The Scandal of the Kingdom

How the Parables of Jesus Revolutionize Life with God

Dallas Willard

Available October 15, 2024

The Scandal of the Kingdom offers a roadmap for spiritual growth and renewal in an increasingly complex and challenging world. 

Available in hardcover (, Barnes & Noble,, eBook (Kindle, Nook, CBDReader), audio (Audible).

Zondervan Publishing Company (October 15, 2024) 208 pp, Hardback. ISBN: 0310367948. ISBN-13: 978-0310367949.
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The parables are some of Jesus's best-known teachings, but they are also some of the least understood. Even the disciples weren't always sure what they meant. Drawing from his extensive teachings on spiritual formation, Dallas illuminates the timeless wisdom contained within each parable, revealing their profound relevance to contemporary life. With clarity and depth, he guides readers through the subversive messages embedded within these seemingly simple stories, urging us to break free from the grip of worldly values and embrace the radical teachings of Jesus.

The Scandal of the Kingdom is not just a book—it's a call to action. Readers will be challenged to move beyond passive acceptance of comfortable dogmas and instead to actively engage with the values of the kingdom of God. The kingdom is not some distant future destination but a present reality, beckoning us, as the parables of Jesus did, to live with a new purpose and intentionality in the here and now.

Through insightful analysis and practical wisdom, Willard empowers readers to transform their lives and communities by embodying the radical love, compassion, and justice exemplified in Jesus's parables. This book is a beacon of hope for Christians seeking to deepen their faith and live more authentically in accordance with the teachings of Christ. 

"The scandal of the kingdom" is God's irrational outpouring of love and mercy on sinful humanity (Ephesians 2:4-7). These teachings will help us unlock the deep meaning and surprise of the wonderful and "scandalous" parables of Jesus.



Preface by John Mark Comer

Introduction: Give ‘em Heaven

  1. The Faith of Christ
  2. How Jesus Taught
  3. Why Parables?
  4. The Secret Inner Working of the Kingdom
  5. The Greatest Opportunity
  6. Growing Together in the Kingdom
  7. Growth and Responsibility
  8. Revolutionizing Leadership
  9. Lost and Found
  10. Prepare The Way
  11. The Miracle of Forgiveness
  12. The Outrageous Compassion of God
  13. What is Your Life?
  14. Persistence as the Prerequisite to Growth
  15. Moved By Compassion

Additional Scandal of the Kingdom Resources:


Written by Jan Johnson

There is a striking difference between the way that most churches operate today and the way Jesus the conducted his ministry when he was on earth. Most churches today spend their time and resources trying to get people to come into their doors and join their fellowship. But Jesus didn't concern himself with trying to get followers. One time, he even responded to such a request by saying, "Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head" (Matthew 8:12). The implication to the person making the request was clear: Do you really want to be my follower and lead that kind of life?

Instead, what we find in the Gospels is that the message Jesus taught—and in fact the sole message of the New Testament—was the nature and availability of the kingdom of God. It was now accessible to all people, both Jews and Gentiles alike. Jesus revealed much of these scandalous truths about God's kingdom through parables. 

Perhaps this is why they asked Jesus, "Why do you speak to the people in parables" (Matthew 13:10). Jesus responded by saying, "Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, not to them" (verse 11). Jesus knew that while the kingdom of God was available to everyone, not everyone would have the desire to go through the work to "ask, seek, knock" and "receive" the truths that had come to bring (see Matthew 7:7–8).

In The Scandal of the Kingdom Workbook, Jan Johnson helps us dig into the rich insights and biblical scholarship common to all of Willard's works. This guide will help readers:

  • Become more passionate about living the gospel in the full scope of Jesus' vision for the
  • Better share their faith with those who have become disillusioned with Christianity
  • Unlock the excitement of living in the upside-down kingdom of God

The truths of God's kingdom are available to us. Yet like the disciples, we must recognize that questioning, contemplating, and savoring the meaning of Jesus' stories are an important part of the journey.

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