Luke 11:2-4 (KJV) 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
What is the kingdom of God? What is Jesus talking about? Help me understand this!
1) The Kingdom of God starts small
Luke 13:19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden…
D. A. Carson – “the greatness of the Kingdom would be no surprise for Jesus’ audience – they were born and bred in a religious background where this Messianic magnificence of the age to come was taught with much emphasis. On the contrary, a real novelty in the teaching of Jesus was the perspective of the smallness of its beginning.”
The kingdom of God being established in someone’s heart starts the same way for everyone – with a simple prayer of repentance and belief in Christ.
1 John 1:8-9 (NIV) 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Romans 10:9 (NIV) 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
2) The Kingdom of God grows large
Luke 13:19 … It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.”
Luke 13:21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
2 Peter 1:3-9 (NIV) 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness… 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
2 Peter 3:17-18 (NLT) 17 I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. 18 Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.
What happens for those who are into their own kingdom, they replace Christ with cause.
Martin Luther said, “religion is the default mode of the human heart.”
Real growth of the kingdom of God in your life is shown through the fruit of your life, not the accumulation of your knowledge.
3) The Kingdom of God blesses others
Luke 13:19 …and the birds of the air perched in its branches.”
Christianity is a whole different way of thinking and looking at things. It’s looking at things through the lens of the Bible and through the eyes of Christ.
Mark 10:45 (NIV) 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Some of us, we need to rethink our causes. How much of the Gospel and God’s kingdom is a part of our causes?
Hebrews 12:28-29 (ESV) 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
Discussion Questions: (For your Life Group or Personal Study)
- Opening: Take a minute to describe one of your favorite places in the world that no one, or few, in your group has ever been. Have fun with this. What did it smell like, look like, feel like?
- Dive Deeper: Read Luke 13:18-21. Note the progression: A small mustard seed or a little yeast…grows to a large bush/tree or a loaf of bread…both items can then be used to bless others (birds perch in its branches and you’ve got a dandy loaf of bread). Think about your life, have you been on this same progression? Compare your spiritual life today to one year ago – has there been growth in knowledge of Jesus Christ and action? What are things that seem to really push you forward in growing in your faith?
- Dive Deeper: Read Luke 13:20-21. Is there any significance to the yeast being “worked all through the dough?” How does yeast work? What would this mean for you and I?
- Dive Deeper: How does Jesus’ kingdom differ from others? After a time of discussion, grab a few answers from Luke 17:20-21 and John 18:36-37 and discuss further.
- Dive Deeper: Read Luke 13:10-17. Scott said, “Those who are into their own kingdom replace Christ with a cause.” Like the synagogue ruler who’s main cause was to keep with the religious tradition of not healing on the sabbath, in what ways have you struggled with the idea of replacing Christ with a cause? Make this a matter of prayer as you close in prayer.
- Closing thought: What is one thing you are going to do differently having studied this passage?