Matthew 13:31-33

"The kingdom of God"
Reading: Matthew 13:31-33

Jesus told many stories.
Many of his stories were told to explain about “the kingdom of God.”
He said “the kingdom of God is like this or like that.”
In this way, he often explains about who he was.

Jesus didn’t like to say, “I am the kingdom of God.”
Jesus knew that people would experience this kingdom of God, as they discover Jesus is the kingdom of God.

Jesus said that the kingdom of God was not a location.
So, you can not say the kingdom of god is here or there.
The kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21)
So, you need to find the presence of Jesus within you.
So, you need to find the kingdom of God within you.
Then you experience it is Jesus who is working within you.

Let’s me explain what it means.
Let’s read a short story that Jesus told about the kingdom of God.

First, Jesus said something like this:
“The kingdom of God is like a small mustard seed.
It is so small that it could not even be a lunch of a small bird.
But this seed is planted in the field.
Then it grows.
Then it becomes bigger than any vegetables in the garden.
Then the birds come and build their nests in its branches.”

This mustard seed is the life of Jesus.
When you have him in your heart, you experience that the life of Jesus grows in you.

It is like this.
In the beginning, you only know a little bit of Jesus.
You cannot really explain well who Jesus is.
But the more you ponder about his words in your hearts, the more you experience him in your life.
Then you learn more enough to identify who Jesus is and what Jesus is like.

Jesus provides good teachings and energy so that you may grow.
You may sense his peaceful and patient presence.
This Jesus will help you when you make various decisions.
When you make decisions, try to depend on Jesus.
Then Jesus will guide you through his peaceful presence.

Then more and more you may be able to identify God’s small voice.
Then you will know how to live like Jesus.
Your character may also change as you follow Jesus.
You will become more like Jesus.

It is like this.
Sometimes, when you pray, you are not sure whether God is hearing you out.
You may wonder: does God listening to my prayer?
But soon you see the result of your prayer.
Then your faith will grow.

It is like this.
In the beginning, you may not understand why Jesus says:
“Love your enemy.”
But when you hear it and try to follow it, you may find it difficult.
Then you may wonder why Jesus did say this.
But still you try to love your enemy.
You keep on trying.
Then you discover the very heart of God.
You will discover that the very Spirit of God working for you.

Those who are close to you may not understand why you want to forgive, love and bless the enemy.
They may feel like you are not loyal to them, by forgiving the enemy.
But anyway, you try.
You bless them.
You bless everyone and your friends.
Then you experience that your minds are cleansed and your hearts become calm.
Then God may be able to heal people and reconcile people through you.
Then God’s protection will slowly show up in the life of people around you and in your own life.
God will show that God recognize your action, decision and obedience.
You will be glad seeing many good results of your efforts and prayers.
Then you want to obey God more because you realize God can build something good and meaningful through you.

When you live like that, God may be able to use you as a leader of people.
God will work behind the scene where no one notices.
God will support you.
Then you will start to see more fruits through your life.
As you live humbly, you may produce better fruits.
Then God will use you more, because God can work with you and through you easily.

So, today God is trying to plant a hope, faith, and love in you.
God is trying to plant the Kingdom of God in you through Jesus Christ.
So, let this hope, faith, and love of Jesus grows in you.
Then, God can abundantly bless you and people around you.
It will be easier for God to support you and work.
So, God may use you his leader to serve people.

So, Jesus said something like this:
“The kingdom of God is like yeast.
A woman mixes it up into a lot of flour.
Then this yeast works all through the dough and makes it rise.”

The mind of Jesus is this yeast.
In the mind of Jesus, there is always hope, faith, love, compassion, patience, humility, gentleness and kindness.
God likes to mix this mind of Jesus into your mind.
When the mind of Jesus is gradually mixed into your mind, it will produce peace in your hearts.
Even your inner life becomes calmer.
Then you tend to listen well when the Holy Spirit whispers to you.

Then you will feel what God feels, in various situations.
You may feel pain when God feels pain.
You may feel joy when God feels joy.
You may think like God.
You will be patient, because God is patient.
The more the mind of Jesus operates in you like this, the more love and peace become more important in your hearts.

Then you don’t like violence.
You don’t like violent games and violent songs and so on.
So, you don’t want to watch violent game, drama and movie.
More and more you want to stay far away from any forms of sin.

Gradually, you will experience that Christ Jesus lives within you and through you.
Then people around you will also feel God’s hand at work through your life.
Your words will have power.
People around you may also sense the value of believing in God.
You will be grateful.
You will know that God’s grace is sufficient for you.

What kind of hope, faith and love of God grow in you?
How does the life of Jesus grow in you?