the Kingdom of heaven is like

“The Kingdom of heaven is like….”

Jesus repeats this phrase over and over in His teaching.

Why does He speak of this topic so often? What is His message actually about?




The people of God awaited the day (albeit, they didn’t wait very well) when God would set up His rule and reign. When God would assert His Kingship over the earth and especially over the oppressive nations who had had their way with the people of God.


Prophecy after prophecy promised that a King would come and rule, and the enemies of God would be crushed.


Jesus. The King. Jesus comes on the scene not as a warrior, not as a conqueror, but as a babe. As a humble servant who associates with fishermen, tax collectors, and sinners.


The Kingdom of God is not what we think.


The proclamation of the Kingdom includes good news for all people – peace with God, a Savior who would take away the sins of the world, born in a manger.


Good news for all people? Peace with God? My sins? Born in a manger?


Does this sound like a Kingdom proclamation to you?



The Kingdom of God is not what we think.



“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2


The invitation of the kingdom. Repent. This would not have been new news for the Israelites. It was the age-old message from the lips of essentially every prophet God had sent.



“Repent! Turn back to Me! Wait upon Me; don’t go after idols and false gods! My plan is unfolding! Repent! I love you and long to be your God and you My people, and I am working out My plan of redemption to buy you back from the slavery you entered in your sin! The King is coming!”



But repent? Not clean up, put on your best attire, or even get ready for battle?


The Kingdom of God is not what we think.


As I read God’s Word, I can’t help but find myself in His story. I was lost in sin. I ran after the idols and lies of perfection and approval, only to be enslaved by their empty promises. I blindly believed my self-righteousness could stand before a Holy God.


Have you found yourself in this story? If you’re anything like me, you’ll start to see the victory that I need is not in my circumstances, but in my heart.


I need the conquering of sin. I need the freedom from fear. I need the overcoming of shame. I need protection from temptation. I need the peace of God to rule in my heart.



Back to the King.


This King is utterly different than all expected Him to be. But God did not fail on His promises. His Kingdom is definitely about His rule and reign. But it first begins in the heart of man – because what is in the heart of man is what keeps him from being in the Kingdom.


God sovereignly ordained before the foundation of the world that this King would endure all that kept His people from being in the Kingdom.


The Kingdom of God is not what we think.


The Kingdom of God is one where repentant sinners are reconciled with a Holy God.


Where enslaved sinners are bought by the sacrificial blood of the perfect Lamb and redeemed into His belonging.


Where outcasts are transformed by the shame-bearing Son into sons and daughters of the Most High.


Where rebellious creatures are restored to their Creator and find life and glory in worshiping Him once again.


This Kingdom. It is ruled by a King who drew near to His people.


A King who willingly humbled Himself and became human to suffer and endure the scorn and shame and sorrows of man.


A King who suffered death upon a Cross to bear the sin and the punishment for sin that kept man from being in the Kingdom.


This Kingdom. It has to begin in the heart.


His invitation is good news to the weary. Good news to the one burdened by sin and shame. Good news for the one tangled in slavery and shackled by fear. Good news to the one who confesses the truest cry of every human’s heart – I need a Savior.


It is an upside-down Kingdom that calls for hearts of faith. For poverty of spirit to repent and believe in the Servant, humble King who willingly, graciously, sacrificially, lovingly gave up everything to bring us in.


And as a citizen of this Kingdom, I eagerly desire to give my life exalting this King and inviting others to receive and believe such unprecedented good news.