READ: Matthew 13:44-46
- Various images come to mind when the phrase Kingdom of Heaven is mentioned. At its core, the image should be one of God’s reign. He is the King. Those who submit to His rule are those in His Kingdom. If someone doesn’t submit, it would be hard to see him or her as a subject. Others think more immediately of people. In other words, the Kingdom of Heaven is a synonym for the people of God. There are times when that makes sense as well.
- In the first of these two parables (the treasure), it almost sounds like a location. In other words, it is something you could purchase. You buy a field. In the second, it appears as more an object, a pearl, which someone could purchase. Both of those images raise the specter of it being a commodity, something that can be bought and sold.
- And, of course, all of those have elements of truth and yet feel totally insufficient. So, what should we think of when we think Kingdom of Heaven? For these parables, it’s probably best to think in terms of a relationship with God. Since God is present in His Kingdom, if we want to be in relationship with Him, we have to be in the Kingdom ourselves. The Kingdom of Heaven puts us in proximity to God. It enables us to be close to Him as King (or, as Father).
- How do you explain Kingdom of Heaven?
- What analogies work best for you?
- Which are the least helpful?
PRAY: Thank God for being a King worthy of worship. Pray that you will keep Him firmly and squarely on the throne. Ask God to help us understand and do what the parables call for.