Preacher: Alan Cameron
Verses: Matthew 13:24-43
Jesus continues to tell three parables about the Kingdom of God: the wheat and the weeds with an explanation to follow, the mustard seed and yeast. Whether Jesus told these parables in this precise order is a moot point. Matthew writes to a predominantly Jewish order and he collates his material accordingly to stress the primacy of the Kingdom in Jesus’ teaching.
The Kingdom cannot be equated with the church, a mistake Augustine made in his interpretation which led to very grave consequences. The church in the Middle Ages became a coercive agency, relying on power and control. Constantine, the first ‘Christian’ emperor of the Roman Empire established a state church. He is reputed to have offered defeated opponents in war a choice, be baptised or be drowned! Little wonder that the church became a compromised body with nominal allegiance by many. The Crusades in attempting to impose Christianity by force on Islam had disastrous consequences, compounded by Islam’s equating the gospel with western culture.