READ: Mark 1:14-15
- While the phrase, “kingdom of God,” doesn’t occur in the Old Testament, the concept is deeply embedded in Israel’s culture. God reigns. He is the King. All things are under His feet. All of those concepts are what’s in the background of Jesus statement, “The Kingdom of God is near.” In other words, to speak of God’s Kingdom is to speak of God’s reign.
- “Kingdom of God” occurs 14 times in Mark, 53 times in the Gospels and 67 times in the New Testament. It most often occurs from the mouth of Jesus. The parallel phrase, “kingdom of heaven,” occurs another 32 times in Matthew’s gospel. While some of these references may appeal to a future kingdom out there somewhere, someday, the vast majority of the occurrences speak as if the Kingdom is a present reality.
- If the Kingdom is present, now, then it must be something other than an earthly kingdom. God reigning is a spiritual reality. He reigns over all, even those who refuse to acknowledge it or submit to it. At a future point in time (judgment, Romans 14:10-12), they will submit to God as King. But, by then it will be too late for that submission to impact their final destination. We are privileged to have the opportunity, through Jesus, to acknowledge God as King while it will impact our earthly life and our future life.
- What image comes to mind when you think of a kingdom?
- In what ways do you see yourself as subject to the King?
- Why is “kingdom imagery” such a good image for God and His people?
PRAY: Acknowledge God as King. Pray that you are and can be a loyal subject. Pray that we can model for others what it means to be subject to the King.