Matthew 4:12-17 Kingdom of Heaven

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.”[f]

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

Kingdom of Heaven

Jesus, you came to establish a kingdom.  It hasn’t claimed a standard geographical domain, but it has claimed our hearts. There are those of us who are part of the revolution and when the world takeover comes, we will be ready to submit to your rule because we already have.  There are things that get in the way, Lord.  My strong desire to be right, to not get things wrong, stands in the way.  My pride, guilt, and shame also stand in the way.  Help me to further move elements that cause me to focus on myself out of the way so that you can reign in me without rival.  Help my thoughts to be clearly of you, for you, and with you.  I want to walk and talk in such ways that pagans and believers both go away with an awareness that they have encountered the kingdom.

The value of my life is measured by the strength of the Kingdom of Heaven in me.

Questions

  1. Where did Jesus start preaching about the Kingdom of Heaven?
  2. Why would devout Jews call the Kingdom of God the Kingdom of Heaven?
  3. What would ancient Jewish people have had to do to prepare for the Kingdom of Heaven?
  4. What must you change internally to further the Kingdom of Heaven?
  5. How can you preach the Kingdom this coming week?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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