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In the seven parables of Matthew, 13, Jesus presents the kingdom in terms of action rather than being. He represents it as an activity rather than an entity, as a procedure rather than a thing. He likens it to that which takes place rather than to that which simply exists. Verbally and gramatically, to be sure, he likens it to a person or a thing—a sower, a grain of mustard seed, leaven, treasure, a merchant, a dragnet. But in the actual thought he does not liken it to any of these, but to something done by them or in connection with them. In every instance the heart of the parable is to be found in the activity described. This fact estops or exempts us, according to our predilections, from identifying the kingdom with anything local, institutional, or static, such as the visible church, the perfected social order, or the place of future happiness. Any of these may have a connection with the kingdom, but none of them is the kingdom.

The Homiletic Review.

November 18, 1905

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