Used under license from Veer. The true meaning of “for the kingdom of heaven has come near” is that each of us can gain the refuge or sanctuary of God - the shelter of God - immediately by simply turning to the Supreme Being - by worshiping Him and relying upon Him - and dismissing ourselves ("repenting") from our search for happiness in a materialistic world of emptiness and physical gratification. This raises a whole new set of questions for those desiring to follow Jesus. So when Jesus came preaching, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 4:… Based on a work at www.theologyofwork.org. Answer: Jesus’ statement that the kingdom of God suffers violence is found in the context of His commendation of John the Baptist: “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12, NKJV). The Gospel of Matthew concludes as Jesus commissions his followers to go to work throughout the world because he has received “all authority in heaven and on earth” and will be present with them in their work on earth (Matthew 28:19-20). For example, consider Psalms 103:19: “The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.” You can hear the basic meaning of the word kingdom as rule.It doesn’t mean that his kingdom rules over his realm; it means that God’s reign or rule governs all things. Even now, we work according to its values and practices. "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Kingdom of God": In these quotations, and in others which might easily be adduced, it will be observed that the phrases "the kingdom," "the kingdom of God," "the kingdom of heaven" are used interchangeably. © 2014 by the Theology of Work Project, Inc. While Matthew, who addresses himself to the Jews, speaks for the most part of the “kingdom of God,” which has the same meaning as the “kingdom of heaven,” but was more intelligible to non-Jews. The lessons in each chapter are great for small group or individual study. Explore what Matthew says about the kingdom of God and your work. Years ago, I used to think that Jesus’ announcement of the kingdom being near meant something like, “You can go to heaven after you die.” Now I realize that I had mistaken Jesus’ primary message. This series will not be week-to week, but I hope to occasionally write an article on the kingdom of heaven. There are people who preach saying the kingdom of heaven is here. The kingdom would not be inaugurated with spectacle or splendor; there would be no great and magnificent leader who staked out a geographical claim and routed the Romans; rather, the kingdom would come silently and unseen, much as leaven works in a batch of dough (see Matthew … For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:20-21). Jesus’ answer was that the kingdom of God was not coming in the manner the Pharisees were expecting. or See there! and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." Kingdoms are concerned with governance, economics, agriculture, production, justice, defense—issues we see in most workplaces. What did Jesus mean when He said, “The kingdom of God is at hand”? The Bible in Basic English, the New International Version and Today's English Version recognize this distinction, translating the phrase in Mark 1:15 Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel. What does this mean? This is claimed to be the case in Talmud. Contributors: Jonathan Pennington and Alice Mathews Thursday, February 7, 2019 Hey Fletch … Thank you for all you are doing in the will of God. Repent ye, &c. — Be sorry for your sins, and amend your lives; for the original word, μετανοειτε, here used, implies this.It properly signifies, says Beza, to be wise after the action, and so to grieve for a fault committed as to amend it, which, in Latin, is properly expressed by resipiscere. The word "kingdom" means the domain of the king denoting rule, dominion, and sovereignty. When one is a loyal subject of the King, he or she will desire to please this King in everything he or she says and does. In Luke 17:21 Jesus tells us that when we repent and believe, "the kingdom of God is within you". It can denote a king's territory. Growing up in Christian circles, I’ve heard that phrase often, but I never paused to consider what it might mean, until recently. While Matthew, who addresses himself to the Jews, speaks for the most part of the “kingdom of God,” which has the same meaning as the “kingdom of heaven,” but was more intelligible to non-Jews. 3 For this is the one spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, … They do not know what the kingdom of heaven … Responding to a question from the Pharisees about when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said, The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, See here! When we read “kingdom of heaven,” we may think of harps, clouds, and angel choirs, but Jesus is clear that the kingdom of heaven refers to God’s rule on earth. It is a spiritual kingdom which extends to every heart and life that acknowledges his kingship and obeys his commands. Matthew 10:7 As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel (Hebrews 12:22-24 NKJV). The New Bible Dictionary describes the use of these two terms in the Gospels: The kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God is the central theme of Jesus’ preaching, according to the Synoptic Gospels. John the Baptist was actually the first to say this. For all practical purposes, the terms “kingdom of God” and “kingdom of heaven” have the same meaning. KG is the realm where God exists in complete authority, full of righteousness and holiness, and where His rule is acknowledged in the hearts of believers. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘ The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ If it wasn’t borrowed, then it would indeed mean that Christ was an initiate into the Egyptian mysteries. Every resource on our site was made possible through the financial support of people like you. Produced by TOW Project, Bible Study: Wednesdays, Oct. 14 - Dec. 16, Theology of Work Project Online Materials, 10 Key Points About Work in the Bible That Every Christian Should Know, Beyond Rank and Power: What Philemon Tells Us About Leadership, The Kingdom of Heaven Has Come Near (Matthew), Working as Citizens of God's Kingdom (Matthew 1-4), The Kingdom of Heaven at Work in Us (Matthew 5-7), "Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 5:3), "Blessed are Those Who Mourn, For They Will be Comforted" (Matthew 5:4), "Blessed are the Meek, for They Will Inherit the Earth" (Matthew 5:5), "Blessed are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness" (Matthew 5:6), "Blessed are the Merciful, For They Will Receive Mercy" (Matthew 5:7), "Blessed are the Pure in Heart, For They Will See God" (Matthew 5:8), "Blessed are the Peacemakers, For They Will be Called Children of God" (Matt 5:9), "Blessed are Those Who are Persecuted for Righteousness' Sake" (Matt 5:10), Salt and Light in the World of Work (Matthew 5:13-16), Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread (Matthew 6:11), Store Your Treasure in Heaven, Not on Earth (Matthew 6:19-34), “Do Not Judge, So That You May Not be Judged” (Matthew 7:1-5), Do to Others as You Would Have Them Do to You: The Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12), Paying Taxes (Matthew 17:24-27 and 22:15-22), Living in the New Kingdom (Matthew 18-25), The Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16), Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32), Parable of the Tenants (Matthew 21:33-41), The Great Commandment is a Great Framework (Matthew 22:34-40), Parable of the Faithful Servant (Matthew 24:45-51), The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus' Death and Resurrection (Matthew 27-28), Theology of Work Commentary Volume 4: Matthew through Acts, Theology of Work Bible Commentary - One Volume Edition, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Revised Nov. 4, 2011. It is not up in heaven, so that… Matthew 5:3 Jesus was not saying that Christians go to heaven.In these verses, "of" shows possession, not location. Jesus adds in Matthew 7:21, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord.' Some have assumed that the Kingdom is simply in one’s heart. In the Lord’s Prayer, he instructs them to pray, “Your kingdom come. I need a clear understanding of that “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2 shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.'" Adopted by the Theology of Work Project Board July 6, 2011. It could just have correctly been translated, "heaven's kingdom" just as we often use "God's Kingdom" rather than "Kingdom of God. From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near!” (Matthew 4:17) Readings Deuteronomy 30:11–14 My word is very near to you Now what I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. Theology of Work Project Online Materials by Theology of Work Project, Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. In the Sermon on the Mount, he inducts his followers into the values, ethics, and practices of this new kingdom. Matthew is clear that this kingdom is not fully realized on earth as we know it, but will reach completion when we see “the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). Unless otherwise noted, the Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. The workplace consequences of living in God’s kingdom are profound. If you like reading the Theology of Work Bible Commentary free online, you might enjoy it in print! Jesus giving Peter "the keys of the kingdom of heaven ", (Matthew 16:18), depicted by Perugino, 1492. And then recently an answer came to me. At the beginning of his earthly ministry, Jesus announces that “the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 4:17). According to Vine’s, the two are not the same. By means of His death on the cross and victorious resurrection he would provide the ultimate means of healing, redemption and restoration for those wishing to become a part of the Kingdom of Heaven. Mt 10:7: And as ye go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’ The kingdom of heaven is at hand – It is not yet here. Jesus was emphasizing the importance of making God, and His Will, the center of one’s life. / They also can refer to the kingdom of God already present in the hearts and actions of believers who acknowledge Jesus Christ as King. The workplace consequences of living in God’s kingdom are profound. A very clear description of “kingdom of God” and “kingdom of heaven” (which I will abbreviate as KG and KH, respectively) is found in Vine’s Expository Bible Dictionary. In any case, no distinction in sense is to be assumed between the two expressions (ct., e.g., Matthew 5:3 with Luke 6:20) (p. 656). It means to draw near to something. Counting parallels to these passages, the expression occurs over eighty-five times. Luke 10:10 But if you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into the streets and declare, Luke 10:11 Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off as a testimony against you. Jesus explains that his kingdom is in us and we are born again as citizens of God’s kingdom … What does “at hand” or “near” mean? It is the declaration that "the kingdom of God has come near." Kingdoms are concerned with governance, economics, agriculture, production, justice, defense—issues we see in most workplaces. But it was not a kingdom with human glory like David's or Solomon's, but one with spiritual glory like the Kingdom in the Wilderness, where the King himself dwelt in the midst of his people. Although some Bible students in earlier generations expended a great deal of time and energy seeking to establish a difference between these two terms, most authorities today believe that when all of the evidence is examined the two expressions are used in a completely interchangeable way. Understanding this question has been confusing for many. Image by As previously indicated, the expression kingdom of heaven is confined to Matthew’s Gospel. Join us for a study, then try it with your own group. These expressions can possess several meanings. Others say that this Kingdom is in heaven. Jesus instructed us to preach saying. One of the esoteric parables, which I believe was also borrowed, is that the kingdom of heaven is within. Matthew 3:2. N early 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ and Satan the devil fought the fiercest battle ever. It also occurs twice in John (3:3, 5). The first part of Jesus answer has been fairly easy to understand. Misunderstanding regarding the latter part however, has given many an incomplete picture of the Kingdom. 2. To be sure, the expression heavenly kingdom is found in 2 Timothy 4:18, but there is no contextual evidence that this is an identical expression. The kingdom of heaven “has come near.” It has come here to this world. They can mean the entire creation ultimately under God’s control or the kingdom of Jesus Christ that will come into being when Jesus physically returns to reign. Question: "What does it mean that the kingdom of God suffers violence?" It means a lot of things at a lot of different levels, but basically it means - GOD is near you. It is found in such key places as the preaching of John the Baptist, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" ( Matt 3:2); Jesus' earliest announcement, "The time has come… The kingdom of God is near. Others have suggested that it is the Church. The use of “kingdom of heaven” in Matthew is certainly due to the tendency in Judaism to avoid the direct use of the name of God. Matthew 4:17 says, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Will you explain what that is really saying? This one-of-a-kind Bible resource answers that very question. Vine’s goes on to say that God is the antithesis … Mat 3: 1 In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 & saying, Repent for the kingdom of heaven draws near. In Talmud Christ is accused of being a … Kingdom of heaven is at hand. Is it Possible that My Loved Ones are Suffering in Purgatory? The Bible promises, when the follower of Jesus lives in this manner, God will supply all our needs…from … Jesus himself was that Son of David who had come to take up the Reign of God once more and restore the Kingdom to Israel. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). The kingdom of heaven “has come near.” It has come here to this world. Bible Commentary Moreover, Jesus declares in Matthew 18:3 , "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Does it mean heaven is close, yet elusive, out of reach, until we get to heaven? Lessons include scripture references, reflections questions and prayer. However, the Kingdom of God (the Matthean equivalent being "Kingdom of Heaven") is a prominent phrase in the Synoptic Gospels and there is near-unanimous agreement among scholars that it represents a key element of the teachings of Jesus. You have a chance to be part of a perfect Heavenly Kingdom, under Christ, the Son of… With your gift of any size, you’ll enable us to continue equipping Christians with high-quality biblically-based content. What does it even mean for the kingdom of heaven to draw near? 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. After Christ won, He declared, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” This is one of the most profound and inspiring statements ever made on Earth, yet almost no one knows what it means. The Theology of Work Bible Commentary is an in-depth Bible study tool put together by a group of biblical scholars, pastors, and workplace Christians to help you discover what the whole Bible--from Genesis to Revelation--says about work. Business, education, law, service industries, medicine, government--wherever you work, in whatever capacity, the Scriptures have something to say about it. All rights reserved. Why Does Matthew Use “Kingdom of Heaven” Instead of “Kingdom of God”? Find out more on how we use cookies and how to disable them. Though his Good News does relate to what happens after death, it also has everything to do with this life. Daniel also makes the statement that the “God of heaven” will “set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed” (Dan 2:44; confirmed in the prophecy of Dan 7:13-14, 27.) Jesus concluded His message on trusting God for the necessities of life with this sentence, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”(Matthew 6:33 ESV). Jesus’ teachings, as recorded by Matthew, speak directly to our life at work. What does the Bible have to say about work? It does not imply that something has actually come, rather that it is close. Meanwhile, we turn our backs on the old ways of work, so that the new way of the kingdom of heaven is made visible in us as we live. Jesus’ teachings, as recorded by Matthew, speak directly to our life at work. Similarly, when Jesus sends out his disciples in Luke 10 they proclaim the same message: Luke 10.8-11 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. The kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God is the central theme of Jesus’ preaching, according to the Synoptic Gospels. It’s important to understand that whenever the expressions “kingdom of God” and “kingdom of heaven” occur, they must be taken within the context of the passages in which they are found. You are free to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work), and remix (to adapt the work) for non-commercial use only, under the condition that you must attribute the work to the Theology of Work Project, Inc., but not in any way that suggests that it endorses you or your use of the work. 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