If there is one chapter in the Bible which best describes the kingdom of heaven (in other places, the “kingdom of God”), Matthew 13 is it.
Through seven parables, Jesus spoke to the crowds who came to see him (v. 1). In these parables, he laid out aspects of the kingdom that were both hidden and revealed, spiritual and physical, contested and certain, already and not yet. In short, by looking briefly at each parable we can get a list of the kingdom’s characteristics. Then, as we look at all the parables together, we are positioned to answer the question: What is the kingdom of God like?
What follows are five observations from individual parables (some are taken together), and two larger observations taken from the whole of Matthew 13.
The Kingdom of God Is . . .
. . . Mysterious
Perhaps it would be better to say the kingdom is hidden and revealed. For this is what mysterion means in the Bible. Beginning with Daniel 2, the word “mystery” speaks of a kingdom reality that was once hidden but now revealed. Continue reading