In chapter 24, Jesus continues Part Two of His mission of recalibrating everyone’s view of what a Messiah should be. But this time, he tells stories – parables – that start to inform people about “The Kingdom.” This is next on your outline: He tells stories about the Kingdom. But surprisingly, He doesn’t describe this new kingdom as a political upheaval, or a re-ordering of society, or renewed global empire other countries would have to reckon with.
He said the kingdom was like seed scattered on the ground – most people, like most soil, won’t receive these seeds, but some will – and they’ll multiply and produce this radical idea over and over. He said the kingdom is like a mustard seed: seemingly small and insignificant, but when it finds that good soil, when it grasps this upside-down solution, it becomes the largest of all plants.
The point was this: The Kingdom values people over process.
He said the kingdom values people over process so much, that it’s like the foolish shepherd who’d leave 99 safe sheep and look for one that was lost…like a woman who loses a coin and turns her house upside down…like a man who had two sons, and even though the younger was a greedy opportunist and a jerk, his father couldn’t wait for him to come back home. That’s how important people are in this kingdom.
Just how important are people? A man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, attacked and left for dead. Was it the clergy who helped? No, it was someone you’d never expect: a Samaritan, who wasn’t blinded by ethnicity and prejudice. Who’s your neighbor? Anyone who needs you.
Jesus was saying you may think I’m an odd kind of Messiah, but my kingdom is even more so. Because you get to choose whether or not you belong – but once you decide, you can’t have it both ways…you can’t have two masters, or store up treasures here, or worry about where the next meal is coming from.
And one more thing: once you hear this intriguing message, if it really captures you, put it in “Drive” and engage. Hearing about this extreme philosophy, but keeping your life in neutral is like building sand castles – they’ll be gone with the next tide. But put these uncommon principles into effect, and no one can shake your foundation.
Chapter 23: Small group; Adult Sunday School Class (PDF); Family Pages; Audio; Little Ones/Preschool ( Take Home Page, Trading Card Poster, Activity Sheet); Early Elementary (Take Home Page, Trading Card Poster, Activity Sheet); Kids (Take Home Page, Activity Sheet)