The Message of Jesus: The Kingdom of God

A read through the Gospels reveals that the core message of Jesus is the Kingdom of God. We see Kingdom references appear numerous times throughout the entire New Testament, with the most in Matthew.  We find a Kingdom reference in Jesus’ first words following His baptism and testing by satan: “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4.17). 

Two truths about the Kingdom emerge in Matthew 6 that help us grasp its message and its practical application.  They are like a pair of lenses—one for each eye.  When we look through both of them, we are enabled to view all of life with a “heavenly orientation.”

The first lens is in the middle of Jesus’ teaching on prayer (Matthew 6:10): “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  What does it mean for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven?  What’s going on in heaven?  It’s where His character is on full display, while He is worshipped and adored by every resident.  It is where He rules supremely with absolute benevolence, justice, and wisdom.  It is where His voice is heard, His ways delightfully demonstrated and His will irresistibly exercised.  It is the dwelling place of the “Lord God Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come,” and of those who’ve arrived there ahead of us!

The chief cornerstone and sole attraction of the Kingdom of God is the King Himself!  Jesus intends to be revealed for Who He really is on Earth through us—earth’s residents—just as He is in heaven.  He wants His ways and will established on Earth, just as they are in heaven.  He desires for people to encounter His presence, to experience His character and to worship Him, just as they do in heaven.  Jesus demonstrated what the Kingdom looks like when it comes in human form, and His intention is for His followers to reflect the same.  He calls us to live with a “heavenly orientation” that puts His Kingdom on display for all to see.  As in heaven, so on Earth!

The second of our pair of lens is found in Matthew 6:33, where Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Jesus did everything with an eye on the Kingdom, living it, teaching it, demonstrating it, building it, advancing it, and multiplying it.

Seeking first the Kingdom of God means that we align all that we do through the “heavenly orientation” to God’s will, as He desires for it to be expressed on Earth.  It means the exact opposite of being locked into our own little worlds.  Instead, we allow Jesus to increase our vision by showing us what He is up to in the Earth and then getting in on it.  As Dr. Henry Blackaby states in his great resource, "Experiencing God”, “Look where God is working and join Him in it.”  When we join God where He is working, we are free to cheer one another on sincerely, regardless of denomination or domain, because God’s will is being accomplished!

Reflection Points

1. What other Scripture portions comes to your mind about the Kingdom?

2. When considering your personal and family life, how much do you seek the Kingdom?

3. Are you building your “own empire” or are you building His Kingdom where He’s placed you?

4. What currently hinders you the most from engaging as a true “Kingdom player”: pride, insecurities, a need to be noticed? Anything else?

. When you think about God building His Kingdom within you, where do you see Him currently at work?