Christ’s words in His model prayer for the disciples, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” will be explained. It was this kingdom that Christ was offering to the Jews in His sermon from the Mount of Olives and in all the events that followed that sermon. After the sermon, the King gave clear evidence as to His identity by performing many miracles (Matthew 8-9).
Christ called His twelve disciples to Himself, and He sent them to an exclusive audience. He sent them, not to Gentiles nor to the Samaritans, but only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As the disciples went, they were to preach the message that the kingdom of heaven was at hand (Matt. 10:5-7). Christ never used this command for His church! His command to the church was to go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Our message today is the true identity of the Christ, the value of His death, His burial, and His resurrection from the dead (1 Cor. 15:1-7). In the proper context of Matthew 10, the King was legitimately offering the promised kingdom to Israel but not the gospel to lost people. The Sermon on the Mount does not mention the gospel at all. But the elite religious leaders in Israel rejected the King, His kingdom message, and the kingdom.
It was shortly after the King sent His twelve disciples to the Jews, that the King prayed this prayer. “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matt. 11:25-27). The King then included everyone. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).
Recall that Jesus climactically healed a demoniac, once again showing His power over Satan. The Jewish multitudes responded with the question of the hour, “Could this be the Son of David?” (Matt. 12:22-23). This was a mighty weighty question. The future of the nation teetered in the balance. When the Pharisees heard the question, they seized the moment. They said that Jesus was casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons (Matt. 12:24). The King revealed their foolishness, calling the Pharisees “a brood of vipers” (Matt. 12:34).
According to John in the book of the Revelation, the coming kingdom will last for one-thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6). This time will be preceded by a great tribulation in which many unsaved Jews and Gentiles will be drawn to the gospel of God’s grace (Matt. 24:15-21; Rom. 11:1-36).
In preparation for this time, God will place into the heart of the Jews a sincere yearning to return home to Israel. He will call the Jews from throughout the earth back into the promised land.
Jeremiah the prophet said this. “For behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,” says the Lord. “And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it” (Jeremiah 30:3).
The prophet also mentioned the great tribulation that is to come. “For thus says the Lord: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale? Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:5-7).
Jacob is not the church. Jacob is Israel. The “great day” that Jeremiah referred to is the same day mentioned by Christ in Matthew 24:21-22. A remnant of Jews will be saved out of the great tribulation. “For thus says the Lord: “Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O Lord, save Your people, the remnant of Israel” (Jer. 31:7).
Again, this is written to prepare the Jews for the great tribulation to come. Christ will end this great tribulation with His second coming. He will establish His kingdom and will reign for a thousand years (Rev. 19:11, 20:1-6). The thousand-year kingdom will be marked by nations coming to God’s holy mountain to see the King (Isaiah 2:2-4; Psa. 2). The King will bring universal peace (Isaiah 9:6-7).
I love this next passage! “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations, [Gentiles] shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’” (Zech. 8:23).
The King will renew His fallen creation (Rom. 8:18-25; Rom. 11:1-9). The King will be known by all (Jer. 31:34). The Gentiles will seek the King (Isa. 11:10-16). The King will give beauty for ashes (Isa. 61:1-11). The King will rejoice over His subjects (Isa. 62:1-12). The entire earth will be filled with the King’s glory (Psa. 72:1-20). Jesus will reign as King over the earth (Zech. 14:9), and we will finally be home (Isa. 33:17-24). On to the parables!