Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
13:31 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
you give us gifts and make them grow:
though our faith is small as mustard-seed,
make it grow to your glory
and the flourishing of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The different Gospel writers interchange the terms ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ and ‘Kingdom of God’, Because Matthew uses Kingdom of Heaven above, I will also use it here .
Sometimes people think that what we are about is building the church, the first thing to note is that the Kingdom of Heaven is not the church. The church is not the end in itself, it is the means to the end. The job of the church is to build, enable, grow the Kingdom of Heaven. If it is doing that then it is doing what it needs to be doing. Should it become self-promoting and lose sight of the Kingdom of Heaven then it is failing.
What can we say about the Kingdom of Heaven? First of all, Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is upon you.” It is not far off, it is not in the distance, we need to open our eyes and look beyond ourselves.
In our passage Jesus tells of the yeast. The kingdom of Heaven is active, dynamic, growing, at work in the world.
He tells of the great treasure. When we find it, it is of great value. Valuable enough to make us change our whole life and alter our aspirations.
He tells of the mustard seed. The Kingdom of Heaven might seem small, but if we nurture it within ourselves, it will grow and grow.
The Kingdom of Heaven is the end that we look forward to when God rules, but also anticipated now in this life for each and every one of us.
We can live it here, we can be within it now, whilst also anticipating what is to come.