Week Three: "The Coming King"
Watch this video as a family! It is a band’s music video that incorporates an incredible chain reaction. Parent: The band members all get blasted with paint at the end. The guy in the beginning of the video is covered in red paint.
31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
In today’s culture, things on the internet go viral. It could be a funny baby video, people clumsily hurting themselves, or cool music videos. The video y’all just watched came out in 2010 and went viral fast. Today, it has over 63 million views. That’s crazy!
When Jesus was born, the news went viral. For centuries, the Old Testament Scriptures prophesied that a king was going to arise out of Israel. This king would free them from bondage and fight back the nations that had been bullying the Jews. At long last, the time came, and King Jesus was born. Wise men heard about him being born and wanted to see him. King Herod and the religious leaders at the time heard about Jesus’ birth and wanted to know if he really was the Messiah. An angel visited a few shepherds that were nearby. Luke 2:8-12 says:
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
This news did spread like a wild fire, but like most things that go viral, it lost popularity and become forgotten. That happened with Jesus. He grew up in a normal home, did carpentry with his dad, and followed the Law perfectly. There was nothing royal about this King from what it appeared. Later on in Jesus’ ministry, He shared something that helps us understand how His kingdom is different from what we are used to.
Jesus described His kingdom like a mustard seed. 31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Maybe google what a mustard seed and tree looks like. The visual is incredible!)
In Jesus’ Kingdom it’s not the big, flashy, entertaining things that go viral. It is the small acts of faith that God uses to build His kingdom. We get in this mindset that we have to be super-talented, out-going, confident, older, and smart to make great impact. That is not the case! Any small act of kindness, encouraging word, prayer, gift, service has the potential of making incredible impact. Just like a video, the creator of the video has no control if their video goes viral or not. It just happens! The same is with the spiritual seeds we plant. We plant them, God grows them and uses them as He wills.
This week, think small. What small thing can you do each day to invest into the Kingdom? You never know what the King will do with your simple obedience. It just might set off a chain reaction that will ripple through history impacting eternity forever.
Here are some ideas:
Hold open doors for people.
Leave a thank you note for your trash man or delivery person.
Make cookies for your neighbors.
Pick up trash.
In today’s world, things go ‘viral’ on the internet. How have you been a part of or witnessed something good go viral? This could be an act of kindness that went viral on the internet. It could be something that people just talked about in school or the neighborhood.
In your opinion, what is a strength and a weakness you have? How can God use both? This is not to puff up our pride or make us feel bad. This is to help us understand that God can use anything to further His Kingdom.
What are some small things you can do every day to be investing in Jesus’ Kingdom? Maybe come up with a list of things that your family collaborated on.
In your family prayer time this week, ask the Lord to reveal small ways to invest into the Kingdom each day. Pray for boldness and obedience to do those things and plant those spiritual seeds. Pray that God would grow the seeds that your family has planted in the past. Ask the Lord to do big things with our small acts of faith.
Extended Reading: Matthew 1:18-25
God is always at work around us. He is teaching and guiding and shaping and preserving and protecting and healing and restoring and saving. We often miss God’s hand at work because we don’t often take the time to notice or we don’t know where to look. The truth is that God is bringing about His Kingdom right here in our midst, and He chooses to do His work through ordinary people like us, as unexpected as this may be.
Luke 17:20-21 (NIV)
Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
What Mercy Did For Me/People and Songs
There was a woman in Australia who woke up to something very odd for Christmas. And it wasn't a gift under the tree. It was a snake under the tree. It was a snake that was very poisonous and it was curled up on the branches hiding in the tinsel. It shocked her and she called the police to get the snake removed. It's not what she expected for Christmas.
After Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem and grew up he began to talk about God in a way that no one expected. In Luke 17 the Pharisee’s asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus had been talking about the Kingdom and it wasn’t what the Pharisee’s expected. Jesus answered them, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.”
Jesus’ answer was that the kingdom would not come as a huge spectacle; there would be no great leader who would conquer the Romans; rather, the Kingdom would come silently and unseen. In fact, Jesus says, the Kingdom had already begun, right under the Pharisees’ noses. God was ruling in the hearts of some people, and the King Himself was standing among them, although the Pharisees were oblivious to that fact.
Jesus, the King, is always doing the unexpected. He comes without much earthly fanfare, born in a manger amongst the animals, in the humblest of towns where the people have very low expectations. (John 1:46)
His desire is that we join him in His Kingdom work. Some people are driven to accomplish great things in school, sports, or work. Others live aimlessly from day to day, lacking purpose or direction. Either way, Jesus affects the outlook of a person’s life. He can give any person willing to look and listen a purpose and a mission—to live as followers of the Kingdom and live out Kingdom values in everyday life and work. Ultimately, He wants you to do the unexpected.
We live in a world that wants to drive a person away from God. To focus on winning and achievement or to have no focus at all. The invitation of the Gospel is to live for God’s Kingdom instead.
Where do you see God at work around you?
What are some ways you can join Him in that work?
What is one thing you can do this week that will serve God’s Kingdom?
Pray and ask God to teach you what it means to be a part of His Kingdom. Ask Him to open your eyes and help you see the places where He may be at work around you and ask Him to help you to join Him in that work.