There are seven parables about the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 13, starting with the parable of the sower and the parable of the wheat and the tares. Our focus is on the other five parables.
Read these portions of Matthew 13:
- Kingdom of heaven like a mustard seed - Matthew 13:31-32
- Kingdom of heaven like leaven - Matthew 13:33
- Kingdom of heaven like treasure hidden in a field - Matthew 13:44
- Kingdom of heaven like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls - Matthew 13:45-46
- Kingdom of heaven like a dragnet cast into the sea - Matthew 13:47-48 (47-50?)
Kingdom of Heaven Family Worship (ages 3 and up)
Discussion ideas and some activities for five kingdom of heaven parables.
Ideas for discussion
- The Lord created us with the hope that we will all become angels in heaven, but this is a choice we make throughout our lives in the natural world. The kingdom of heaven parables can give us some insight about how we can gradually come to have the kingdom of heaven within us.
- How does the parable of the mustard seed give us hope along the journey to heaven? If a person applies whatever truth they have to life, they begin their spiritual development. Just as a mustard seed can grow into a tree, the Lord can use this beginning and help it grow.
- The parable of a woman using leaven (similar to sourdough starter or yeast) pictures the way spiritual struggles can help us recognize our evils and rise above them as we grow spiritually.
- How does the parable about treasure in the field help us understand the need to give up our own ways to embrace the Lord’s way of life?
- The parable about the pearl of great price also teaches us about true priorities in life. This beautiful pearl symbolizes ideas about the Lord our Savior.
- The parable of the dragnet pictures the transition from this life to the next. The Lord wants to gather us all into heaven, but we determine our spiritual home by our choices in life. After death, good and evil people are separated and go to heaven or hell.
- What does it mean to have the kingdom of heaven within us? (To develop a heavenly character by receiving love and faith from the Lord.) When we receive love and faith from the Lord, heaven can dwell within us.
- The kingdom of heaven is not only a future state that we enter when we die. Heaven can be with us even while we are living on this earth, if we open our hearts and minds to its presence.
- “All who receive love and faith from the Lord have heaven residing in them. People who have heaven within themselves while they are living in the world enter heaven after death” (see Arcana Coelestia 10717).
Read about the kingdom of heaven
- “What Heaven Is Like” by Sheila Daum (ages 3-6)
A story about heaven with color illustrations by Marguerite Acton. Heaven is filled with good people who love the Lord, and it is more beautiful than anything we can imagine.
- “Where Heaven Is” by Walter E. Orthwein (ages 7-14)
It is the Lord’s love that makes heaven. Wherever that love is felt, that is where heaven is.
- “The Grain of Mustard Seed” by Douglas M. Taylor (ages 7-14)
When we feel that we will never grow into an angelic kind of person, let us remember the grain of mustard seed. If we are willing to follow the Lord—even a little bit—He can make it grow.
- “The Kingdom of Heaven” by Nathan Gladish (ages 18 and up)
The way to build the kingdom of heaven within your mind and heart is to do the activities that are represented in these parables on a day-by-day basis.
- Like a Merchant Seeking pearls by Walter E. Orthwein (ages 18 and up)
"We have to be able to recognize the pearl of great price when we find it and be willing to forsake all else for its sake. To know the source of happiness is a great thing; to be willing to sacrifice all else in the quest for it is even greater."
Projects and activities for various ages
- Kingdom of Heaven Talk About Picture (ages 3-8)
This color picture illustrates the kingdom of heaven parables given in Matthew 13. A useful visual aid for younger children as you discuss these parables.
- Kingdom of Heaven Collage (ages 3-8)
Make a collage of things mentioned in the kingdom of heaven parables, such as (fake) pearls, mustard seeds, wheat stalks, dried weeds, netting, etc.
- Heaven Is Like a Mustard Seed Coloring Page by Marguerite L. Acton
Illustrates the parable of the mustard seed.
- Heaven Is Like Leaven Coloring Page by Marguerite L. Acton
Illustration of the parable showing a woman using leaven.
- Kingdom of Heaven Is Like Treasure Coloring Page by Marguerite L. Acton
Illustrates the parable of a man finding treasure in a field.
- Heaven Is Like a Pearl of Great Price Coloring Page by Marguerite L. Acton
Shows the merchant holding the beautiful pearl of great price.
- Heaven Like a Dragnet Coloring Page by Marguerite L. Acton
Shows a dragnet being cast into the sea.
- Kingdom of Heaven Mural (ages 6-12)
Make a mural of pictures showing the various ways the Lord describes the kingdom of heaven. Each of these parables tells us something different about what we can do to prepare for life in heaven.
- Give You the Kingdom Color Page by Marguerite L. Acton
The Lord embracing three children, illustrating Luke 12…
- Kingdom of Heaven Matching Cards (ages 12 and up)
Match each picture card with a card supplying a quote from the New Testament and another card summarizing the spiritual meaning.
- The Parables of the Kingdom of Heaven
Match each parable with the statements that present the idea of heaven that it conveys.
- Prayers for Children about the Kingdom of Heaven (ages 7-14)
Four prayers asking the Lord to help bring us into the kingdom of heaven.
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