We truly live in a world that is sometimes crazy. The news this week is saturated with the criminal acts (according to the news an anti-Muslim act) of a deranged man in Norway. Some newspapers have labeled him a Christian, but the reality is that there is nothing of the character of Jesus Christ in this man or in his actions. Over ninety people killed, many others wounded and an entire country in shock and mourning, not very different from the tragedy we experienced on 9/11. In London, we hear of the death of Amy Winehouse possibly due to an overdose of drugs and alcohol although the results of the autopsy are inconclusive and in California the arrest of two men and a woman for the brutal beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow.
What I want to ask you this morning is how do the Parables of the Kingdom of heaven in Chapter 13 of Matthew, from which I have been teaching these last three Sundays, apply or shed light on the condition of our society, our culture and our world? There are seven parables in this chapter, the Parable of the Four Types of Soils, the Wheat and the Tares (weed), the Mustard Seeds, The Leaven in the Dough, the Hidden Treasure, the Pearl of Great value and the Dragnet.
One thing is certain in all of these parables, the Kingdom of heaven is present already in this world, it had a very humble, small and hardly noticeable beginning, the simple birth of a Baby in a manger in Bethlehem of Judea. This Kingdom has been growing and transforming culture and society gradually yet powerfully. But we must also recognize that when the Kingdom of God grows in our world, then the kingdom of darkness and evil and of everything that is contrary to God’s will and direction will oppose it, attack it and cause destruction. This is also evident in several of the parables. One of the most important things we can glean from these parables is that God is always in control and at the end of time, He will bring about a separation of the wheat from the tares and of the fish that are acceptable from those that are not. There are many other parables that bring out this same message, such as the Parable on the Wedding Feast, the Ten Virgins, the Sheep and the Goats, etc.
The Kingdom of heaven is present now, today, and is available to all who respond to Jesus’ invitation in faith and who follow Him in obedience and yet in the future the fullness of its presence, that is promised in Scripture and present in the parables I have been discussing, will be fully realized