52nd Sermon from Jesus… Parable of the Kingdom of Heaven
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May 3, 1872
“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
1. In these verses the Kingdom of Heaven is metaphorically compared with various things in order to give My disciples and the people gathered around Me an idea of the realm awaiting them when their life here is ended; also to show them how to win it and what their lot would be if they became unworthy of it because they had acted contrary to the divine laws.
2. Unfortunately, people never have the right and true concept of the Kingdom of Heaven, the other, the spiritual world. If they had, they would be sure to do everything in their power to win it instead of thoughtlessly forfeiting it as they are doing nowadays.
3. Everything visible in the world – through the fact of its being visible and tangible – holds within it far more proof of its existence than any spiritual power which is invisible, intangible, imponderable. That is also the reason why this material world has so much more influence on people’s minds than the spiritual. If people could understand and see the material world as it really is, what it is made of, how it is maintained, and what its purpose is, they would be able to read many a thing in the great book of My creation that would easily open the door for them to the spiritual world.
4. By examining a machine and beginning to understand how it operates, a person will have to admit that it must have been constructed by somebody, and the more one fathoms the secret of this machine, the more one will also respect its maker. Then one will understand that everything is arranged just the way it is thanks to a well-calculated system and not by mere accident.
5. This is the way My creation should be contemplated, but, unfortunately, this is not done. Every discovery in the field of natural science is incorrectly explained by your scientists and made use of solely for material purposes, which is of little benefit to the Creator of the ingenious machine of nature. Even if one or the other scientist detects traces of a higher, spiritual power, he makes every effort to deny with high-sounding scientific phrases that to which he has come so very close; or he gives another explanation at his own discretion because he does not want to acknowledge a God. If there has to be a God, he would rather be it himself.
6. This wrong conception of nature is responsible for the fact that the greatest book, lying open before the eyes of mankind day and night, is misleading. Anyone could read in it all the things I do to make My love comprehensible to My created beings and how short the road would be if men would observe nature and its laws instead of acting contrary to the divine laws and making the great eternal world inaccessible to themselves through their absurd conception of the material, visible world.
7. At the time I presented the parables mentioned in the Gospels to the people for their spiritual digestion, I had to omit all scientific comparisons and use only familiar illustrations that were easier to understand.
8. The first mentioned parable about the grain of mustard-seed I used because this seed, as well as the plant, were well known to the people. Thereby I wanted to hint that just as in this tiny grain of seed there is contained such a tall plant, in the human heart is latent the entire future realm of the spirit, the Kingdom of Heaven. As the seed needs moisture, the human heart requires only the almighty love as a spiritual awakener in order to develop the enclosed germ of divine origin. Then the development will make such good progress that – as the Gospel says – even the birds of the air will come and lodge under the branches. Spiritually this means that even the angels, the light, blessed dwellers in the spiritual spheres, like the birds of the air, will show a lively sympathy with the heaven emanating from a god-inspired heart, spreading peace and joy all around.
9. With this parable about a tiny grain of seed and its growth I wanted to prove how infinite the power of the divine Word is, provided it falls on good soil, like the grain of seed, and finds the substance for its growth.
10. The following parable, in which the Kingdom of Heaven is compared to leaven, depicts the spiritual process that takes place in a human heart as soon as it receives the Word and begins to sift the good from the bad, just as the leaven calls forth a process of fermentation in the flour that has been mixed with water, whereby the various elements in the flour conflict with each other. The bread made by this process has then become less detrimental to the human organism, which is very important with various artificially refined types of flour.
11. Thus, with this parable, I wanted to draw people’s attention to the conflict that starts the moment the human heart turns away from the world and toward the spiritual.
12. Further, there is a parable about a man who found a hidden treasure in a field and sold everything he possessed so that he could buy the field and become the owner of the treasure. This means that once a person has recognized what joy and unimaginable happiness is gained by accepting the Word of God and complying with it, he will leave everything else behind and strive towards attainment of these spiritual joys, just like the merchant who sacrificed everything he had for the sake of buying one pearl.
13. All these parables referring to the Kingdom of Heaven were given to point out something of great importance. The first one showed the magnificent growth of the Kingdom of Heaven in the human heart once it has taken root there; the second one showed the conflict the Kingdom of Heaven calls forth between world and heaven or matter and spirit. The third one showed the value of the Kingdom of Heaven and the tranquility and happiness gained through it. Nothing in the world can match this treasure.
14. There is yet another parable, namely, the one about the net that was cast into the sea and drawn to shore with a rich haul. This parable means that the Word of God is accessible to all -the weak and the strong, the good and the bad, – and that the haul will be sorted only at the end. Then the good will receive their reward, whereas the scorners of this Word will have to blame only themselves for the consequences.
15. As expressed in this parable, there will be a sifting between those who have spiritually absorbed My Word that was given to all, and those who disregarded it. This was to make My listeners understand that the acceptance or rejection of My Word is not left to people’s own judgment, but that they can be forced through various circumstances to give their free will a better direction.
16. I described the consequences of disregarding My teaching with the terms “cast into the furnace of fire” and “eternal darkness,” which is equivalent to spiritually tormenting self-reproaches and a neglected heart. My Spirit was to spread light, not darkness!
17. Thus I predicted the end or sifting of that which is light from what is dark, which ultimately has to take place, so that people would understand that a God must have a purpose for that which He has created and would not be prepared to abandon this because of the stubbornness of one or the other.
18. It was to be expected that such or similar speeches would stir the people, since the road to future enjoyment of spiritual beatitudes and even the – by their standards – righteous actions were made very easy for them by their priests and scribes whereas I, although I promised them the same beatitudes, did not describe the winning of them as so very easy and warned them of the consequences of offending against the given laws.
19. That is why they were shocked at My words and annoyed with Me, which caused Me to say: “A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country and in his own house!”, – a saying still widely used today and which can be proved by thousands of examples.
20. The world today is still the same it was at the time of My pilgrimage on earth. I preached to many deaf ears then, and deafness in spiritual things is also the fashion today. A man does not regard himself as educated if he cannot pride himself of this deafness. In those times this deafness was often concealed by high-sounding words, whereas nowadays one is no longer ashamed of it but considers it important to be stone-deaf, thereby as though challenging Me to prove something better if I should be capable of it at all.
21. Well, I meet these so-called strong spirits with an endlessly great forbearance, and in the end we shall see whether there cannot be found some means of healing their deafness also. However, the others – considerably fewer in number – who know a little about My Kingdom of Heaven, receive a “grain of mustard-seed” of My love. I keep watching whether this grain has the power to grow in their hearts and to call forth a conflict like the fermentation process in the leaven, and whether it is capable of pointing them to the value of the hidden treasure in their own hearts to make them throw everything else overboard, that they may possess only this treasure. Then I wait to see how much of what was spread returns into My spiritual net. And, finally, the sifting is carried out and it is determined whether a man is worthy of spiritual beatitude or whether he must first be left to grope in the dark for quite some time until he realizes that there are divine laws which one may not violate without being punished.
22. Preparations have been made long since to make people adopt this view and to give them plenty of opportunity to keep also the smallest spark of their better self active. Already, for quite a while, all the world events, as well as the fates of individuals, aim at preparing the soil for My Word so that it may be accepted and begin its mighty growth, like a “grain of mustard-seed”, where so far it has met with no, or only very little, approval.
23. You have already experienced it yourselves how, when and whereby I know how to awaken people. You know My means. They were and are not always pleasant, that is true; however, I, as the greatest and only soul-doctor, know best what stimulants are needed to awaken the souls that have fallen into an apparent religious sleep.
24. I have awakened you and then put the ‘grain of mustard-seed’ into your hearts through My Word. And even if at the outset it was an irritant and not at all pleasant, you have eventually recognized that you have to thank Me for what I gave you to replace that which has been taken from you.
25. Thus the process of fermentation has set in with you, and as a result you have finally recognized the value of the hidden treasure within you and exchanged everything else for the precious pearl. This way you have helped Me with the haul, when the nets are cast, and with the sifting of the good from the bad by saving others from spiritual perdition and making their road to Me considerably shorter and easier through your example.
26. Continue to tend the grains of mustard-seed of love in your hearts, for the Kingdom of Heaven – as I once told My listeners – is not without, but within you. You can find it everywhere by taking it there with you. Once your innermost heart is spirit, you can spiritualize everything else through it.
27. Therefore, do not cease to strive for spiritualization! As you progress in this, the true pleasures keep increasing and with your advance in the teaching also your cognition keeps growing. Then you will be ready for the other, the eternal, great spiritual world for which everything you do in this world must serve as a foundation, and where you can return to Me with rich blessing the talents entrusted to you.
28. Be prepared and do not be afraid! He who is with Me and has faith in Me will not despair, even among the greatest horrors that might come over your small earth – similar to a process of fermentation, since I have thrown My Word as leaven, as an irritant, into the hearts of the nations. He knows that the Father cast His net into the great sea of souls and spirits. And even if thereby he, too, is captured, the good can always only reap what is good.
29. Therefore, equipped with the pearl of trust and love, preserve your treasure until the time of change! In other worlds and under different conditions I shall then exchange the treasure gained here on earth for a greater one which, complementary to the former, the grain of mustard-seed, will then represent the great tree in whose branches the angels, together with you, will begin to praise Me with hymns of love and trust. Amen.
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