The Kingdom of God emerges as a key focus on the pages of Scripture, and can be seen as the overall message of the Bible. Despite the Kingdom’s importance in the bible, there is no greater theme in the gospel that invokes greater confusion and debate. The questions that arise are such: What is the nature of the Kingdom of God? Is the Kingdom of God here now or only in the future?
The purpose of this essay is to evaluate the Kingdom of God based on the gospel of Matthew. It will also discuss the presence of the Kingdom of God, and how it is here and now as well as in the future. This essay will break down the parables in Matthew 13 and discuss the nature of the Kingdom. Parable Analysis
Jesus' parables are seemingly simple and memorable stories; they often include imagery and convey a message. Scholars have commented that although these parables seem simple, the messages they convey are deep, and central to the teachings of Jesus. (Talbert p.162-165) The Kingdom in Matthew is the rule of God. The parables speak deceptively yet dramatically of the growth of God’s kingdom. (Turner p.345) When Jesus spoke to His Crowd, He spoke using only parables so that only those who were close to Him and the Lord would understand. In Matthew 13: 34-36 it reads, “Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: ‘I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world’ (Verse form Psalms 78).” In Matthew 13: 3-9 Jesus tells us the parable of the sower and in verse 18-23 Jesus gives an explanation to his parable. This explanation is that the one who “hears the word and understands it” is gifted with eternal life. Jesus’ main point is that the parable will only make sense to those who are close to him and the Lord. (Keener 235) The Parable of the Sower follows a similar suite as with most of Jesus parables: its base is in agriculture. Jesus chooses agriculture to base his parables around because it can be easily related to the hearers’ daily life. One of the key points to Jesus’ Sower parable is that the sower must sow widely to ensure a good harvest. Jesus uses a common analogy of sowing, for He cannot know the position of the hearers’ hearts before He was to preach. Jesus implies that you must sow as widely as possible and let God bring forth the appropriate fruit. Although you have planted in a wide area, the soil may not all be good; not all ground will yield good fruit. However, because of how plentiful the soil is in some places it will yield enough crop to make up for the seed planted in the useless soil. (Keener p.237)
The next parable is “The Parable of the Weeds”. This parable is again based off agriculture. In this parable one of Satan’s Son’s plants weeds in one of God’s Son’s wheat fields. The problem is that the weeds and the wheat look similar in the early stages, and their roots can become tangled between each other so it can be dangerous to pull out the weeds. So God’s Son waited until the wheat was fully grown, pulled the weed, and burned them as fuel. He was then also able to harvest the wheat. (Keener p.242) “Jesus explains that God tolerates the wicked in the present for the sake of his elect, but will publicly distinguish between the two in the day when the secrets of the kingdom are revealed… The landowner avoids uprooting the young darnel (weeds), which still looks like wheat, because he values the wheat; in the same way, God endures the wicked in the present to provide all those who will receive him time to become his followers. (Keener p.244)” “What looks like a weed one day may begin bearing fruit another day. It depends on each person's choice, and the kingdom of God gives people time to choose. But this will not go on forever (Morrison).” One day judgment will come, “when the weeds...