Sunday School Material 6-10-18: Parables of God's Just Kingdom

(Matthew 13:24-33; 6/10/18; Dr. Baines, Jr.)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that despite the enemy’s efforts, God wants His kingdom agenda to grow powerfully. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to be a part of God’s agenda growing powerfully, despite the enemy’s effort to cause trouble.

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Read Matthew 13:24-30

I. Parable of Weeds. Jesus shares a parable about the kingdom of God. He compares the kingdom to a field that has weeds and wheat growing in it. The weeds are to be bundled at the end and burned, while the wheat is to be placed in the barn.

Applications –

- Effective communication. Notice in vss. 24, 31, and 33 that Jesus uses parables. One way of thinking about parables is to say that they are Earthly stories with Heavenly intentions. They are stories that the audience understand and used for communicating other truths.

In like manner, we should strive to be effective communicators. And using parables or comparisons can be helpful. To use comparisons effectively, we should get to know the people we are talking to, so we can use appropriate stories.

Let’s seek God’s wisdom and energy to communicate effectively. Hoping that people will understand the “church talk” that has taken us a life time to learn is not the most effective way of communicating with those who are unsaved and/or those who are babies in Christ.

- The kingdom. Notice in vss. 24, 31, and 33 the mention of the kingdom of Heaven. There are several levels of understanding this term.

One level is concerned with God’s ruling the world in the future. Some may refer to this as the millennial kingdom. And then there is the level in which the kingdom is anywhere that the King rules.

In this later sense, every believer should be a part of God’s current kingdom. God should be ruling our lives. And by extension, God should be ruling all that we have any rule over such as our finances, relationships, and contributions to our loved ones and communities. Let’s work on living like God is the king of our lives. This obviously points to obedience.

- Our enemy’s work. Notice in vss. 24-28 that the enemy, in the text, wanted to undo all the good that had been planted. First, we should be thankful that God is still planting what is good. God is planting people and situations that are working for the good of God’s people.

Second, the devil is our enemy and he works tirelessly to undo the good that God wants in our lives. We should remember that the devil is working against all that God is trying to build up. Let’s make sure that we are focusing on letting God have His way in our lives, instead of cooperating the devil, in any way.

- Tolerance. Notice in vss. 29-30 that some things must be tolerated for now, but God will fix it. First, in the world, there will be some weeds and wheat, some bad and good. This explains why things can be so challenging in our communities and on our jobs.

Second, it is unfortunate that too much of the world is in the church. One of the reasons that it is so hard to enforce church discipline is because we have so many weeds and so little wheat. If we dealt with all the weeds in the church, so much of the wheat would be destroyed as well.

Third, as we do the best that we can, we have the grand assurance that God will fix whatever is broke at the right time. Let’s seek God’s wisdom about the issues at hand and trust Him to set things right in the future.

Read Matthew 13:31-32

II. Parable of the Mustard Seed. Jesus talks about the kingdom of God being like a mustard seed. It is a very small seed, but it grows to be a tree. Birds can come and sit on its branches.

Applications –

- “Mustard seed” steps. Notice in vss.  31-32 that mustard seeds start off so small, but they end being so large. In like manner, God’s influence can start so small but end in such a large way.

Notice how important it is to start, even if with something small. Think about how getting our loved ones to just visit a worship service can lead to another and then growth group and then involvement in service and more.

Think about how our commitment to developing a discipleship habit can lead to another and another and more. Let’s take “mustard seed” steps in the right direction and trust God to provide the increase.

Read Matthew 13:33

III. Parable of the Leaven. Jesus shares yet another parable. The kingdom of God is like a woman putting yeast in a large batch of flour. The yeast spreads through the batch.

Applications –

- A word for the ladies. Notice in vs. 33 that Jesus adds a parable that especially women of His day would have understood. First, the idea of the kingdom starting small but growing powerful is very similar to what was said in vss. 31-32 about the mustard seed. We should let God work in us to make great impacts for Him.

Second, when our audience is significantly women, we would do well to make sure that our presentation is applicable for them. We should work on being effective communicators, by using comparisons that are easily understood by those we are talking to. Let’s work on being effective communicators about God’s will being done.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being a part of God’s agenda growing powerfully, despite the enemy’s effort to cause trouble.  God has much for those who obey His will. 

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