“Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Matthew 13.  The Sermon on the Mount was Jesus’ State of the Union Address, laying out the precepts of the Kingdom of Heaven.  It was a sermon.  But often we find Jesus talking to the people in picture language, in parables.  In Matthew 13 we hear several parables, pictures, of what the Kingdom of Heaven will be like.

         It will be like a farmer sowing seed in a field.  The farmer sows generously but some falls on the road, some in rocky soil, some on thorny soil and some on good soil.  Just hearing does not mean we are listening or can receive.  Likewise the farmer sows good seed but weeds sown by the enemy crop up.  They will grow together until the final judgment.  Only God knows who is good and who is bad.  It is not our job to judge.  The Kingdom is like yeast or a mustard seed.  It starts small but it grows and impacts many and provides food and haven for many.  The Kingdom is like a valuable pearl that we must sell our lesser treasures to buy.  God will not force us into his heaven and we must want to be part of it.  Lastly he compares the Kingdom to a net thrown out to catch fish.  The good fish will be collected and the bad ones discarded.

         These parables paint pictures of choice, of growth, of struggle and of a present God who is working in our world.  Jesus does not deny the existence of our epic villain, Satan, and his potential power.  But neither does he belittle the blessing of being part of the epic hero’s kingdom, God’s Kingdom.  Not everyone who has ears, hears and not everyone who hears, listens. 

         Take a moment and ponder these parables.  Which one speaks to your heart?  Is faith like a growing seed, a bush offering refuge, a pearl of great price, or a net to pull in others?  Pick the parable you like and perhaps write five adjectives that describe that parable in your experience.  If you are a doodler like me, perhaps draw a little cartoon and thank the Lord for that picture of your place in his Kingdom.  Blessings.

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