The kingdom of God is the central theme of Jesus’ teaching in the gospels. It’s the topic to which He returns again and again. What does this phrase mean?
In its most fundamental sense, the kingdom of God communicates the idea of God’s authority in a person’s life. People who welcome God’s authority want to hear more about the kingdom of God. People who resist God’s authority don’t want to hear more about the kingdom of God.
People who resist God’s kingdom – that is, people who resist God’s authority in their lives – want autonomy. The big problem here, however, is that there is no such thing as human autonomy. There is no such thing as an autonomous human. People who think they are autonomous are simply enslaved to their lusts and fears.
A human being is a creature and can no more be autonomous than an astronaut in space can operate without his spacesuit or his spacecraft.
As Paul wrote:
… you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness…
– Romans 6:16
Therefore, if you think you are without a lord, think again. You either serve a lord you know by name or you are serving a lord you do not know. Satan is the god no one knows. He wants human beings to believe in autonomy because it’s the lie by which he keeps them in his grip. He tempts them through their lusts and fears, thus pulling their strings like a puppeteer.
The kingdom of God is found in the revelation of Jesus: the authority who reveals Himself to the world. Unlike Satan, God does not keep Himself hidden in the darkness; God reveals Himself through Jesus for all to see.
The kingdom of God is the lordship of Christ, and Christ is the light of the world. As He Himself said:
…”I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
– John 8:12
And as Paul wrote of Him:
And He is the radiance of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature…
– Hebrews 1:3
Seek Jesus and you will find the kingdom of God. Seek the kingdom of God and you will find Jesus. Only remember that it’s all about authority, not mere lip service.