Kingdom Parables - Matthew 13
God’s kingdom is growing in the world. His kingdom is valuable and worth giving everything for. While we wait for Jesus to come back and set up His kingdom, we obey Him and tell others about King Jesus, who rescues sinners.
He Has Rescued Us
Lord My God
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“He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” - Colossians 1:13
Bible Story - Kingdom Parables
Bible Story Video
One day, Jesus went out and sat by the sea. Many people came to hear Him teach, so Jesus got into a boat and sat down. The people stood on the shore, and Jesus told them parables, or stories, to teach them about God’s kingdom. Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Why do you tell stories to teach?” Jesus said, “Not everyone will understand what is true about God’s kingdom.” In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah said, “Some people look, but they do not see. They hear, but they do not listen or understand.” Through Jesus, Isaiah’s words came true. Jesus told the disciples, “You are blessed because you understand.” Then Jesus told a parable: “God’s kingdom is like a mustard seed that a man planted in his field. It is the smallest seed, but it grows taller than the garden plants. The seed becomes a tree, and the birds build nests in its branches.” Then Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is like leaven, or yeast, that a woman mixed into flour. The leaven makes the dough rise.” Jesus told another parable: “God’s kingdom is like a treasure buried in a field. A man found the treasure and buried it again. Then he joyfully sold everything he had and bought that field.” Then Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is like a man looking for beautiful pearls. When he found one very valuable pearl, he sold everything he had and bought it.” When Jesus finished teaching the crowds, He left that place and went to His hometown.
Bible Story Summary
- Jesus taught about God’s kingdom.
- Jesus said God’s kingdom grows and spreads like a mustard seed.
- Jesus said God’s kingdom is like a treasure so valuable it is worth giving everything for.
- Why did Jesus use parables, or stories, to teach people?
- How is God’s kingdom like a mustard seed?
- How is God’s kingdom like buried treasure?
- Plant seeds together as a family. Care for the seeds and watch them
grow. Talk about how the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed.
- Hide “treasure” in your home. Make a treasure map and hunt for the treasure as a family. Talk about how God’s kingdom is a treasure.
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Find Buried Treasure
- Bury toy jewels and coins in a bin of sand. Provide toy shovels and scoops for children to dig with. Celebrate every time a child finds a treasure, then rebury it and continue.
- Say: Jesus taught about God’s kingdom. He said it is like a treasure buried in a field. A man found the treasure and buried it again. Then he joyfully sold everything he had and bought that field. God’s kingdom is valuable and worth giving everything for. When you discover the treasure of following Jesus, you happily give up everything else for it!
Elementary Discussion Questions
Help your kids find Matthew 13. Ask the following questions:
- Who fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy about listening and not understanding? (those who didn’t understand Jesus’ parables, Matthew 13:13-14)
- How is the kingdom of heaven like a mustard seed? (It looks small but grows large and provides shelter, Matthew 13:32)
- How is the kingdom of heaven like a buried treasure? (It is valuable and worth giving up everything to get, Matthew 13:44)
- Have you ever had to give up something to follow Jesus? Guide kids to discuss situations they may have faced where they had to choose obedience over popularity, comfort, or another thing the world can offer. Be prepared to share your own experiences too.
- Would you give up everything to follow Jesus? Help the kids think through the kinds of sacrifices some believers must make, such as missionaries or those living in places hostile to Jesus. Remind them that God may not tell them to give up everything, but they are called to be ready if necessary.
- How can you help God’s kingdom grow? Talk through ways kids can live on mission. Help them come up with ways to show love to others and creative ways they can share the gospel with friends and loved ones.