The Gospels record dozens of Jesus’ parables. A parable is a simple story Jesus told to help people understand the kingdom of God. Each parable taught a lesson and revealed deep and often mysterious truths about God’s kingdom for those who would understand. (See Matt. 13:10-15.)
In Matthew 13:31-33, Jesus tells two stories about the kingdom of God. In the first, He compares God’s kingdom to a mustard seed. In those days, the mustard seed was the smallest seed planted in the region. Despite its size, the seed yielded a tall, tree-like bush with branches for birds to nest in. Jesus was teaching that although God’s kingdom started out small—with Jesus and a few disciples—it grows and spreads. We still witness this growth today.
Then Jesus compares God’s kingdom to leaven, or yeast, that is mixed into flour. In time, yeast causes a dense ball of dough to grow and rise. God’s kingdom grows in a similar way, moving throughout the world and changing lives.
Then, in the parables of the hidden treasure and the priceless pearl, Jesus taught about the value of God’s kingdom. A man came across a treasure buried in a field and sold all he had to buy the field. A merchant, finding a priceless pearl, sold all he had to buy it. Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven is so valuable, we would be wise to give up everything in order to have it. Jesus emphasized this truth in His encounter with the rich young ruler. (See Matt. 19:16-22.)
As you talk with your kids, help them begin to grasp the truth about God’s kingdom. The kingdom of God is growing in the world. This kingdom is valuable and worth giving everything for. While we wait for Jesus to return and fully set up His kingdom, we carry out the mission of telling others about King Jesus, who rescues sinners.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
- Babies and Toddlers
- Jesus told people what God’s kingdom is like.
- God’s kingdom is worth giving everything for.
- Everyone who trusts in Jesus is part of God’s kingdom.
- Jesus grows His kingdom when we trust in Him.
- Jesus is our King.
- Jesus taught about God’s kingdom.
- How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over all He made.
- God’s growing kingdom is more valuable than anything.
- How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over His creation according to His perfect plan.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
- Colossians 1:13-14 (PS: Colossians 1:13)
- “The Three Parables” (Luke 15)