What Were You Expecting?

The kingdom of heaven is often thought of as restrictive, as though the king’s highest priority is keeping his subjects in line by requiring them to follow a list of do’s and don’ts. When we read the teaching of Jesus, however, we discover the kingdom offers the most incredible freedom.  It’s not freedom to do whatever we like (which is in effect a terrible form of bondage); rather, it is the freedom to be all that God intended humans to be. 

The kingdom parables offer a glimpse into the thinking of Jesus as he discloses the nature of the kingdom using ordinary, earthy illustrations.  The sermon series will work though these illustrations seeking to let Jesus develop our expectations.  Here’s my list of the 12 parables of Jesus that begin, “The kingdom of heaven is like . . .” 

▸ A man who sowed good seed in his field (Mt. 13:24-30; 36-43; Mk. 4:26-29)

▸ A mustard seed (Mt. 13:31-32; Mk. 4:30-32; Lk. 13:18-21)

▸ Leaven (Mt. 13:33; Lk. 13:20)

▸ Treasure hidden in a field (Mt. 13:44)

▸ A merchant looking for fine pearls (Mt. 13:45-46)

▸ A net (Mt. 13:47-50)

▸ The owner of a house (Mt. 13:52)

▸ A king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants (Mt. 18:23-25)

▸ A landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers (Mt. 20:1-16)

▸ A king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son (Mt. 22:1-14)

▸ Ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom (Mt. 25:1-13)

▸ A man going on a journey who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them (Mt. 25:14-30)

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

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2 Responses to “What Were You Expecting?”

  1. So this is going to be the new sermon series? Okay, I was thinking about that yesterday and asked myself what the new series will be on… I had to laugh!

    Anyways… loved it nevertheless! This freedom stuff is a bit troubling for the “self-made” American. But this freedom is interesting to the mind and intoxicating to the heart. It’s simple yet fundamentally difficult. What brings about change if not we?

    As you know I’ve started a new study this year on pacifism. However the basis is not over traditional secular pacifism but discipleship. How does discipleship and relationship with Jesus change us? Does it at all? Does it affect our relationships with others, strangers, neighbors?

    As juxtaposition to this I heard a friend question wither America has forgotten what it means to be a Christian, a follower of Christ- yet in name alone and not in practice or relationship. It’s hard for me to disagree, for many years a thought love was hate and hate was love…

    However to counteract this feeling of hopelessness Jesus offers us his hand. “Walk,” he says. Even amongst the storm and sea…Jesus reminds us that, “Our sovereign Lord has ordered history to accomplish His purposes and bring His plan for His people to pass. Even when His people failed…”

  2. avatar Skull Jockey says:

    I actually had a dream last night about explaining parables to someone who was taking them too literally, I can remember saying over and over in my dream, He said that it is LIKE…crazy.
    At least it doesn't appear like we will be singing all 12 verses of amazing grace for all eternity. : )

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