missions and endeavors give way to ordinary and mundane tasks in life. We are to spread the Love of God and increase His Kingdom. How do we do that? What does it mean? We must learn to take the new and old blending it together into the beautiful life God planned for us. The Kingdom is a perfect mixture. Faith allows God’s Word to grow into something worth sharing with others outside of ourselves. We are constantly being renewed according to Jesus. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand but is it in our heart.
As Jesus spoke these parables to the disciples, each one filled with a valuable nugget of wisdom to be soulfully invested, it is clear that He is offering them His Kingdom. At the end, he asks, “Have you understood all these things?” They voiced that they had. Did they really? Jesus was at the height of his ministry. He had managed to stay one step ahead of his accusers and soon to be killers. People were being converted, healed, and delivered. They had amassed a great following or maybe the first mega church. Yet, I do not believe these men understood the Kingdom of Heaven any more than the modern day Christian.
Like in a high school class or college course, when the instructor concludes a challenging lecture and asked the same question, who wants to be the one to raise their hand to say, “No, I don’t get it” or “I have no idea what you are talking about.” Clueless, many leave sermons, small groups and Bible studies the very same way. God has given us the Kingdom. Jesus provided the keys to it. We must find it and understand how to enter it in order to have the blessings and benefits associated with it. Welcome to Matthew 13!
To begin this discussion, it is important to note that there are many blessings and benefits given to those who are part of the Kingdom of Heaven. However, it is the production of those who live in the Kingdom and according to the Kingdom principles that experience such a life. To live a prosperous life, it begins in our soul. As our soul prospers so will our life and yes, in both intangible and tangible ways.
Matthew 13: 23 (NKJV) “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
The very first thing one must do to have the Kingdom of Heaven is to decide what to do with the Word. The Word of God is the foundation of the Heaven and earth. Jesus is the Word of God wrapped in flesh to demonstrate God’s Love and deep desire for us. If the Word has no place in our life, there is no Kingdom access. Or it the Word is not the foundation of our life, there is nothing to grow from. We can have the Kingdom in increments subject to God’s Word in our life. Seeds of faith begin with His Word planted in the fertile heart and given time and space to grow God’s Fruit in our life.
Matthew 13:30 (NKJV) “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”
Residents of the Kingdom of Heaven live in this world but are not of this world. In other words, our life is not to be separated completely from the things of this world and more specifically the people. All things are permissible but not all things are beneficial. You have a place and position to occupy in this life that is imperative to the possible salvation, deliverance, restoration, renewal and revival of others. You have a ministry outside the four walls called church. You are the Church. The Body of Christ in motion who as a member of the Kingdom grows into the community and workplaces of the natural to spread the wealth of the supernatural. It is a fallacy and lie of the enemy that we are to separate ourselves from the lost and unbelievers. When church becomes a social club, it is a clique. If it is exclusive rather than inclusive, it is not based on the Word of God or founded in Jesus Christ. Our purpose is to be the very Gospel scripted by God for others to see. It is not my job or position to judge others but instead to love them all.
Matthew 13:31-32 (NKJV) Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
The mustard seed of faith given to us in measure must be cultivated in our life. It must be given a place to grow. It is not reserved for my life, needs, wants, desires, and the like but rather to grow into the fruit of God’s Spirit which brings my full satisfaction and contentment. It then produces an overflowing generosity to provide for others. The Kingdom is a multiplicative state. Always growing. Always more. There is more to life than this. We must use our faith to acquire it rather than our hands. Faith grows in the heart until it takes over our mind and the way we think. It changes our expectation from the natural to supernatural realm of hope sustained by the faithfulness of God not fickleness of people. It is in this place that our life becomes an endless and fearless offering because we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Matthew 13:33 (NKJV) Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
The Kingdom is set on God’s Timetable. A day is like a thousand to Him. He doesn’t delay but waits patiently for us to align our heart, mind, and soul with His Word to produce what He has promised rather than a swift substitution, convenient counterfeit, or comfortable compromise. He wants the best for His Children. His Goodness will not allow Him to give in to our complaints and grumblings. The Lord will do exactly as He promised. Nothing is impossible for God. We must learn to wait for His Leavening. The Kingdom clock is not set to our liking but God’s Perfection. His Faithfulness will bring it to pass. We must wait.
Matthew 13:44 (NKJV) “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Do you understand the worth of the Kingdom? How much are you willing to invest to have it? To experience the fulfillment of the Kingdom of Heaven, it requires a soulful investment. It requires our all. The man found the treasure and hid it just as one must hide His Word in our heart. He didn’t stop there but as one does in full repentance – He gave His ALL to buy it. He had to have it. He could have taken it for no one knew he had it but that wasn’t enough. The man wanted full ownership. Are you all in today? Have you sold out to the Kingdom? Diversified investments are encouraged in the earthly economy. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, right? Well, if you want the Kingdom, it is obtained in the giving of all.
Matthew 13:45-46 (NKJV) “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
The Kingdom will not satisfy everyone. It depends on our investment into the Kingdom. Those who choose to seek first the Kingdom will have everything else added to them. We cannot obtain the Kingdom outside of the Word. Oh you will be blessed in obedience because God is faithful but unless you continue to seek the Kingdom – you will never find the One who is worthy of it all. The Goodness of God is given to us through Jesus Christ. He is the very premise and foundation of the Kingdom. Things pale in comparison to His Glory.
Matthew 16:18-19 (NKJV) And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Peter was given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven is his revelation of exactly who Jesus was. He knew it in his heart. He believed it with his mind. Peter would be the rock that the new church would be built upon. Hell could not prevail against him. This did not mean that Peter would live a luxurious life of convenience and comfort. He did not have any control of what was about to happen to Jesus. He would even go so far as to deny Jesus not once but three times. Oh friend, just because you don’t get it all right now doesn’t mean the keys of His Kingdom are not in your hand. The revelation and salvation of Jesus Christ is only the beginning. The Kingdom is at hand. Everything in the Word of God belongs to you. Every promise is true. It require but a soulful investment to have it. It only means giving all of you to fully have all of Him! This is the Kingdom of Heaven. There is a dragnet (Matthew 13:47) to gather every kind. You are an individual created by God who is fearfully and wonderfully made. You have a purpose. You came with a plan. God is ready to prosper you. Are you ready to go all in?