When I ask Christians what the Kingdom of God is, many don’t have a clue, or vaguely understands its concept. This means we have not taught about it enough.
I have in my previous posts, tried to clarify what the Kingdom is not, as there are many misconceptions of what it really is, and that also helps to understands what it is.
If you read the gospels you will find Jesus over and over use the phrase; “With the Kingdom it is like…”
Why did he do that?
If you should try to explain a new invention to a friend that they have not yet experienced, but what you have experienced, you might find it difficult to explain it, so then you will use allegories, pictures to explain it.
Imagine you should describe Facebook for someone 100 years back, how should you do? Yes you should say; “with Facebook it is like…” Got it?
If we look up the word Kingdom in the Oxford dictionary it outlines it as:
‘A country, state, or territory ruled by a king or queen.’
Very simplified we can say the Kingdom of God is where Jesus is King.
Paul puts it like this: ”For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17 ESV
From this verse we understand two things:
a) it is not about religious rules and regulations, what is allowed or not
b) we understand it is something different than an ordinary Kingdom, it is something that produces Peace, Joy and Righteousness.
When Jesus walked on the earth, he came in a time when every Jew were waiting for a King, a Messiah, not only due to the Roman oppression but foremost because of the many prophecies in the Old Testament, especially from Isa 9:6-7.
”For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV
And then from the book of Daniel that is very prophetic, (actually the most future prophetic book in the bible), and note that God is giving the dreams to a pagan leader in a foreign country, to promote Daniel in his role.
”As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:34-35 ESV
So when the Jews and pharisees expected Messiah to come and rule in the new Kingdom, they expected it to come by power to finally defeat the Roman dogs.
In this context Jesus says: ”Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” Luke 17:20-21 ESV
Many bible translations translate this -“Within you” but a better translation that ESV is using is: – “amongst you” or “in your midst” so it is not only an inner sanction or feeling, it is something that can be present and tangible amongst people.
Jesus says to the pharisees what you are expecting will not happen, it will come in different clothes, and it is now already here.
”And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” Mark 11:8-10 ESV
We see that the people were expecting Davids Kingdom to return, reason why they greated Jesus, Hosanna, Hosanna…
But Jesus, very provokative, was using a colt instead of a horse that a King was expected to ride in on.
The Kingdom was coming, and the King as well, but in a different way.