In the prayer that the Lord taught his disciples to pray, it begins– “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” So, Bill, why did you title this “thy kingdom came”? No, it’s not a typo. Let’s walk through this together. The Old Testament is full of prophecies about Jesus, the Messiah, coming to earth in clear-cut or in subtle ways. One of the key verses that would show that it was really the Son of God is found in Isaiah 61.1. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.”
In Matthew 8-10 alone, we see evidence of the scripture being fulfilled. Jesus heals a leper, servant of a centurion, Peter’s mother-in-law, many with demon oppression, the sick. Then two men with demons, a paralytic, and countless others. In Matthew 8.17 there is a reference to another prophecy in Isaiah 53. ‘This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “he took our illnesses and bore our diseases”’
What does it say when we reach the eternal presence of God in Christ? I think you’ll see a similarity to what Jesus did when he came to earth. He was giving us a glimpse, and he actually said the kingdom of heaven is at hand. ‘From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (or, has come near)”’ (Mt. 4.17).
And we see in Revelation 21.3,4 the eventual fulfillment for those in Christ. ‘And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away”.
Do you see the similarity of Jesus while he was on earth and the eventual eternal kingdom? God, through Christ, brought for a time the kingdom of heaven to earth. He was fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophecies about him and at the same time he was displaying what the kingdom of heaven is like and will be forever. Not only did he bring the kingdom of heaven to earth, he actually imparted it. After his departure, at Pentecost, he sent the Holy Spirit to establish the kingdom of heaven in the hearts and minds of those who believe and receive Jesus as Savior. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5.3). In the power of the Spirit, the kingdom of heaven dwells in us and we have the privilege of extending his kingdom to others until Jesus finally returns for good. We are ‘kingdom bearers’!
And while we mentioned just a very few things that Jesus did, look what John says at the end of his gospel writings. “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (Jn. 21.25). And, yes, his kingdom came, to earth and it is still coming, even now. And will one day come for good. Are you ready?