The question came directly after the shock that he had been supernaturally healed: “So how can heaven and earth be here together?” This was a great question coming from someone who had rejected religion but was willing to receive a quick prayer for back pain while waiting for a transatlantic flight. I explained that healing was to do with God and his kingdom breaking into our present reality. Fortunately he had seen movies about parallel realities such as ‘The Matrix’, ‘Avatar’ and ‘Minority Report’ so the idea quickly took root.
Probably Jesus would have used similar analogies if he were talking about the kingdom of heaven today. His themes reflected everyday life but the Jewish culture seemed unused to new concepts. To help, Jesus used parables to introduce his ‘disruptive kingdom’.
This phrase draws a contemporary analogy with ‘disruptive innovation’: taking what already exists but structuring something radical that changes both attitudes and the way we live.1 Technology examples might include: horse – car; cash – credit card; string – adhesive tape. The old version does not disappear but the new is transformational.2
So how does Jesus introduce his disruptive kingdom in Matthew chapter 13?
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