I feel as though all that there is to write about these days is division. I’m not going to list the ways. I’ll let you do that for yourselves. We all know that division is hurting this world. Division is hurting us individually whether we are willing to recognize it or not. The way to describe what is going on might be considered archaic but it is the best we have available. Human sin is seen in our division. Sin is our rebellion against the reign of God and we are paying a heavy price for it.
Jesus is telling about the kingdom of heaven as present and working within the world around us. He tells that it is like a mustard seed which starts small but grows large enough to provide a home for the birds…like yeast that infuses throughout the flour to make the dough…like a valuable surprise that catches us off guard bringing joy…like a treasure that is worth everything we have. Jesus also described the kingdom of heaven like a fishing net that catches all the fish which are later separated much like what will happen at the end of this age when what is wicked is divided from what is righteous. Notice, the angels are the ones doing the sorting not us. This serves as a reminder to us too confident in our divisions and not taking an honest look at ourselves. Is the kingdom of heaven truly a place of joy where all may find a home in its branches?
Looking at the reign of God (kingdom of heaven), the Scriptures tell us of God calling a formless void into an amazing creation where life can multiply and flourish. A creation described as being very good. We are told of a God taking an enslaved group of people and bringing them through an exodus into freedom. Prophets spoke with boldness to the injustice of the leaders against the poor and weak of society. We are told of God in the person of Jesus willing to die on a cross so this good creation could be made new through the resurrection. This is an old story but a treasure because of the love it expresses. Unfortunately, Scripture often gets tossed around haphazardly to support our divisions, our sin. However, if like a well trained teacher about the kingdom of heaven, the Scripture can be used for the treasure that it is to inspire hope in a future redeemed in Christ under the kingdom of heaven’s umbrella.
We all are under the oppressive weight of division and the hurt it causes. Yet Jesus calls our attention to the kingdom of heaven. The reign of God where chaos gives way to life granting creation…the domination of slavery gives way to freedom…death surrenders to the resurrection of Christ through whom all things are being made new. The kingdom of heaven really is a treasure that is both old and new.