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Kingdom of God. By Michelle Petrovski. Definition and Background Information. The Kingdom of God can be defined in a number of ways, but in simple terms, it is the rule of God and the place where He reigns for eternity.

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kingdom of god

Kingdom of God

By Michelle Petrovski

definition and background information
Definition and Background Information
  • The Kingdom of God can be defined in a number of ways, but in simple terms, it is the rule of God and the place where He reigns for eternity.
  • The Kingdom of God is a theme that runs through the course of the Bible, but it is most prevalent in the Gospels as Jesus referred to the Kingdom quite often during his ministry.
  • It is interesting to note that unlike Luke, in the Gospel of Matthew, the Kingdom of God is referred to as the Kingdom of Heaven instead which reflects the Jewish reluctance to say God’s name.
message of kog
Message of KOG
  • The main message of this theme is that everyone is welcome to God’s Kingdom.
  • It is a common misconception that God’s Kingdom was only for the people of Israel, but it is evident through close study of Luke’s Gospel that this is not the case.
  • In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus preaches that all are welcome into the Kingdom, including the Gentiles, the sick and the poor who were often left on the outskirts of society.
  • Luke often referred to the Kingdom of God as a banquet or feast and this is a common way it was represented to both Jesus and Luke’s communities.
  • This theme closely ties in with the other Lukan themes of The Marginalised and Universal Salvation because all people, including the marginalised can receive salvation through the Kingdom of God.
kog in the old testament
KOG in the Old Testament
  • The theme of the Kingdom of God is rooted in the Old Testament.
  • Many prophets spoke of the Kingdom as a place where God would reign and people could be together in peace and unity.
  • Isaiah was a central prophet who discussed the Kingdom in his preaching.
isaiah and kog
He will judge between the nation and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Isaiah 2:4

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. Isaiah 11:6

These passages exhibit the characteristics of the Kingdom of God according to Isaiah.

Isaiah and KOG
god s loving nature which connects to kog
God’s Loving Nature which Connects to KOG

“25 If you worship me, the Lord your God, I will bless you with food and water and take away all your sicknesses.”

  • Exodus 23:25
  • This passage is not directly connected to the Kingdom of God, but it shows how if people worship God and has faith in Him, they will reap in the benefits of His love and care.
kog in the new testament
KOG in the New Testament
  • The Kingdom of God is a common theme in the synoptic Gospels, as it was central to the preaching of Jesus throughout His ministry.
  • Jesus taught his communities that all were welcome into the Kingdom of God, regardless of their social status.
  • Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Covenant was fulfilled and this relates to the Kingdom of God.
key message of kog in nt
Key Message of KOG in NT
  • Jesus’ key message during His ministry was that the poor/marginalised who were rich in spirit would enter the Kingdom first.
  • The poor often relied on God and have faith in Him. They understood the significance of God in their lives and thanked Him for the little that they have.
  • In term, this also meant that the rich, or those who did not have faith in God, would not find entry into the Kingdom because they did not have faith. To enter the Kingdom, you must accept that God does great things for all.
  • Those rich who share with the poor will be granted entry, as long as they are thankful and humbled before God.
the parable of the great dinner
The Parable of the Great Dinner*
  • 15 One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, ‘Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!’ 16Then Jesus said to him, ‘Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. 17At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, “Come; for everything is ready now.” 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, “I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my apologies.” 19Another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my apologies.” 20Another said, “I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.” 21So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, “Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.” 22And the slave said, “Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.” 23Then the master said to the slave, “Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.” ’
  • Luke 14:15-24
the parable of the great dinner1
The Parable of the Great Dinner
  • Luke includes the Parable of the Great Dinner in his Gospel in order to explain the Kingdom of God to his community.
  • This parable works as a simile as the host of the Banquet represents God, those who reject the invitations represent people who have no faith in God and the slaves who attended the dinner represent the lowly who would not expect an invitation but received one regardless.
  • Luke is explaining that those who accept God’s invitation into his Kingdom by showing faith will be rewarded and those who do not express their faith will miss out.
  • This parable would have a strong effect on the socially diverse Lukan community.
  • Luke 13:31-35 sends a very similar message.
humility and hospitality
Humility and Hospitality
  • 7 When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honour, he told them a parable. 8‘When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honour, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; 9and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, “Give this person your place”, and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher”; then you will be honoured in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’
  • 12 He said also to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
  • Luke 14:7-14
humility and hospitality1
Humility and Hospitality
  • During this passage, Jesus is present at a feast and He teaches people what to do during a feast, which acts as a simile for what to do in life in order to reach the Kingdom of God.
  • Jesus points out that you should be humble before God and put others before yourself and this will allow you to be humbled at the Kingdom of God.
  • Jesus explains that if the rich treat the marginalised with respect and put them first, the rich will be blessed and repaid in the Kingdom of God.
  • This passage gives the community incentive to treat each other with dignity and respect.
blessings and woes
Blessings and Woes*
  • 20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said:‘Blessed are you who are poor,   for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 ‘Blessed are you who are hungry now,   for you will be filled.‘Blessed are you who weep now,   for you will laugh.
  • 22 ‘Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you* on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. 24 ‘But woe to you who are rich,   for you have received your consolation. 25 ‘Woe to you who are full now,   for you will be hungry.‘Woe to you who are laughing now,   for you will mourn and weep.
  • 26 ‘Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
  • Luke 6:20-26
blessings and woes1
Blessings and Woes
  • The Beatitudes play a major role in describing who will be allowed into the Kingdom of God.
  • The most crucial verse is 20 which says, “Blessed are you who are poor for yours is the kingdom of God”.
  • The message this teaching of Jesus is that reversalism will occur in the Kingdom of God.
  • This means that those who are lowly in society will be highly ranked in the Kingdom and will be allowed entry before those who were rich.
the last supper
The Last Supper
  • 14 When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. 15He said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16for I tell you, I will not eat it*until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’ 17Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, ‘Take this and divide it among yourselves;18for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ 19Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’20And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.* 21But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. 22For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!’ 23Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this.
  • Luke 22: 14-23
the last supper1
The Last Supper
  • This passage shows the strong link between the Covenant and the Kingdom of God.
  • Jesus explains to His disciples that the Covenant will be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God and this is a crucial aspect of His teachings.
  • The Covenant between God and His people was fulfilled through Jesus in the New Covenant.
  • When Jesus’ death and resurrection occurred, humanity was granted freedom from sin, and this is an essential part of entering the Kingdom of God.
jesus referring to kog in luke
Jesus referring to KOG in Luke

But Jesus said to them, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.” Luke 4:43

  • This passage shows that the purpose of Jesus’ ministry was to show people “the good news” of God’s Kingdom.
jesus referring to kog in luke1
Jesus referring to KOG in Luke

Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. Luke 9:1-2

  • During this passage, Jesus tells his Apostles to spread the word of the Kingdom of God.
jesus referring to kog in luke2
Jesus referring to KOG in Luke

Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, "The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There it is!' For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you."Luke 17:20-21

  • This is a very pivotal passage about the Kingdom of God where Jesus tells the Pharisees that they must look deeper to find the true meaning of the Kingdom.
link between the old testament and new testament
Link between the Old Testament and New Testament
  • As the Kingdom of God is a running theme in the Bible, there is a very strong link between the different passages, despite the fact that they were written at very different times in history.
  • The texts preach a similar message which is that the Kingdom of God is not just for Jews, but it is also for all who have faith in God.
  • In turn, if you choose not to place your faith in God, you will not be allowed to enter the Kingdom of God.
  • As well as this, both the Old and New Testaments show the Kingdom of God as a peaceful and loving place.
significance for jesus community
Significance for Jesus’ Community
  • Jesus’ preaching helped people to keep their faith and realise that the Kingdom of God will be a positive place where all, not just the Jewish are welcome.
  • Through His parables and teachings, Jesus was attempting to show the community that in order to gain favour with God, you must be selfless and loving towards all.
  • This love must be extended to the marginalised, who will already find favour with God, due to their faithfulness to Him.
significance for jesus community1
Significance for Jesus’ Community
  • Jesus also wished to spread the message of the Kingdom of God to all, not just to the Jewish people, which was why He was rejected in His hometown of Nazareth.
  • Jesus’ hometown wanted to keep Jesus and His preaching to themselves and this meant that they were unwilling to share the Kingdom of God.
  • Jesus preached the good news of the Kingdom to all and this added to His persecution.
significance for luke s community
Significance for Luke’s Community
  • It is evident that the Lukan community was much the same as Jesus’ community.
  • Both had a diverse socio-economic mix of people and therefore conflict arose often.
  • The rich would be viewed as the most high and the poor would be treated badly.
  • Luke aims to show the reversal that will occur in God’s eyes when it is time to enter the Kingdom of God.
  • He also attempts to show what one must do to reach the Kingdom – treat other people with dignity and respect.
  • Through his writing, Luke is able to give faith and hope to those who are marginalised as they will find God’s favour in the Kingdom.
  • Johnson, L. Sacra Pagina: The Gospel of Luke, Liturgical Press, 1991
  • Tannehill, R. Luke, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1996
  • Kingdom of God, 2008. Retrieved May 21, from
  • Covenant and Kingdom: A Theological Quest, May 1999. Retrieved May 4 2011, from
  • THEME OF THE BIBLE - THE KINGDOM OF GOD, 2002. Retrieved May 17 2011, from