|"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed..."|
Early on, the kingdom is referenced in the Sermon on the Mount, in the first and last beatitude,
- "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
- "Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of justice, theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
- 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow." (he says later that this refers to the kingdom)
- 24 Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field;" (A different parable, still with seeds)
- 31 Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field;" (Hey look, another seed..)
- 33 He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened." (Not a seed, but growing)
- 44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."
- 45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,"
- 47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind;"
- 18:23, "Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants."
- 20:1, "For the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard."
- 22:2, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son,"
- 25:1, "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom."
- 25:14, "For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property;"
I'm starting to run out of time (yes, I always start a blog post right before I'm supposed to be somewhere), but I would like to go into the parables with some more detail to see what they teach about the kingdom of heaven and why. Jesus himself (thankfully) gives us his interpretation of a couple of them, the one about the sower is interpreted by him, as well as the wheat and the chaff. But things really are never that simple. The devil often shows up in his interpretation. And he compares the kingdom to "10 maidens"; yet we know that only 5 of them actually make it to the wedding feast!
Thy kingdom come!