In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus (Yeshua) can be found ministering and teaching His disciples various principles regarding giving, fasting, the Father's care for His children, and many other things. One of the most notable portions of this scripture is His instruction to His disciples on prayer. It is prayer that opens the line of communication to the ears of the heavenly Father, a time of sweet communion in which we cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and also open ourselves to receive whatever it is that we are seeking from God's Holy Spirit.
In verse 9 of chapter 6, Jesus gives His disciples specific instructions on prayer saying, "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name...'" In the previous posts (click here to read OUR FATHER - WHO IS IN HEAVEN - HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME) we looked at the first complete phrase of verse 9 to learn more about the heavenly Father, where He has established His throne, and the sanctity of His name. Today we will examine the next phrase: "Your Kingdom come..." and discover more about God's holy Kingdom.
"Kingdom" - basileia - (Greek transliteration) - n. feminine (Thayer's Greek Lexicon)
1) Royal power; kingship; dominion; rule - Specifically, the royal power and dominion spoken of here is the power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah. (Matthew 28:18)
2) The territory subject to the rule of a king - In this definition kingdom takes on a more physical manifestation in that it refers to the land on earth where earthly kings reign. An example of this use of basileia can be found in Luke 11:17.
3) The Reign of the Messiah - This refers to the Kingdom founded by God through the Messiah over which the Messiah will preside, a Kingdom of heavenly or divine origin and nature. Thayer's Lexicon discusses this definition extensively (click here to read the discussion in its entirety), but I will quote what seemed to me to be the clearest explanation:
"The Jews were expecting a kingdom of the greatest felicity, which God through the Messiah would set up, raising the dead to life again and renovating earth and heaven; and in this kingdom they would bear sway for ever over all the nations of the world. This kingdom was called the kingdom of God or the kingdom of the Messiah; and in this sense must these terms be understood in the utterances of the Jews and of the disciples of Jesus when conversing with Him.
But Jesus employed the phrase kingdom of God or of heaven to indicate that perfect order of things which He was about to establish, in which all those of every nation who should believe in Him were to be gathered together into one society, dedicated and intimately united to God, and made eternal partakers of salvation. This kingdom is spoken of as now begun and actually present, inasmuch as its foundations have already been laid by Christ and its benefits realized among men/women that believe in him." (Thayer's Greek Lexicon)
So then when we pray, "Your Kingdom come," we are asking for the manifestation of the dominion of Jesus Christ on our behalf, we are asking for His dominion to impact our physical surroundings, and we are decreeing His return according to the foundation of our faith - His death, burial and resurrection as atonement for our sin. Please read Revelation 19:11-16. Amen.
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