This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.
The word kingdom appears more than 300 times in the Bible. It is used in two contexts. Earthly kingdoms are mentioned many times in the Old Testament. In the New Testament there are references to the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven. Verses with kingdom and God occur 97 times and kingdom with heaven 45 times.
In retelling Jesus’ stories (parables) Matthew uses kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God, Mark and Luke use kingdom of God. John mentions the kingdom of God. John 3:5 In the Acts of the apostles and Paul’s letters (epistles) kingdom of God is used.
The best known passage in the Bible about the kingdom of heaven is the beatitudes, which I mentioned in my post for the letter B. Jesus mentioned two groups of people linked with the words, ‘theirs is the kingdom of heaven’. Matthew 5:3-12
Jesus’ disciples discuss his stories
‘Where’s the Master?’
‘He’s gone off on his own again to pray.’
‘I’m still wondering what he meant when he told all those stories about the kingdom of heaven. Or was it the kingdom of God?’
‘Are they the same thing?’
‘And all those different pictures. Yeast.’
‘A little of that goes a long way, but what has it to do with the kingdom?’
‘And the very valuable pearl. Something worth having, perhaps.’
‘What was that story he told yesterday? Wasn’t it about a banquet? Matthew, you have a good memory, remind us what he said.’
‘A king prepared a banquet for the marriage of his son. He invited all his friends and relations, but they made excuses. All the preparations had been made. He didn’t want to waste anything and he wanted his son to have a wonderful party.
‘So he told his servants to go out into the streets and the lanes and invite anyone they found.
‘There were plenty of guests for the banquet, but the king noticed that one of them was not wearing the correct clothes. He asked the servants to remove him from the banqueting hall.’
‘Oh, yes, that’s part of what he said. Why would there be someone there who needed to be thrown out? What was the Master trying to tell everyone?’
‘Well, let’s see. All the other people had taken the trouble to dress properly. Perhaps we have to prepare ourselves in some way to enter the kingdom.’
‘Look there’s the Master. We can ask him now.’
Matthew 22:1-14 is the story in the Bible.
The Lord’s prayer (that is the prayer Jesus taught his disciples) mentions heaven and God’s kingdom Luke 11:1-13