Summary: Parable of Mustard Seed & Narrow Door (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
(1). Straight talk about the Kingdom (vs 18-22)
• illustration #1: like a mustard seed (vs 19).
• illustration #2: like yeast (vs 21).
(2). Straight talk about salvation (vs 23-33).
• Entrance to the Kingdom is not automatic (vs 23-24).
• Entrance to the Kingdom is a struggle (vs 24)
• Entrance to the Kingdom is surprising (vs 25-30).
• The story is told of a little Jimmy who came home from school;
• And asked his parents ‘the’ question they all dread to hear;
• “Dad, where did I come from?”
• Dad in his wisdom replied; “Good question, go ask your mother!”
• So off he went to find his mother;
• When he found her he said: “Mum, where did I come from?”
• She replied; “Good question, go ask your father!”
• Jimmy replied; “I’ve asked him and he sent me to you!!
• Mum sits Jimmy down and starts to explain the story of the ‘birds and the bees’ etc;
• After she has explained the facts of life to little Jimmy.
• Jimmy’s eyes got wider and wider, his mouth falls further and further open.
• When she had finished she asked Jimmy; “Does that help?”
• He replied; “No really, my friend Mikey says he is from Portsmouth. Where did I come from?”
• TRANSITION: Sometimes you have to know what is behind the question being asked;
• In order to understand the question in the first place.
• And the same is true regarding the questions asked in our passage.
• But I want you to notice,
• That to each question, Jesus gives a straight answer.
• Research has confirmed that politicians are smooth talkers.
• A study found they evade answering tough questions during debates,
• By addressing similar, though not identical, questions.
• TRANSITION: Well not Jesus,
• Notice in this passage, Jesus gives us straight answers.
(1). Straight talk about the kingdom (vs 18-22)
• A subject every first century Jew was interested in was the ‘Kingdom of God’.
• Don’t forget that the Jewish people were a people under Roman rule/oppression.
• And like any oppressed people they desperately wanted their freedom;
• They believed that the freedom they were eager to experience;
• Would ultimately come when the Messiah came.
• He would overthrow their enemies and set up his kingdom – i.e. ‘Kingdom of God’.
So the theme of this first section is the ‘Kingdom of God’:
• Jesus asks his listeners two questions:
• First: “What is the Kingdom of God like?”
• Second: “What shall I compare it to?”
Pause for a moment to understand that expression ‘Kingdom of God’:
• Christians believe that the ‘Kingdom of God’ is not a physical place on earth,
• You cannot find it on a map or go visit it for your holidays.
• The ‘Kingdom of God’ is a broad idea, in simple terms:
• The ‘Kingdom of God’ is the domain over which God reigns as King.
• So wherever God is ‘in charge’, that’s where his kingdom is.
In simplistic terms think of it in three ways past/present/future;
• In the Old Testament the Kingdom of God was;
• God ruling in the midst of his people the Jews.
• ill: If you know the history of the Jewish people,
• At first the Jews people never had a physical king ruling over them,
• They had leaders and Judges but no king,
• God was the nations king and this made them unique among all the nations.
• But sadly they rejected him by asking for an earthly king,
• And they chose King Saul as their first king, so they could be like other nations.
• (1 Samuel chapter 8 verses 4-20).
• So in the past/the Old Testament, the Kingdom of God was;
• Whenever God was ruling in the midst of his people the Jews
• I would suggest the Kingdom of God today,
• Is God ruling in the lives of true believers, that is Christians.
• ill: Jesus taught John chapter 18 verse 36: “His kingdom was not of this world”.
• So it is not a physical place such as the United Kingdom.
• ill: Jesus also taught Luke chapter 17 verse 21: “The kingdom of God is within you”.
• I would suggest he means within his followers.
• Those indwelt by his Spirit.
• When a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ,
• He becomes not just their saviour but also their Lord, their King reining in their lives.
• He is not just Jesus or Jesus Christ, but the Lord Jesus Christ.
• Lord in the lives of his people,
• That is the Kingdom of God for you and me today.