The Mystery of the Kingdom of God

The Mystery of the Kingdom of God

For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Matthew 13:14-15

In the Gospels, Jesus Christ talked about the Kingdom of God in parables: as a mystery, something that is not outwardly manifest and understood by logic and physical observation.  And characteristic of this mystery is that it is something that is completely beyond anything that natural man can ever conceive of or imagine.

Since this mystery is outside the reach of our own natural abilities to comprehend, it is something that must be revealed to us. The Kingdom of God is to be desired and sought after, and at all cost, for there is no hope outside of it.  It is what  Christ likens to as the “pearl of great price”.

Why is it then, that not everyone is pursuing the Kingdom of God?  What are the hindrances to approaching and understanding this mystery?

A previous post on this blog elaborated on two obstacles to grasping the message concerning the Kingdom of God:  1) intellectual pride, and 2) prejudice.

There is a third reason, described by Jesus in these words:  “This people’s heart is waxed gross”. “Their heart is enfattened”, according to John Wycliffe’s translation: a visual of a heart with so much fat around it that the surrounding muscles and tissues eventually are not able to work properly.

What did Jesus mean?

Hearts are “waxed gross”  from eating too much and drinking too much, excessively indulging in the physical senses, leading to a degeneration of the mind, of morals, and of spirit.  It is the result of being overly concerned with the “cares of this world”, and the deceitfulness of things and riches, that the concepts of God and the mystery of His Kingdom become increasingly alien.

Enfattened hearts suffering from obesity and atrophied, become a real hindrance to understanding the mystery of the kingdom of God, which surpasses the here and now, a kingdom which transcends the present,  short-lived realities experienced in one’s  living physical body.  A heavenly kingdom which deals with the soul and our eternal destiny, beyond our earthly lives.

Intellectual pride, prejudice, and enfattened hearts are the obstacles to confronting the mystery of the Kingdom of God.  The tragedy resulting from these hindrances is the blinding of human hearts to the content of this mystery: the good news about God’s healing, of restoring a broken mankind into wholeness through Jesus Christ: the mystery of the purpose of salvation that God planned for us before the very foundation of the world.

Reference: Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Kingdom of God, Crossway Books, Wheaton Illinois, 1992, pp. 87-104.

***Photography by James Jordan : Cornfield at Sunset @Flickr Commons

17 thoughts on “The Mystery of the Kingdom of God

  1. Thank you for the visual of the heart. It really makes sense to me. I wonder if trials create a lean time that burns off some of the waxing of our hearts so that it beats to His will and not our own? Sadly, we seem to need trials for this very reason…

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Thank you, Wendy for this insight. Yes, I do believe that God causes all things to work together for our good, and that as you say, trials make us less complacent, more agile, burning off the waxing of our hearts so that we can feel God’s presence more acutely, and see His face more clearly. Blessings to you, too! Dee

  2. Great post, also in the same way as trials are a period of ‘lean’ time, I think times of sacrifice, giving up the pleasures of life for Him, are like going on a spiritual diet. Fasting, and self sacrifice help keep the heart lean too. Thanks for sharing this terrific post. 🙂

    • Yes, definitely, times of sacrifice and of praise, and foregoing of worldly pleasures to spend time with God, also keep our hearts lean and spiritually healthy. Thank you so much for your added input to the post. Blessings to you!

  3. I know that there are many reasons, facets, purposes to why our Master came to us the way He did – taking on man, being man, not powerful – not born to a palace. What you have hit upon for me here is another purpose. We all look for a teacher – Jesus, was a master teacher – He took no guff, He was no push over – He is no push over. BUT – what makes a teacher great are the questions of His students afterward. Jesus wants us to think – question – question Him, question our motives. Jesus came to us with no distractions – no pretense – but to be a Teacher – and the questions we invoke in us are the answers we seek. Thank you, as always Dee – well done.

    • Thank you for your wonderful insights, focusing on Jesus as a master teacher, Sandra! Yes, definitely, Jesus penetrated into the deepest sinews and veins of the intents and purposes of men’s hearts. I am so glad you excavated into this angle of the post! Thank you so much. Dee

    • Thank you for your wonderful insights, focusing on Jesus as a master teacher, Sandra! Yes, definitely, Jesus penetrated into the deepest sinews and veins of the intents and purposes of men’s hearts. I am so glad you excavated into this angle of the post! Thank you so much. Dee

  4. Dee, as I started reading this, I couldn’t help but think of something more ~ that we are apt not to find the Kingdom of Heaven for we never think to look within ourselves ~ for surely Jeruselem is more than a place. It is a people ~ and a light that dares burn within us all if we only know to look. I love this. Absolutely beautiful as always!!! Always…….. Love ever, Bobbie

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