The Nature of the Kingdom
Open Your Bible
Isaiah 9:2-7, Isaiah 61:1-11, Matthew 4:12-25, Luke 4:16-21, Romans 14:13-19
God’s kingdom is characterized by service, humility, justice, righteousness, joy, and peace.
A lot of things haven’t gone like I wanted them to. I think I meant to stay skinnier, make more money, and be a world-famous flautist by now. As I was growing up, the world was constantly telling me to stand up for myself, get what was mine, hurt who I needed to hurt in order to make myself feel good. And man, it’s tempting to shake your flute at people and demand your own way. You may not have a flute to wield, but you get the idea. Sometimes, I just want to give a giant tuba toot when someone tells me I can’t get my security deposit back because of what may or may not have happened to a lamp that was ugly in the first place.
We want to organize our lives according to the kingdom of the world—a world where we demand what we think is owed to us and where the highest good is money and power. But what if the kingdom of the world is passing away? And what if the only lasting kingdom is God’s upside-down economy? Then everything the world holds dear is dust and ashes and we must look to His kingdom for our hope.
What is the nature of the kingdom of heaven? Scripture gives us a surprisingly rich and wide range of descriptions of God’s kingdom. It is vast, and its prosperity will never end; the zeal of the Lord will accomplish it (Isaiah 9:7). His kingdom brings freedom to captives and healing to the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1). It is a comfort and provision to all who mourn (vv.2–3). He will replace shame with a double portion of blessing (v.7). Even now, His kingdom is near and calls for our repentance (Matthew 4:17).
Each of these descriptions could bear deeper study, but one of my favorites is His promise of healing for the brokenhearted. The kingdom of God is personal and offers profound relief from all the heartbreak of living. Sure, there was a time when I was honestly heartbroken about my flute-related failures, yet there is hope and healing in the kingdom of heaven for even these disappointments. I can put my angry tuba away and stop fighting for myself because He will make all things right.
This promise of healing for our deepest, most degrading, and agonizing heartbreaks is the hope the world is longing for. Our most awful pain will be fully healed in the kingdom of heaven. The world is hurting and longing for this truth. We must remember that God loves us and invites us to repent and believe. His kingdom is near, and it is vast, bringing comfort, blessing, and hope. He brings good news to the poor, heals the brokenhearted, brings liberty to captives, and comforts all who mourn (Isaiah 61:1–2). Thanks be to our God and the utter goodness of His kingdom.