Why Are We Surprised That We Misunderstood the Kingdom?

Some of you know that the kingdom came long ago, right on time.  Many of us, however, took a while to get that truth.  We should not be surprised, however, that we initially misunderstood the kingdom of God.

After all, even though the kingdom of God was Jesus’ primary teaching theme, even those of us who’ve been devoted Bible teachers have shied away from it.  Isn’t that odd – that those of us who proclaimed the supremacy of Jesus the loudest, shied away from His central teaching?  How about the Sermon on the Mount, which could be considered the Magna Carta of the kingdom – how many of us majored on that as a sermon text?

Jesus taught the kingdom by parables.  Even the twelve apostles had a hard time comprehending them, especially at first.  The kingdom is indeed a mystery that only God can reveal.  Human intelligence and education are of no value in the quest to understand.

Therefore, having now the benefit of hindsight, it should be no surprise to us that while we initially thought the coming of the kingdom would be with signs to be observed (even though He explicitly said it wouldn’t – see Luke 17:20-21), the truth turned out to be something different than our expectation.  And it should particularly be no surprise that His coming in the kingdom was spiritual, not physical or fleshly, events.  After all, have we not boldly declared to anyone who would listen that spiritual things are more important and lasting than physical things?

Thus it is very understandable that we should have missed His second coming, just as the Jews missed His first coming.  Only let us miss it no longer.  Let us turn completely to Him whom physical eye cannot see.  Let us honor Him by faith…for He once asked (as if He foresaw our problem), “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

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