The Words Group
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The New Kingdom
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Kingdom of Heaven part
example is found in the story of a landowner. Early one morning
he went out to hire workers for his vineyard. Finding the skilled
laborers he needed, he agreed with them on a wage of one silver
coin per day. The contract accepted, he sent them into his vineyard
that same morning, the landowner returned to the town. Seeing a
group of unemployed standing idle in the marketplace, he said to
them: “Come work in my vineyard. I will pay you a fair daily
noon the landowner went back into town, and then again, much later
in the afternoon. On each occasion he hired the unemployed to work
in his vineyard. Finally, towards evening, he met a few stragglers
that remained without work, and asked: “Why did you stand
“Because no one came to hire us.”
He said: “Go
now, I still have work for you to do in my vineyard.”
and the landowner instructed the vineyard manager to call the workers
in from the vineyard where they were working, and to give to each
of them their wages, beginning with the last, through to the first
that had been hired that day.
last stepped forward, and each received a silver coin as their wage.
Seeing this, those hired early that morning imagined that they would
receive more. When their turn came, however, they too received one
silver coin each.
At this they
began to complain to the landowner: “Unfair! Those stragglers
that you hired barely worked one hour, and you have paid them on
the same scale! We are the ones who have done most of the work,
toiling during the hottest hours of the day!”
But the landowner
answered: “Friends, I have done you no insult. Did not you
happily agree on a day’s wage of one silver coin? So take
what is yours and be on your way. I have, from the goodness of my
heart, paid those hired at the end of the day the same wage. Have
I not the right to do with my money as I wish? Are your eyes so
full of envy because you see me being generous and kind?”
This too, is
a parable of the kingdom of heaven; understand it, for the last
will be first and the first last. Many are called, but sadly, few
of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field. One day, a poor
man discovered it. Immediately he covered it over, and then joyfully
sold everything he possessed, considering this a small sacrifice,
in order to purchase the field where the treasure lay hidden.
Those who enter
the kingdom of heaven do not allow any of their former, earthly
concerns to deter them. Like the merchant who searched his entire
life for a pearl of great price, they joyfully sacrifice all in
order to possess such a priceless treasure – new life, a new
way of thinking and being, hope in this world, and in the world
of God moves forward by divine command. The farmer sows seed in
his field, and when his day’s work is done he goes to his
bed. Each new day he rises again and works until night falls. All
the while, the natural order of the earth is at work. The seeds
sprout and begin their growth, a synthesis so complex that it is
beyond the farmer’s ability to understand it. Tender blades
appear, then ears of corn, until what was planted is a mature crop,
and the farmer takes up his sickle, for the harvest time has come.
of heaven is like a mustard seed, the smallest of nature’s
kernels, from which grows a great plant, as tall as a tree, a place
for the birds to perch and find shelter.
of the kingdom can be compared to a pinch of yeast used to make
bread. Even mixed into a great quantity of flour, it leavens throughout.
Like a fisherman’s
net lowered into the sea, the kingdom of heaven gathers up every
variety of fish. When it is full, the net is pulled back onto the
shore. There the good catch is collected into baskets, and the imperfect
is discarded. So it will be at the end of this age. Angels will
separate the wicked from among the children of God, exiling them
to a place of great sorrow.
goods, money, or support, I have sent you out as witnesses. Equipped
with the message of new life, you have blessed others. Did you once
lack for anything?
Do not allow
your worries to consume tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of
itself. Surely, there is enough to concern you each day, without
fretting about the future. Which of you by mental effort can add
one inch to your height?
birds of the air. They are not consumed with worry. At night they
sleep soundly, knowing that their heavenly Father cares for them.
Do you not matter more than the birds?
Are not two
sparrows sold in the marketplace for a few pennies? Still, one of
them cannot fall to the ground without your heavenly Father’s
knowledge. Cease being afraid. You are of greater value than many
flocks of sparrows. Even the very hairs of your head are numbered.
Why then worry
about what you will wear? Consider the lilies growing wild in the
fields, blooming without effort. Even King Solomon in all of his
glory was not arrayed as beautifully as one of these. If God has
so cared for that which grows wild in the field, which is alive
today and tomorrow is cast into the fire, will he not care for you
much more? How can you have such little faith?
saying: “What will I eat? What will I drink? Will I ever have
enough to clothe myself?” This is how the faithless think,
anxious for everything. Be at peace! Your heavenly Father knows
that you have need of all of these things, and more.
Seek first the
kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all of your needs will
be provided. .