Summary: There has never been wide-spread agreement regarding a description of the Kingdom of God. Yet, what do we do about this important subject? Read on.
August 11, 2013
The farmer’s son was returning from the market with the crate of chicken’s his father had entrusted to him, when all of a sudden the box fell and broke open. Chickens scurried off in different directions, but the determined boy walked all over the neighborhood scooping up the wayward birds and returning them to the repaired crate. Hoping he had found them all, the boy reluctantly returned home expecting the worst
“Pa, the chickens got loose,” the boy confessed sadly, “but I managed to find all twelve of ‘em.”
“Well, you did real good, son,” the farmer beamed. “You left with seven.”
Expectations can be difficult to deal with. The boy in this story expected there to be a dozen chickens in the box, so he went after his expectation and not his father’s. The same happens to Christians who are given life-goals and expected to live to them. Still, the lesson is applied that we get what we expect; great expectations, great results.
Then there are the expectations of God, our Father. When we attach His desires for us and accept what He has made ready to give, the result is most often surprise that so much has been there for us all along. Luke 12:32 begins our featured scripture by relaying words of Messiah, “Don’t be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Wow! Did you get that?
The Kingdom of God is an amazing but an often misunderstood concept. Confusion begins in some minds with the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, “thy Kingdom come,” that is misconstrued to mean the second coming of the Christ, when the Great Teacher will sit on a throne and rule the world with an iron fist and force all our enemies to see Messiah as we see Him. This forced-harmony idea, however, goes against God’s gift of free will, loving God because we want to and not out of fear. The forced-understanding concept would necessarily mean that only one group of right fighters will actually be correct. Today, every dogma can bask in their feeling of rightness, but how would such wide-spread differences of opinion square with Yeshua on a throne? If a person, group or denomination thinks they are absolutely right, will they argue their point-of-view before a King Savior, much like a trial in the U.S. Supreme Court? Do we think Immanuel will judge a collective thought, or individual actions?
Since Jesus made the statement, “…for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” he must not have been referring to some distant event meant to settle scores between believers. The Kingdom, then, is not about right fighting, but right living with each other.
Luke 17:20 and 21 helps us understand a bit better. Once again, we are quoting the Master, “the kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, none will then say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”