I first started thinking seriously about the kingdom of God when I was at Fuller Theological Seminary in 1988. The kingdom of God was the main theme of the School of World Mission where I was attending. In almost every class the professors referred to the kingdom of God. Although I graduated from the school with a greater understanding of the kingdom of God, this new understanding made me realize that I was just beginning to get a glimpse of the awesomely glorious kingdom that God has established.
In the past year my wife Mary Nell and I have started studying the parables of Jesus for the purpose of understanding more about God and His kingdom. There are a number of parables in Matthew which begin, “The kingdom of heaven is like . . . ,” and they continue:
- a man who sowed good seed in his field (Mat 13:24)
- a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field (Mat 13:31)
- leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal (Mat 13:33)
- treasure hidden in a field (Mat 13:44)
- a merchant seeking beautiful pearls” (Mat 13:45).
Parables like these give us more understanding into the mysteries or secrets of the kingdom of God. However, like the disciples we must go to Jesus and ask him for understanding (Mat 13:10-11; Mar 4:10-11). In fact, I believe all the parables of Jesus are for the purpose of giving us greater insight into the secrets of God’s Kingdom, while hiding the meaning from those on the outside.
I want to encourage all of you who are hungry for more insight into God’s kingdom. Take another look at the parables of Jesus and other references in the New Testament that speak of the Kingdom of God. You may want to begin with the parables in Matthew that open with the words, “The kingdom of heaven is like . . .” You will find it a very enlightening study. After all, we are living even now in God’s kingdom and will continue to live in it throughout eternity. Not only will we live in it but we also will receive it as our own, for the Bible tells us that it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom (Luk 12:32). Furthermore, He has ordained that we will reign with Christ in His Kingdom on the earth (Rev 5:10). Until then, I pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Mat 6:10).