Kingdom Conundrum??


NAU Matthew 6:10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

NAU Luke 11:20 “But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

NAU Luke 17:20 Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

Yesterday we were presented with a problem. Jesus taught us to pray for the coming of the Messianic Kingdom of God in Matthew 6:10 (ca AD 28). One year later He said that it had a present, demonstrable existence through His ability to exorcize demons (Luke 11:20), and then, one year later at His Ascension, He spoke about the future coming kingdom! How can we pray for something to come into existence if it is already in existence? And then, why should we look forward to something that is already present?

Here is a humble explanation of the kingdom from these verses. Matthew 6 is indeed a prayer requesting the establishing of the earthly kingdom foretold by the prophets. However, Luke 11 emphasizes that the King of that kingdom is in their midst (although His earthly Kingdom is yet to be established). Finally, Luke 17 shows us that while the earthly kingdom is yet to be established, it is for the moment being established in the hearts of men (until the earthly kingdom is established). Luke 17 could not have been a spiritual replacement of the earthly kingdom foretold by the prophets – the Apostles in Acts 1:6 (just before Jesus’ Ascension) asked the ‘King’ if the EARTHLY kingdom was at that time being restored. Jesus’ response to such a question is:

NAU Acts 1:7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

NIV Acts 1:7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

NKJ Acts 1:7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.

If the earthly kingdom had been replaced by a spiritual kingdom in the hearts of men, why did Jesus answer in such a nebulous way – affirming that the earthly kingdom was yet to come?

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