Matthew chapters 13, 20 and 22: Parables of the Kingdom

The kingdom of heaven is like…

//Hello again, friends! Thanksgiving was wonderful, but it’s good to be settling in at home again. To get our blog back on track, I chose the parables of Jesus as a grounding topic.

It’s been argued that the most authentic statement of Jesus is “The kingdom of heaven is like.” The parables he told are original, they contain Aramaic idioms (the language of Palestinian Jews), and they reflect the culture of rural life. And almost all of them are about the coming Kingdom, the age of God’s rule on earth.

Beliefs about the Kingdom differed from sect to sect, and even with the Jewish sect we know as Christianity, the beliefs evolved over time. I believe Jesus’s vision of the coming Kingdom differed from the apocalyptic views of later Christian writers. His vision was much more earthy, much more concerned about the transformation of this world. It was not about floating off to heaven.

This humanitarian purpose is the view argued for in my latest book, The River of Life, and the foundation of my own discipleship.

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