How are we to live? Jesus tells us in a very practical way.




More life lessons from the kingdom parables of Jesus.








The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
For Serious Students



Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue




10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:10-13) 



This brief parable should turn the church upside down! It did originally. But then the church became either, a part of the establishment (eg. Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican), or indirectly associated with the establishment (eg. most Protestant churches today - from 'protesting' to 'conformity').

Most of the people Jesus mixed with, those whom He came to bring into His kingdom, had been rejected by the religious establishment of the time as being beyond salvation. But Jesus came to save the hurting and the lost. Not the righteous, but the sinners, as the parable states. This was anathema to the religious people of the day.


Luke 15:2



We all know this and accept it in theory. We may run programmes to help the poor, or go out on mission trips, but I would suggest that most of our time and money (the best barometer) is spent on ourselves, maintaining ministers, buildings and programmes that predominantly fit in with the middle class establishment of our society. The emphasis is on meeting our own needs, to become comfortable within the environment in which we live.

The early New Testament church was definitely not part of the establishment. It was persecuted. It went underground in many cases, simply to ensure its survival.


Acts 8:1-3



Persecution is promised still, to those who wish to enter the kingdom. For our lifestyle is to be radically different to that of the world. 


Matthew 5:10-12



The disciples of Jesus were a classic example of completely unsuitable people chosen to be 'ministers'. Uneducated, rejected by the religious establishment, who only chose the best and brightest to become disciples of the Rabbis. Yet, in spite of their ups and downs when Jesus was teaching them, after His death, resurrection and ascension, they changed the course of history right through to the present day. A rabble of uneducated men became world changers! For Jesus knew their hearts!

What do we look for today in our ministers? The best and brightest, with quality theological degrees .......... Is this the example Jesus provided to us?

You will, of course, quote Paul, as a rabbinical style example. Yes he was trained. But the first thing that happened to him was to be broken of his training. Let us read what Easton's Bible Dictionary had to say about it.


Easton's Bible Dictionary



To become effective once more, the church needs to follow the example of Scripture and Jesus and become a grassroots organism. Ministering to the 'sinners', showing 'mercy' to those in need. Becoming outward rather than inwards focused.

Talk is easy. But are we ready to change? Are we prepared to meet the challenge?




44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:44-6)



The kingdom of God really is available now!

It is hidden to non believers, and sadly, to most believers also. Many believers are even looking for it, for they are (incorrectly) taught that it is a future kingdom only.

If it were not available now, then why would Jesus have told these parables? Jesus, in fact, is talking in the past tense here, about two people who have actually already found the kingdom. So logically, it has to be there to be found!



The kingdom of God is priceless!

It is a treasure in the field; it is also the finest pearl the trader has ever seen.

It is easy for us to build a fantasy picture of what 'heaven' is like - fluffy angels and golden paving. Suspect it will be different when we do get there!

But it is even more difficult to envisage that this beautiful, precious kingdom could ever exist on earth, amongst all the troubles and challenges we are facing in the world, let alone imagine what it looks like!

In fact though the kingdom already exists in those who seek it. We may not be able to see it, but it is there, within.


Luke 17:20-1



However, in the end times this inner existence will be reflected outwardly also, in kingdom believers, in what is often called the 'double blessing'. 



Imagine being filled with 'the fullness of God'!

I had an aunty, Aunty Ina, who suffered badly from arthritis in her later years. However she would still cook (which won my affection!), but my greatest memory is of her sitting by the fire with her Bible by her side. In spite of her pain, the glow of the Holy Spirit shined from her. The kingdom within, was seen without!



The kingdom costs us everything!

The first man sold all he had, the second, all his precious pearls, in order to buy, (to inherit) the kingdom. To participate in the glory of the kingdom costs us our all. For we cannot live in two kingdoms at the same time. Either we live in the world (follow the ways of the world while maybe acknowledging Jesus as Saviour) or commit our lives 100% to Him (making Jesus Lord of our lives). Jesus spoke in this way as He prayed for His disciples at Gethsemane;


John 17:14



The kingdom costs everything, for as black is the opposite of white, so true kingdom believers will reflect the light of Jesus to the world, who will either accept or reject the light. 


Ephesians 5:8-13



Are you, am I, prepared to pay the price of the kingdom? 




Two more parables are looked at to see there lessons for kingdom living today. 




By now, we should be getting the idea that kingdom living is an all consuming lifestyle. There is no room for half measures when walking with Jesus!


Jerusalem's City of David
and Area G

Also known as Jebus, the Eastern Hill

City of David

The city of Jerusalem was originally built around the Gihon Spring, on the southeastern hill to the south (left) of the Temple Mount, which is today crowned with the gold-domed Dome of the Rock. Jerusalem has been continuously inhabited since at least 3000 B.C., but it was only in the time of Solomon that the city limits expanded beyond the southeastern spur, known today as the "City of David."

Kidron Valley

The City of David was very narrow; about 80-100m wide. The east side has a steep slope of about 60 degrees. Though smaller, steeper and more difficult for construction than the Western Hill, the City of David was chosen because of its water source, the Gihon Spring. The Kidron Valley borders the city on its east side.


So until next week.......

His servant and yours

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