How can we understand the kingdom of heaven? How can we understand the reign of Christ? These phrases sometimes sound so lofty, religious, or spiritual that we fail to understand how practical and simple of an idea that they communicate, if we are willing to hear their message!
Jesus often used parables to accomplish the very thing we struggle with – understanding the kingdom. In Matthew 13 we have seven parables of Christ to grow our understanding of the kingdom of heaven. The first of these parables is the Parable of the Sower:
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”. . .
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matt 13:3–9, 18–23).
Jesus gives the reason He speaks in parables (Matt 13:10–17). The message of the kingdom has been sown. May our Father in heaven bless us with the faith to choose to be the good soil hearing the message of the kingdom and understanding it. Remember to ask, seek, and knock for understanding regarding the kingdom in your life.