Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” Mark 4, verses 30-32.
“The kingdom of God:” what is that?
Gotquestions.org says “The kingdom of God is the rule of an eternal sovereign God over all creatures and things (Psalm 103:19; Daniel 4:3). The kingdom of God is also the designation for the sphere of salvation entered into at the new birth (John 3:5-7), and is synonymous with the “kingdom of heaven.” Biblestudy.org says “the Kingdom of God is the rule and governance of his Family over all things,” and that this phrase is used in the New Testament (mostly in Luke and Mark) more than sixty times. The United Church of God (at ucg.org) says “The word translated “kingdom” throughout the New Testament is the Greek word basileia, which denotes “sovereignty, royal power, [and] dominion” ( Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, “Kingdom”). A careful examination of the Bible reveals that the next phase of the Kingdom of God is nothing short of a world-ruling monarchy that God will establish on this earth through Jesus Christ!”
You betcha on all those and more. Me, I’m not ecclesiastically trained. I will gladly defer to those who are and welcome any education or opinion on this topic; please email me if you like. Here and now, I’ll simply stick with what Jesus said and draw a few conclusions.
The Kingdom of God is here and now. How do I know that? To quote Mr. Clinton, “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. ‘Is’ means now, in the present tense. It is because He is because He is the great I AM. Jesus’ kingdom is right now, right here, in this place, of this world and in this world. In it, He rules, He reigns, He is.
It’s in eternity. It is the to-be-established kingdom that Christ will institute (and restore) when He ends all time. But more than that, it does and will exist now as part of eternity because eternity exists outside of our reference and time; noodle that thought for a while. The kingdom of God is the kingdom come but also the kingdom that has come and has come of God.
The Kingdom of God is growing, strong, vital, fruitful, supportive, beautiful and plentiful…like a thriving plant. If it wasn’t so, why would Jesus have used such an analogy in this parable? I think He used it to show that His Kingdom is all those things and more. It’s far more than we could even imagine.
Finally, if it is like a mustard plant, you can put its fruit on a hot dog…ok, maybe not so much, or maybe so. I won’t speak for Jesus, but I like hot dogs and hope He does too.
My pastor is fond of saying that we, as followers of Jesus, aren’t just waiting (and preparing) for eternity: we are part of eternity now. In a way, that’s another way of saying we are part of the kingdom of God here and now, in the lives we lead. That’s another good way of looking at it, too.
Lord, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done now and in eternity.
Read the rest of Mark 4.