Matthew 13:31-33,

Remember the line
from the movie, Jerry McGuire?  “Show me the money!”   Some have used
it in stewardship campaigns.  How about another line that can be utilized in
a kingdom campaign?  “Show me the kingdom!”  In essence that is what the crowds
wanted Jesus to do.  His disciples wanted that too.  And did He ever show them
the kingdom!

Jesus took varied
fabrics from everyday scenes and weaved them into a tapestry of what the kingdom
was like.  My preaching professor in seminary taught us the importance of illustrating
the sermon.  He said, “If you can’t illustrate it, don’t say it.”  Jesus illustrated
“the sermon” in parables.  Today’s lection focuses on six parables in Matthew
13 that may be grouped under four headings that show the kingdom.

Show Me the
Kingdom!  Consider a Mustard Seed and Yeast.  You’ll See God Is At Work in the
Small and Unnoticed.

Talk about shock
and awe!  The mustard seed was the tiniest known seed.  When Jesus showed the
kingdom with a mustard seed, there was disbelief.  Israel had always believed
the messianic kingdom that was to be established would immediately be enormous. 
Even though the mustard seed was the tiniest, when it grew, it became a large
bush, some eight to ten feet in height.  The kingdom was being exposed in the
tiny movement Jesus had begun.  God is at work in the small.  

He is also at work
in the unnoticed.  Yeast hidden in three measures of flour would produce enough
bread to feed at least 100 people.  The present, not immediately obvious form
of the kingdom must not deceive us concerning what its final result will be. 
The Gospel is a work in the heart of an individual to change that person from
the inside out.

Jesus shows the
kingdom in the small and unnoticed.

Show Me the
Kingdom!  Consider Hidden Treasure and a Costly Pearl.  You’ll See The Inestimable
Significance of the Kingdom.

If God is at work
in the small and unnoticed, it stands to reason human beings are to respond. 
The treasure in the ground and the pearl of great price emphasize the human
response to what God is doing. 

He showed his
disciples, not the crowds this time, how valuable the kingdom was.  It was common
for treasures to be hidden in fields, since there were no banks and if a raiding
army was advancing.  The landowner might not survive and if so, the treasure
was forgotten and thus untaken.  The land might change hands many times without
a knowledge of the fortune. 

Jesus showed the
kingdom by stressing the man is not searching for the treasure.  He just happens
upon it and comprehends it is more value than any of his possessions or the
land itself.  Like buried treasure, God’s doings are sometimes concealed and
are discovered by happenstance.

In contrast, the
pearl merchant was deliberately looking for the most exquisite gem in the world. 
He found it and sold everything so to purchase it. 

Jesus showed the
accent is not on the actual finding, but on the response to the find.  One may
stumble upon it while another may be diligently seeking it.  Upon finding the
kingdom, one understands the absolute worth of its unmatched quality – so much
so that no sacrifice is too great to live in God’s will with Jesus as Lord.

Show Me the
Kingdom!  Consider a Fishing Net.  You’ll See The Consequences of Choices.

Fishing was one
of the main industries in Jesus’ day.  Nets were used to bring in a tremendous
catch.  Once on the shore, good fish were separated from bad ones, which was
a common practice, given the dietary restrictions of Leviticus.  Some fish were

Jesus showed the
kingdom at the end of the age.  He said the good will be separated from the
bad.  The angels of God will separate the wicked from the righteous – non-believers
from believers, those who have denied the message of the Gospel from those who
have accepted the message.

There are all kinds
of fish in the sea.  Some good.  Some not so good.  There are all kinds of people
in the world.  Each has a choice and there are consequences that go along with
those choices. 

Show Me The
Kingdom!  Consider The Householder’s Treasure.  You’ll See Your Role in It.

A Christian scribe
is a learned student and herald of traditions, able to interpret the Bible to
the Christian community.  All Christians have direct access to the mysteries
of the kingdom, but some may require the assistance of trained pastors and theologians. 

Jesus shows the
kingdom by underscoring the role of all believers, but especially the clergy,
in passing on His tradition to the church and an unbelieving world.

Want to see the
Kingdom?  Jesus will show you.


Sermon brief provided by:  Jimmy Gentry, Pastor of
Tabernacle Baptist Church in Carrollton, GA

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