Understanding the Nature of the Kingdom
There were eighty-four divinely sent messengers who proclaimed that the kingdom of heaven was about to be established. Beginning with John the Baptist (Matt. 3:2), then with Jesus (Matt. 4:17), then the twelve apostles (Matt. 10:7), and finally the 70 disciples Jesus sent out, the message was, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” No one can deny that those in the first century expected the kingdom to come during their lives (Mark 9:1). To understand this message and the place of the kingdom in God’s eternal plan, look at the parables of Jesus.
The kingdom is like a man who goes out sowing seed in his field. Matthew 13 and Luke 8 record this message from the Son of God. That seed was the word of God, and when sown in the hearts of men, it produced the children of the kingdom. The book of Acts shows exactly how this happened. The Lord never described the kingdom as Jesus sitting on a throne in Jerusalem. The preaching about Jesus produced the kingdom!
The kingdom is like a man sowing good seed in his field and his enemy (the devil) sowing weeds in the same field. Jesus wanted those who saw the kingdom in their lifetime to understand that Satan would come and seek to hide the kingdom from mankind by confusing them. He would make it hard to see the difference between the pure seed (the gospel) and counterfeit seeds he would sow. Jesus wanted us to understand the importance of knowing the word and following it so we could be the children of the kingdom.
The kingdom of heaven is also a mustard seed, leaven, a hidden treasure, a man seeking one good pearl and a fishnet. All these are described in Matthew 13. Jesus told five other parables to help men understand the kingdom. When it began, it was a like a tiny seed that grew into a large tree. There were only 12 men in the upper room, but soon the whole world knew of the kingdom. It spread like leaven into the lost world. Its worth was so great that every honest man should invest everything when he finds the treasure of the kingdom. Those in the kingdom search the world to find a soul to teach (a pearl of great price) and then give their all to gain that soul. Jesus also wanted men to know that in the kingdom there would be great and godly individuals, but there would be some evil men (bad fish) which would be dealt with on the last day.
Do you want to understand the kingdom? Then read Matthew 13 two or three times, and you will see its nature. Having read this chapter, then read the book of Acts. When you get to the end, you will see how Jesus proclaimed the kingdom. It is tragic so many do not teach this today!