Israel clamoured for a king; not God’s first choice of governance. The problem with kings was it elevated a man to the position God had held in Israel since the exodus and, in doing so, tempted people to look firstly to their king rather than directly to God.

Thus was born the Kingdom of Israel with all its' attendant short-comings.

Thy Kingdom Come 

THY KINGDOM COME: Lloyd Harkness says that while the Kingdom of God has come, the disciples were told to "continue praying for His kingdom to come on Earth in the form it already exists in Heaven". PICTURE: Pixabay

 

"The Kingdom of God has come, announced Jesus at the beginning of His reign. He later told His disciples to continue praying for His kingdom to come on Earth in the form it already exists in Heaven."

It is good to ponder this background story when considering Jesus, the King of Kings and the dominion He reigns over.

Israel was a broken nation when Jesus stepped onto the public stage. They had been subservient to other nations for centuries. Still, the people held to the prophesied notion of a coming king who would outstrip all those who had gone before.

The Kingdom of God has come, announced Jesus at the beginning of His reign. He later told His disciples to continue praying for His kingdom to come on Earth in the form it already exists in Heaven.

The sole word used in the New Testament to reference His kingdom is basileia, meaning the territory and people over whom the King of Kings rules.

Jesus' kingdom is where His royal power, His dominion and His sovereignty presides.

When Jesus spoke of God’s basileia He was stirring the hopes and dreams of Israel. Unfortunately, their interpretation of kingdom had drifted from God’s intent and they tried to fashion a king and kingdom which was accordingly awry.

Still, they knew this coming kingdom would have a righteous and just king, a territory he reigned over and a citizenry who were glad to be a part of the world he established and controlled. This was to be the land of milk and honey whose citizens love, serve and gladly work for their king. This was a community, a society living as God intended mankind to live.

In Jesus’ kingdom which has come (but keep praying for it to come like it is in heaven), He has been building a community commonly referred to as the church.

It is an imperfect community. It is a community forever under construction with some aspects having to be torn down and rebuilt. It is what it is and, thankfully, Jesus has remained a patient builder. It is His community, a community of people the King aims to cement together under His royal power.

When Jesus said ‘The Kingdom’ has come He was not funnelling the idea of kingdom down to a personal experience of the King who reigns in people’s hearts.

Basileia is social to its’ core. ‘The kingdom’ outstrips me and my individual concerns or issues or my personal growth with God.

The Kingdom of God is, as Jesus states, within us but it is more, much more.

His kingdom reflects His character and the substance of His rule. Attributes such as wisdom, justice, love, peace and other shared values are what create a land of milk and honey.

Christ’s followers are united in ‘The Kingdom’, in a common citizenry who fight to extend the territory of an expansionist King. Jesus sends messengers throughout the world with a mandated authority to provide evidences of and speak on behalf of the King of Kings.

His kingdom has spread from Judea to Samaria to the ends of the earth.

It has suffered incursions and been blunted by self-destructive failings.

"The Kingdom of God, the sphere of His rule, the domain where His authority is acknowledged, is leading to a manifest universal kingdom."

Yet what the King started (His church), what the King still reigns over (His church), will not be frustrated, thwarted or diverted from His direction and message to the kingdoms of man.

The King of Kings is vigilant, robust and wise.

He is coming back to reign over everything His regents have secured in His name.

The Kingdom of God, the sphere of His rule, the domain where His authority is acknowledged, is leading to a manifest universal kingdom.

His kingdom is currently engaged in warfare as it grows and the gates of hell cannot hold back its’ expansion. Such growth involves times of suffering and difficulty and loss, alongside joy.

In the future, when peace is won, the King of Kings will sit on His throne. He will acknowledge and reward His regents and dispense judgement to those who stood against His authority.

For both the prophetically envisaged future, and now, the Kingdom of God has a King of Kings like no other, a territory whose reach boggles imagination and a citizenry who are elevated by the goodness of their king.