Summary: First, we learned that the kingdom of God/heaven at present is not something we can point to and say "here it is", or "there it is". In other words it is not at present a kingdom that is present on this world in a governmental sense whereby it’s influence
FIELD OF DREAMS Part 3
Matthew 19:16-26 (NIV)
16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
18 "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "’Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,
19 honor your father and mother,’ and ’love your neighbor as yourself.’"
20 "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Before we being today, let’s just recap in a brief way what we’ve learned about the kingdom of God so far…
First, we learned that the kingdom of God/heaven at present is not something we can point to and say "here it is", or "there it is". In other words it is not at present a kingdom that is present on this world in a governmental sense whereby it’s influence is exerted on a particular nation or number of nations. However, it is something that is real within the lives of its subjects. And the subjects of the kingdom of God are found within the church. The kingdom of God is found wherever He rules human hearts and wherever His will is being done. We clarified that the church of Jesus Christ is not the kingdom of God but rather that the kingdom of God is manifested through the church in our world today. That last statement hints at another discovery made about the location of the kingdom of God. For we also uncovered that while it’s manifestation is found in believer’s lives, the fullness of the kingdom of God is something that is coming when Jesus Christ returns – when He will set up His kingdom as the ruling kingdom on Earth. The key understanding about all this is that when you make Jesus Lord of your life – you immediately enter into the kingdom of God (even though it’s presence is not physically on earth yet) and it is manifested in you!
Secondly, last week we learned through a question the disciples asked about the kingdom and through Jesus object illustration using a child that the greatest in the kingdom of God are those who receive it like a little child. In other words who are humble, trusting, and totally dependent on God. In fact, the kingdom of God belongs to those who realize their dependence on God and are able to humble themselves with this realization.
Today, we are going to take a look at two parables that Jesus related that once again contain secrets about His kingdom that will be revealed today. It’s interesting to note before I read them today that Jesus begins both these parables with the phrase, "the kingdom of heaven is like". This isn’t the first time. In fact, many of the parables that Jesus told were begun with the same phrase and indicate the intent of Jesus to describe the kingdom of God to his hearers.
Matthew 13:44-46 (NIV)
44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.
46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Some of you may remember the movie "Field of Dreams". In this movie, Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) plows under acres upon acres of his life sustaining corn crop in order to build a baseball field because a voice speaks to him, "If you build it they will come." The field plays host to legendary past greats such as "Shoeless Joe Jackson" and others. Ray is faced with the dilemma of either holding onto his field of dreams or selling the farm to save the life he knows. His brother-in-law counsels him with these words, "You’re going to lose your farm pal!…You’re going bankrupt and you will default your loan…Sell now or you’ll lose everything!…How could you plow under your crop?…You will lose everything!" As the story goes Ray holds onto his field of dreams at the high cost of possibly losing all this world has to offer. This field meant everything to Ray and because of that he was willing to sacrifice everything for it.