Friday, November 5, 2010

The Kingdom of Heaven: The Incarnation - November 5, 2010

Matthew 4:12-17 (New International Version)
12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—

16 The people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.” -Isaiah 9:1-2

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

There was a time in the beginning that the Kingdom of God was present on the earth. Before the fall of man, the kingdom existed and there was communion between God and His creation. We read about God walking in the garden and for a time man enjoyed living with the King. But sin banished man to and existance away from God. Their disobedience separated the King from the subjects He loved. God became so frustrated with the state of man, that He started over with the kingdom, sparing only Noah and his family and a remnant of the creation.

From this new beginning He was determined to reconcile His creation to the King, and restore His kingdom. After the passing of time and after generations of the descedants of Noah, God again reached out to His subjects through Abraham and His chosen, the Jewish people. He again worked to restore the kingdom, but mankind became impatient with following after God's heavenly rule, and sought to establish earthly, tangible kings to lead them. Problem was that sin ensnared the subjects and eventually they again found themselves in earthly and spiritual bondage, seperating themselves from the King who loved them.

God realized that there would be only one way to restore His kingdom; only one way to reconcile His subjects to Himself. There would be only one way for man to once again return to the "garden", the kingdom once intended for the gem of God's creation that He loved. God would have to clothe Himself in flesh and walk in the steps of mankind; that would be the only way for the subjects to hear the voice of their king and learn about the way back into the kingdom. The kingdom of heaven would be once again established on the earth, not in an earthly but a spiritual sense. Through love and the sacrifice, the hearts of men would once again return to the King. Jesus would once again establish the Kingdom of Heaven among men:

16 The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” -Isaiah 9:1-2

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