(2,682 views) Jesus, now teaching, began by asking a question. If I asked you, “What is the kingdom of God like?” how would you reply? Would you think heaven? That’s what most Christians would say. Certainly if you’re not a Christian believer you would think heaven, but Jesus isn’t talking about heaven. The kingdom of God is not heaven. What would you compare the kingdom of God to? Jesus is about to give his own description and comparison of the kingdom of God, and it is impossible to understand the kingdom of God, what it is, and how it works unless we understand these principles.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE
by Pastor Delbert Young
What Is The Kingdom Of God Like? Luke 13:18-21
Scriptures: Luke 13:18-21, Acts 1:8, Luke 17:20-21, John 3:3, John 3:5
When we last studied Luke, Jesus was in a synagogue (their church) on a Sabbath day. He healed a woman crippled and bent over by a spirit for18 years. Jesus labeled the leader and others in the synagogue as hypocrites and humiliated his opponents, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing. The next words we read are,
Luke 13:18 THEN Jesus asked…
If we approach it this way it’s apparent Jesus remained in the synagogue. It doesn’t say he left. The reason I mention this is because most teach Jesus left and said this to his disciples only. No. He’s addressing those in the meeting. It’s interesting how in this semi-hostile environment, Jesus posed this question.
Luke 13:18 THEN Jesus asked, “What IS the KINGDOM OF GOD LIKE? WHAT SHALL I COMPARE IT TO?
Jesus, now teaching, began by asking a question. If I asked you, “What is the kingdom of God like?” how would you reply? Would you think heaven? That’s what most Christians would say. Certainly if you’re not a Christian believer you would think heaven, but Jesus isn’t talking about heaven. The kingdom of God is not heaven. What would you compare the kingdom of God to? Jesus is about to give his own description and comparison of the kingdom of God, and it is impossible to understand the kingdom of God, what it is, and how it works unless we understand these principles.
Jesus asked, “What IS the kingdom of God like?” “IS” as in present tense. He was asking what the kingdom of God is like right now. Those in the meeting that day would say,”Kingdom? What kingdom? What do you mean, ‘What is it like?’ I don’t see any kingdom!” Again, this is exactly what most would say today. The problem was, from the human perspective, it didn’t look like a kingdom and Jesus didn’t look like a king. They looked for a Messiah leading a great army. Instead, they got Jesus and a small group of uneducated fishermen, tax collectors, and prostitutes. This didn’t look like the Kingdom of God. Where was the majesty? Where were the thrones, the trumpets, palace, and deliverance from Roman dictatorship? They expected a natural kingdom… exactly as people continue to look for today – after the millennium the kingdom and heaven will come. I’m constantly asked, “Delbert, if the kingdom ‘is,’ then where ‘is’ it?” How can I explain it to you?
Luke 13:18-21 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? WHAT SHALL I COMPARE IT TO? IT IS LIKE A MUSTARD SEED, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.” Again he asked, “WHAT SHALL I COMPARE THE KINGDOM OF GOD TO? IT IS LIKE YEAST that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
Jesus didn’t compare the kingdom of God to heaven. What did he compare it to, a mustard seed and yeast? What do you think they thought when Jesus compared the kingdom of God to a mustard seed and yeast? They had to think, “What? Are you crazy?” This was and is not what they had been taught. Though Christians have heard these parables many times, we continue to have difficulty connecting the dots of what the kingdom “is.”
Then, at that very moment and place in time, the kingdom of God was like a mustard seed. It would be planted into the ground – grave. It would burst out of the ground and grow from a seed into a tree filling the whole world. Today nations perch in its branches and build their nests, their families, on the principles of Jesus Christ.
Then, at that very point in time, the kingdom of God was beginning to be mixed into the world like yeast being mixed into flour.Yeast is powerful. Once in, it will work. It penetrates and affects the entire batch causing it to rise up and change composition. This kingdom yeast would affect and change the composition of the entire earth.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the HOLY SPIRIT comes ON YOU; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, AND TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.”
The yeast of the Holy Spirit did exactly this. The kingdom of God now circles the globe. Today 33% of our world has been “yeasted.” 33% of the world’s populations are Christian believers, the largest belief in the world and growing. This is an indisputable fact.
But, What IS the kingdom of God like now, today, this very moment, to you? The kingdom of God is not only “out there” growing and expanding in the world. The kingdom of God is in you, in every Christ believer, now. One day Jesus was asked when thekingdom of God would come.
Luke 17:20-21 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when THE KINGDOM OF GOD would come, Jesus replied, “THE KINGDOM OF GOD does not come with your carefulOBSERVATION, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU.”
The kingdom of God is not something you actually observe coming. It’s works like a mustard tree growing and filling the entire garden. It works like yeast expanding and changing the composition of society. Jesus said not to worry about when it would come.Rather be concerned the kingdom of God is within you. It doesn’t matter how or “when” it comes out there if it’s not within.
It begins this way – within every person. Something tiny like a mustard seed is planted into a person. A little Holy Spirit like yeastis mixed into a life and something begins to change the life as it permeates and ferments the composition. The life begins to grow in God’s garden. We begin to see life differently. We begin to live life differently. This is exactly what Jesus said.
John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD unless he is BORN AGAIN.”
John 3:5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD unless he is born of WATER AND THE SPIRIT.
The very reason we are born again is not to go to heaven. It’s to see the kingdom now. The very reason we are born of water and the Spirit is not to go to heaven. It’s to enter the kingdom of God now. Is the mustard seed tree growing within you? Is the yeast working and expanding within you changing your composition? Doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world concerning thekingdom of God if the kingdom of God is not going on in you.
Here’s is what I know about you because I know this about me and billions of others. The kingdom mustard seed and kingdom yeast will change your life and make your life bigger. You grow in life and life becomes abundant. The composition of your life changes as you expand. You reach goals you never thought you could. You experience a good life like you never thought you would. Life is bigger and better in the kingdom of God.
And, here’s one of the most important aspects of the kingdom. A person will change not because of commandments and laws. They change within and have a real relationship with Father God through Jesus Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit. It’s not by laws and commandments, but by love. THAT’S WHAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS LIKE. Has the mustard seed been planted within your heart? You know by your growing in God’s garden. Has the yeast of the Holy Spirit changed your composition within? You know by your expanding in your relationship with God? Let’s read our passage again and see if we understand what the kingdom is.
Luke 13:18-21 Then Jesus asked, “WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD LIKE? WHAT SHALL I COMPARE IT TO? IT IS LIKE A MUSTARD SEED, which a man took and PLANTED in his garden. IT GREW and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.” Again he asked, “WHAT SHALL I COMPARE THE KINGDOM OF GOD TO? IT IS LIKE YEASTthat a woman took and MIXED into a large amount of flour until it WORKED ALL THROUGH THE DOUGH.”
It is impossible to understand the kingdom of God, what it is, and how it works unless we understand these principles. If amustard seed is planted, it will grow all by itself. If yeast is mixed into flour, it will work all through the dough. The mustard seed simply needs someone to plant it. It does the rest. The yeast simply needs someone to mix it in. It does the rest. So, have you planted any tiny kingdom seeds in anyone lately? Have you mixed any kingdom yeast into anyone lately?
A primary point Jesus made about the kingdom is that it doesn’t take much to make a huge influence – a tiny seed, a little yeast. I’ll use an example to show you how this works. How many can name the last 10 presidents of the United Sates? How about the first 5? But these were supposedly powerfully important people. How about this? Can you remember a teacher who helped you in your early years? Can you remember a friend who helped or protected you in a tough time? How about the person who made God’s word come alive to you? How about the person who planted a tiny kingdom seed in you, or was able to mix a little kingdom yeast into you? The point is the people who made a huge difference in your life were likely average, normal, everyday people and not hugely important people. They are people like you and me.
You can plant a kingdom mustard seed every place you go. It’s tiny. You can slip it into a heart. You can mix in kingdom yeast every place you go. It only takes a little. Then watch it grow and expand. Every place you go, you change the world. Every place you go, you bring the kingdom. THAT’S WHAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS LIKE.
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