The readings for the past few weeks (Matthew 13) have been teaching us about the Kingdom of God. In the Parable of the Sower Jesus focuses on how people respond to the Word of God. In the Parable of the Weeds Jesus teaches us how to deal with evil. In the three parables for today Jesus is teaching us how important it is to be included in the Kingdom. He challenges us to be able to bring out treasures from our own experience of the Kingdom to share with others. Let me model this for you by bringing out three treasures from my study and experience of the Kingdom.
1. The treasure of the Bible as 'True truth' – is everyone really included?My first kingdom treasure is a lesson learned long ago as I was reading the Bible. The Reading was about Isaiah - “setting his face like flint” in the face of opposition. Isaiah helped me understand what I was getting into in my preaching. Christian teachers often have to choose between either trying to please everyone; or confronting people with what the Bible actually says about self-sacrifice, loyalty, holiness and loving God. Biblical Christianity has been under attack for centuries by individuals who do not like this or that Biblical teaching. The supernatural Biblical worldview has often been compromised by academics and clergy who want to be ‘relevant to the modern scientific culture’. The Biblical teachings on sexual morality have also been compromised by clergy who wish to avoid conflict with various interest groups. This is a new thing. Historic Christianity proclaimed the Biblical teachings as a challenge to the culture of the time