This week, let’s continue to delve back into Matthew 6:9-13 (or Luke 11:2-4), where Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Thy Kingdom Come,
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
So what exactly is The Kingdom, and why pray that it come?
I think there are two underlying meanings to this phrase.
First- a referral to the home of the Holy Spirit as it rules in the heart of the believer. Second- a referral to the future in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when He will reign supreme over our world.
The Kingdom is where the King is. The Kingdom, in this first description, is not a geographic place, or physical destination.
Jesus sheds more light on this fact in Mark 10:14-15. This is one of the few times in the Gospels that we see Jesus visibly angry, not with the kids, but with his disciples. The disciples were trying to keep people away from Jesus, especially the young children. His close followers were obviously stressed, and they were trying to give Jesus some space from the throngs of onlookers. Jesus rebukes them, and says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” The kingdom of God then, appears to lie in the heart of the believer. No surprise. One must have faith, just like a little child does in their human father.
In Luke 10:8-9, Jesus gave a couple of rules for his disciples to follow as they traveled to different towns to proclaim the Good News. They were to tell the people that, “The kingdom of God is near you”. This was implying that the “opportunity to become spiritually born again” was close. Jesus told the inquisitive Nicodemus this in John 3:3, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
Jesus describes the kingdom of God in more detail by telling several parables that help describe it. The Parable of the Four Soils (seeds along the path, on the rocks, among the thorns, and in good soil) is probably the most explicit. (Luke 8:9-15 and Mark 4:1-20) The Kingdom is related to how we hear (and see with spiritual eyes) and take to heart God’s Word, and act on it. The kingdom of God, then, is within us, because that’s where King Jesus wants to rule us… by His Holy Spirit!
The apostle Paul also emphasizes the “inwardness of the kingdom of God” in Romans 14:17 by saying, “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
The Bottom line: Who’s on the throne in your life?
By praying these words, we are affirming that we want to be under His authority now, until He comes a Second Time. We want Him directing traffic in our lives!
Secondly, the kingdom of God refers to a future dimension, which is completely different than His spiritual reign in the hearts of men and women. During the time of the Second Coming of Christ, the apostle Paul looks forward to the resurrection of the body and the changes that affect the universe in the 15th Chapter of 1st Corinthians. Remember, The Kingdom is where the King is! 1 Corinthians 15:24 says, “then the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power.” Though hard for our earthly minds to imagine, flesh and blood will not be part of that kingdom! (vs. 50)
The day is coming (likely soon, though nobody knows when!), when this present age will be swallowed up in His endless rule. I’ll be bloggin’ on “End Times” subjects in the future!
Don’t you look forward to and anticipate a Kingdom that puts an end to injustice, sin, tears, and death?
I sure do.
Let’s pray that it comes ASAP.