God's Kingdom

Listen to Matthew Chapter 13 or read "God's Kingdom"
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables ...

Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like ...
What is the Kingdom of Heaven? I would note that in other places in Matthew's written account of Jesus on earth he refers to the Kingdom of God rather than the Kingdom of Heaven. In both Mark and Luke's accounts we see it called the Kingdom of God. It is my understanding that these mean the same thing.

I have to admit I have always been a little bothered by the fact that Jesus never specifically defined the Kingdom of God. He never said the Kingdom of God is ... He said it is "like" something else. He used parables to define the Kingdom of God.

From the things Jesus says about the Kingdom we know that it is not a political entity. It is not an empire here on earth established in one location. It is not a country with a strong leader or a king. It is not a government established by people and for the people and it is not a political party. The Kingdom of God transcends time and countries. It operates and governs during all times and among all empires, nations, and races. It is the rule of God in his people in this world. We also learn from Jesus that entering and living in the Kingdom has nothing to do with material wealth.

Reading these parables and other descriptions of it I get the sense that the Kingdom of God is here now, today, but also to come in an incredible way in the future. The parables here tell us that it started very small, barely noticed by anyone, but it is growing and will grow to something very large and permeate every part of the world. In his parables Jesus also describes the Kingdom as priceless and is worth more than anything in this world.

Perhaps it is also undefinable. Maybe the finite human language we people devised can't define in words the Kingdom of God. The infinite Creator came down from heaven, became human, and in doing so also accepted the limitation of human language. So rather than completely and finitely defining the Kingdom Jesus uses parables to describe it, painting a complex and living picture in our minds. Jesus ultimately lived it. Using his own life here on earth he gave us the perfect picture of God's Kingdom. Perhaps it takes millions of lives looking to Christ, spanning thousands of years, and living his message to even come close to defining the Kingdom of God.

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