Unit 25, Session 1: Kingdom Parables
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.
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 Discussion Questions
- • What might we have to give up to gain God’s kingdom?
• How can we help God’s kingdom grow?
• Whom can we tell about God’s kingdom?
- Why is God’s kingdom so valuable?
• How is God’s kingdom different than the world?
• What does your family value most? How do you know?
Seed, Seed, Tree
-Instruct the kids to sit in a circle.
-Select someone to be the “gardener” who will walk around the outside of the circle, gently patting kids’ heads, saying “seed” each time.
-She will select a kid and say “tree” when she pats him.
-He must stand and chase her around the circle.
-If he tags her, she must stand in the center of the circle and be the “shrub.”
-If the gardener reaches the tree’s seat before he tags her, she is safe. Either way, he will be the new gardener.
When Jesus taught about God’s kingdom, He used metaphors—word pictures that help us imagine something unfamiliar by comparing it to something familiar. Some of Jesus’ metaphors involved plants, specifically small seeds growing into huge trees.
Volunteers as a family at a food bank such as: https://www.communityharvest.org/volunteer/ They always need help collecting, sorting, and distributing food to those in need in the city of Fort Wayne