To God be the glory for the love of Jesus Christ towards mankind. This love is shown throughout the thirteenth chapter of St. Matthew which Jesus devoted entirely to using our everyday experiences, vocations and imagery to teach us what we need to know about the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is a great teacher who always seeks to have His children understand His teachings, though some of the teachings are presented in parable forms, yet He asks those who are close to Him whether they understand what He is communicating (“Have you understood all these things?” – Matt. 13:51).
In showing us what the kingdom of heaven is like, Jesus uses imageries of agriculture (things like sowing, growing and harvesting) – for those who can identify with that. For those in retail business, He uses the sales of pearls (vs. 45-46). Jesus connects with people in real estate business by showing how the kingdom of heaven in purchasing a land or owing a home. If you say you are in the fishing or baking business, i.e., the food industry, you can still understand things about the kingdom of heaven, as Jesus likens it to yeast and fishing). We see that no one is exempted from knowing in advance what the kingdom of heaven is like. Thank God for Jesus’ love and purpose for us to gain the kingdom. We shall make it in Jesus name.
Now, let’s attempt to summarize the 8 parables in chapter thirteen as briefly as possible:
- The parable of the sower (13:1-23): teaches that the understanding and
doing of the word of God are critical to entering the kingdom of heaven, therefore, we should all seek understanding and do (vs. 1-23).
- In the parable of the wheat and weed [tares]: (vs. 24-30), Jesus teaches us that He is a God of many chances (vs. 30), but no one can fool Him. Many may mix with God’s children today and claim to be Christians, but the harvester has set a day of separating the wheat from the tares. He knows the difference (vs. 31).
- The parable of the mustard seed (13:31-32): informs us that the kingdom of heaven is a place that everyone will want to be. It may seem small or insignificant to some now, because it presents itself as an unseen phenomenon, yet, it’s so real and will grow into something that we cannot afford to miss. It begins with first accepting Jesus and then grows into knowing and fellowshipping with Him.
- The parable of the leaven (vs. 33): shows us the quiet but effective expansion of the kingdom – bringing about multiplication of joy and everlasting satisfaction.
- The parable of the hidden treasure (vs. 44): shows that heaven is a place that brings joy into the hearts of those who find it and they’ll do anything to get there. The key here, I guess, is to find it.
- With the parable of the beautiful pearl of great price, Jesus explains that the kingdom of heaven is what we should sacrifice everything we have in order to obtain. Again, I think a critical prayer here is that we will find /discover it. As God’s children, we may be finding it so difficult to sacrifice for it because our inner minds/eyes have not yet experienced it. May we encounter Jesus – the revealer, by God’s grace. You see how the attitude of Saul of Tarsus changed when he encountered Jesus? I pray again, may we encounter Jesus.
- The parable of the dragnet (vs. 47-50): warns us of the importance of what decision we make, to accept or reject the kingdom. One day, there is going to be a separation between those who accept or reject it.
- The parable of the householder (vs. 52): encourages everyone who is a candidate of the kingdom of heaven to share the treasure of that knowledge with everyone.
It is my prayer that all of us will take the things of the kingdom more seriously than ever before. Be rest assured that if Jesus
cares enough to use these many parables and more to expose us to the kingdom of heaven, it must be of utmost importance to Him that we obtain it and attics there.
- Pray that God will open your eyes to the things of His kingdom, that you may learn to appreciate it.
- Pray for the grace to sacrifice all that you must, in order to obtain the kingdom of heaven.
Pray that whatever the devil uses to keep people stagnant or as part of bad fish and mix – multitude will not have any effect upon your soul.