Summary: Outlines the characteristics of kingdom people as seen in Luke
Characteristics of The Kingdom People.
(As seen in the Gospel of Luke)
Luke the writer of this gospel uses a unique feature in his gospel. He uses pericopes in explaining, laying out, introducing to Theophilus the Gospel of Christ, having “…carefully investigated everything from the beginning…” in order for him to “….know the certainty of the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:3-4 NIV, Scriptures taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society). Christ came as the King in His world, to establish the kingdom (the rule) of God in the lives and hearts of people. Where there is a kingdom, there will be subjects to the kingdom, or kingdom people.
We will focus on the characteristic of Kingdom people as laid out in the gospel of Luke. Who are the kingdom people? What qualities do they have?
Who Are The Kingdom People?
Christ “…came to seek and save what was lost” (19:10). His purpose was to do the will of the Father, to pursue that will. Pursuing the will of the Father, meant for Jesus to live behind His family, and to be in the Father’s house (2:49). The will of the Father meant for Him to die on the cross (9:31, 51). Kingdom people should reflect their King in pursuing the will of the Father. The Kingdom people are those who understand and give first place to the heavenly Father in their lives, and family and other things come after that. Kingdom people also understand that they need to listen and to practice what their King says (6:46-49; 8:21). In the physical kingdoms, the subjects should do what their ruler says. The people of the Kingdom of God hear what their King says and they put it into practice.
An outcast, insignificant Gentile who understands God’s greatness and acts lovingly upon this understanding can belong to the kingdom (7:1-10).
A woman whose husband has died and her son dies (the presence of men in her life gave worth in people’s sight) who is insignificant, who is lonely and in the eyes of society has no value can be a kingdom person (7:11-17).
A prisoner of physical chains and human doubts, like John the Baptist can belong to the kingdom of God (7:18-35).
Women can be part of kingdom of God (8:1-3). They supported Jesus in His ministry out of their own means.
Jesus through Luke teaches that membership in His kingdom is not a matter of race (Jew or Gentile), of gender (male or female), social status (a widow), and of circumstances (in prison or in doubt). Belonging in the Kingdom is a matter of “…hear God’s word and put it into practice.” (8:21).
Qualities Of Kingdom People.
The kingdom people are different than subjects of other kingdoms. The Kingdom people allow the Word of God to be planted in their hearts. Their heart is “noble and good” (8:15). They do not allow the Evil One to capture their hearts through “times of testing” (8:13), “life’s worries, riches and pleasures” (8:14). Kingdom people have the rule of God in their heart. When they have God reigning in their heart, they are able “by persevering [to] produce a crop” (8:15, emphasis mine).
Kingdom People look around and do what they can do (9:13). Jesus told His disciples to feed the hungry. It is not that they in and of themselves were able to feed thousands of people, but they still needed to do what they could. They were able to find five loaves of bread and two fish (9:13b), but that was enough. They did what they could, and God did the rest.
God has expectations for the kingdom people (9:23-27). Kingdom people are to follow to please Him, and not to please themselves. In fact, kingdom people are called to deny self and take up their cross daily (9:23). That is, they are to identify daily with Christ and find their identity in their King. Kingdom people make resolute choices to pursue the will of God and follow Him (9:51). Subjects of the Kingdom do not follow for physical material benefits (9:57-58). They are not spiritually dead, but they are spiritually alive (9:59-60). They do not look back (9:61-62; 17:32).
Kingdom people understand that serving God is the most important thing. They respond to God’s message (10:1-16). They are open to hear, grow in their hearing and willingness to struggle to understand (10:17-24).
A kingdom person cares for the needy, loves regardless of race, and does not have ethnic prejudice (10:25-37). The kingdom people listen to Jesus, learn of Him and do not let other things distract them from being a disciple of Him (10:38-42).
The kingdom person has a prayer life. They are taught by Jesus how to pray (11:1-4). He / She prays with boldness, conscious that God will answer his / her needs, not wants. They pray persistently (11:5-13; 18:1-8), and with the right attitude and motive (18:9-14).