The Kingdom of Heaven.
" 'The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden planets and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.'
He told them another parable. 'The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.' " (Matthew 13: 31-33)
I wonder what he means . . . what is the kingdom of heaven, then? Why does the kingdom of heaven begin (if begin is the right word) as the smallest seed? does "The kingdom of heaven" mean "the people of God", the saints?
"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." (Matthew 13:44)
So the kingdom of heaven is . . . the truth of God? The man is in surrender to God, devoted to God. "the kingdom of heaven" is what the man is searching for and what he's found. The kingdom of heaven . . . is what he sacrifices everything for. This view of the kingdom of heaven seems to be man's search (and devotion) to God.
I really like this parable. It inspires me about . . . what losing your life to save it is, and about the reckless abandon of righteousness. About 'infinite resignation' and . . . faith. How do I sometimes forget the fervor of . . . grasping at righteousness? (Blessed is he who hungers and thirsts after righteousness) Or a desperate feeling for unity with Christ.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13: 47-50)
Here . . . the kingdom of heaven is God coming for his people, separating the good from the bad. This seems straightforward enough, but why does he call it "the kingdom of heaven"? Am I just making this unnecessarily confusing?
" 'Have you understood all these things' They said to him 'Yes." And he said to them, "Therefore, every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.'" (Matthew 13: 51-52)
This really confuses me. What does he mean "brings out"? Does he mean "Gets rid of" Or "brings to the light", "shares"? I'm completely unsure about this passage. What do you think?
"Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain 'be taken up and thrown into the sea," it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." (Matthew 21:21-22)
Somehow it seems to me that Faith must be more than just "belief" that something will happen, or that you can do something. Is it possible to have true, honest belief in something that is not true? Or does the quality of truth in something (in Christ) make it the only thing that can be truly believed, or truly undoubted. Moreover, is this faith, this belief possible? Can we believe in the Truth? Or must the Truth believe in the Truth? . . . I mean . . . instead of us reaching for the Truth in faith, is faith being reached to by the Truth?