The Bible is full of praise for Jesus, whose birth is celebrated at Christmas. He is sometimes called the King of Kings. In his ministry he taught about the kingdom of heaven or the Kingdom of God. Kingdom was one of my words for the 2021 A to Z Challenge. In an earlier A to Z about the names of God I wrote briefly about Jesus’ name being the Name above all names.
King of the Jews was the name the wise men (or kings) called him when they went looking for him in Herod’s palace. It was also the name Pontius Pilate used to describe him at his crucifixion.
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.’
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The first indication that Jesus Christ (Letter J) was a king was in the Christmas story, when wise men from the East looking for a new king followed a star. They enquired of the ruler, Herod, where to find the king. Matthew 2:1-2 This was not the same ruler as the Herod at the time of the crucifixion. (Letter C and Letter H)