Canvey Methodist Church Bible Studies- 5th April 2022

Jesus Words On The Way.

INTRODUCTION: So far our journey has highlighted Jesus’ ministry in action: healing diseases, driving out demons; and controlling nature. This week we will experience examples from Jesus’ teaching ministry. We heard last week of Jesus telling his disciples about his upcoming arrest, trial, death and resurrection. His prediction understandably left his followers feeling confused. But later, after Jesus rose from the dead and sent his Holy Spirit, these events not only made sense, but  they became the core of the gospel that would go on to change the world.

READ: Matthew 13:31-35 

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” 33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough.” 34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”[b]

a.Matthew 13:33 Or about 27 kilograms

b.Matthew 13:35 Psalm 78:2

SHARE:

Jesus told these two parables specifically to show us what the kingdom of heaven is like. He uses mustard seeds and yeast. How are the two  things the same? What do they do? What do they affect?  How might we apply this phenomenon to the kingdom of heaven? In what ways might this have encouraged disciples in Jesus’ time and for all time?

PRAY: Father, we thank You for the promise revealed in these short parables. Your kingdom started with just a few, but it has spread all over the world.  Sometimes we look at ourselves as one infinitely small part of history or the world, and we doubt that our lives can make a difference. Help us to trust the power of Your gospel to do its work in our lives, and may we never fail to plant the seeds of Your word. In the name of King Jesus we pray, Amen.

Jesus on the kingdom of heaven

Scripture Reference:  READ: Matthew 13:44-46

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

Reflect

Jesus tells the stories of two different people. The first person accidentally finds a treasure that had been hidden in a field. The other person searches for pearls of great value. Both, upon discovery, recognize that they have found great treasure and are willing to sell everything to secure it. Jesus, in using these illustrations, is trying to help the disciples and teachers of the law understand that a new day has dawned. These Kingdom teachings go far beyond what they have previously understood and thought.

Share:

What is it about “ the kingdom of heaven” that makes it of infinite value to you?

Reflect:

Think of something you wish that you owned more than anything else in the world, something you would love to have and

would value above all your other belongings. Now think about the fact that Jesus tells us that living in the kingdom of heaven—where we trust and obey God—is EVEN BETTER than the treasure you just imagined!

Closing Prayer

Dear God, help us to understand what Jesus means when he talks about the kingdom of heaven. Help us to realize that trusting and obeying You blesses us in a way that is even bigger and better than any treasure we can imagine. Lord Jesus, help us to give everything we are and have to you for your glory and the extension of your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Jesus and the great invitation

Scripture Reference: READ Luke 14:16-24

16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’

18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ 22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ 23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

Reflect

Jesus is eating at the home of a prominent Pharisee on the Sabbath, and is being closely watched by all who are there. Using parables, Jesus has challenged many of their firmly held beliefs and customs, including healing on the Sabbath, their self-importance and their attitude toward the poor. Thinking he is going to impress Jesus, a guest declares, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the Kingdom of God”. Jesus responds with the story of the invitation to the great banquet. It is clear from what he says that, unlike the table at this banquet, the table in the Kingdom will be filled with the poor, crippled, blind and lame – those who, in humility, respond to the great invitation.

How does this parable apply to us, our expectations of both heaven and of how we should offer hospitality and mission now?

A thought to ponder - WALKING in Jesus’ footsteps:

Imagine that you get an invitation to a party where Jesus will be one of the guests. Who would you like to bring to the party with you? Who would you most like to introduce to Jesus?

You have a chance every day to tell the people you know about Jesus!

 

Closing Prayer

Dear God, we give you thanks that your invitation is open to all who will believe and trust in Jesus. Just like the man in the story who invited lots of people to come to a big party, You are also inviting all of us to live our lives with You. We say “yes” to Your invitation! Help us to be part of your Kingdom work here on earth.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.