Lessons from Luke

Can others see the outward characteristics of being a Christ-follower in your life?

God’s Kingdom Illustrated

Key Verse: Luke 13:18

Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it?”.

Additional Reading: Luke 13:18-30

Jesus knew that those who were listening to Him were not really understanding the Kingdom of God.

I think these listeners didn’t even know enough to ask the right questions.

We read that Jesus asked the right questions and answered them in this passage of scripture: “What is the kingdom like and how can it be illustrated?”

First, Jesus tells us that God’s Kingdom is like a tiny mustard seed. It starts out so small, but it grows into a tree strong enough and big enough for birds to make their nest in it.

So, it is with the Kingdom. It started off small, a small band of twelve disciples. Then the number of disciples grew to seventy, but it wasn’t long until their numbers grew to hundreds more on the day of Pentecost.

Now the Kingdom of God is big enough and strong enough for all people everywhere to find rest for their souls in it. Millions have come to the Kingdom of God; each one having been given a unique gift to help make the Kingdom even stronger.

Jesus goes on to give another illustration of what the Kingdom of God is like in Luke 13:20. He said it’s like the yeast that one would use to make bread. Even though a baker only puts a little bit of yeast in the flour, it permeates every part of the dough.

Jesus is telling us that when we say “yes” to accepting Him and asking Him to forgive our sins, it is only the beginning of our journey with Him. He will walk with us and slowly but surely change every part of us that needs changing to make us more like Him!

If we don’t understand this part of the Kingdom, someone might get the idea that all Jesus wants to do is forgive us of our sins. Jesus knows that if the Kingdom is to grow like we have described earlier, each believer must be changed so that others will want what they received from the Lord.

The forgiveness of sins is the inward work, that only God can see. Because of Jesus, He sees that we are made “whiter than snow” on the inside. However, our family and friends cannot see the inside of us, they see and hear the behaviors and words that come from us. That part takes some time to make our outward selves look like Jesus wants us to look. These two illustrations are given to us so we can understand the Kingdom of God better and live accordingly.

Have you asked Jesus into your heart and to forgive you of your sins? If so, are you using your gifts to make the Kingdom strong and growing? Finally, are you allowing the “yeast” of the Kingdom to permeate into your entire life, so others can see and desire to have a relationship with Jesus?

Father, show me how to use my gifts effectively. Reveal any areas of my life that I haven’t allowed you to make me more like Jesus. In His Name I pray, amen.

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