Editor’s Note: This week I welcome guest blogger, Daymarr Jackson. In addition to his full-time day job, Daymarr is Faith Church’s youth leader, and a chaplain candidate in the PA Army National Guard. He is studying for his Master of Divinity at Evangelical Seminary (Kairos). He and his wife, Danielys, have two kids.
What is the Kingdom of God? As we read in the previous post, Jesus’ preaching was a continuation of John the Baptist’s theme that the Kingdom of God is near. What were they talking about?
Jesus says this about his Kingdom, “The kingdom is not something we see with our physical eyes.” He says his kingdom is not of this world. (John 18:36)
Even the Pharisees would brag about being the children, the sons, the descendants of Abraham. But John the Baptist says, “You guys have no idea what you’re taking about. God can make sons of Abraham out of these stones right here.” (Matthew 3:9-10)
That’s not the thing to brag about. Where you come from. Some of us have put our hope in our country and in our politics, and some of us have lost hope, because it feels like our nation has turned away from Christ. But some would argue, “Has it ever really been for Christ?”
Jesus taught, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
This concept of the Kingdom being near, of the Kingdom coming, is such a hard thing to grasp, because when Jesus came, we didn’t see him build up a physical kingdom. We do see him being appointed, ordained, as a king right before our very eyes. It just doesn’t look like we expect it, because though he was given a robe, a crown of thorns, and he was lifted high above the earth, it was on a cross.
If we trace the promises of God, if we trace the story from Genesis to Revelation, this is how it was always supposed to be. The Kingdom was never supposed to be an earthly kingdom. It was never supposed to be only for one nation, or one people. From the very beginning, God desired to redeem all people through his son Jesus.
In Romans 8:24-25, Paul reminds us, “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Consider what Paul also writes in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
The kingdom is not this thing we see with our physical eyes. It is something that is not of this world, something that goes beyond anything that we can think, imagine, or fathom with a finite mind. “For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
He says, “We do not lose heart though our inner self is wasting away.” Though we’re experiencing pain and suffering though the days seem dark, though we sometimes feel hopeless, though we have strife in relationships, thought sometimes our kids seem like they’re going astray, we do not lose hope, because our inner self is being renewed day by day. God is doing something in the process of this suffering.
As Paul writes in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”