Throughout Matthew’s gospel, we see Jesus teaching in parables to show us what life is like in His kingdom. Parables were everyday examples of how faith interacts with real life. Those early disciples would never look at sowers and seeds, treasures and riches, or lost things the same way again. Everything around them became reminders of Jesus’ kingdom and how to live for kingdom priorities.
We live in a world that defines priorities, values, and goals around achievement, performance, and competition. Every day is another race to the top or a defensive battle to stay at the top. We find ourselves building our kingdoms where we reign at the top. Our priorities are about us and our agenda, but Jesus and His parables call us to another way of life.
At the beginning of His ministry, recorded in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus invites His followers to “change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 3:2 CEB). Jesus’ kingdom is offering an alternative reality with new priorities. We are invited to change our minds and hearts and to begin living for God’s kingdom priorities here and now.
These new priorities begin with a focus on who is the King of our kingdom. From our culture’s perspective, we sit as kings of our lives and make everything about us. Jesus invites us to surrender to His kingship over our lives. When we begin to do that, He sets the priorities, and the focus becomes on what He desires for us.
The parables help us explore through simple daily moments what it looks like to live out the priorities of God’s kingdom. Through our message series, we have been exploring these priorities and seeing God’s kingdom in everyday objects and illustrations. When we see these illustrations all around us, we must begin by asking ourselves who is the king of our life and what kingdom we are investing our one life to live into.
Followers of Jesus live for a different kingdom defined by priorities that seem so foreign to this world, yet through people living out these kingdom priorities, the world gets a glimpse of Jesus’ prayer that God’s kingdom would come in and among us.