For the first time in this prayer we have repetition. There is very little that is repeated, but in the second line of the Lord’s prayer we have already encountered: Thy Kingdom come. And here near the end, we have ”Thine is the Kingdom.”
a) Why the Repetition?
This repetition reinforces the importance of the Kingdom of God. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus says: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” The kingdom of God must come first. We should make it our number one priority. In order to make it our first priority, we must enter into the Kingdom. How do we do that? Jesus tells Nicodemus how. He says: “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again'” (John 3:7). And also, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). When we are born again then the following verse applies to us: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13).
When we seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, the focus is no longer on us. It shifts from our self-centeredness and the need to prove our own righteousness, to His. Paul says in his letter to the Romans: “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3). And in the next verse Paul adds: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4). This is reinforced in Romans 10:10 with the words: “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
b) Not a Physical Kingdom
All of this goes to show that the Kingdom of God is not a physical kingdom, but a spiritual kingdom. In Part Five of this series we have already examined the following scriptures which verify this:
“Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, “See here!” or “See there!” For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you'” (Luke 17:20-21).
“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men” (Romans 14:17-18).
“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here'” (John 18: 36).
Since God’s kingdom is spiritual, Psalm 145:13 declares: “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.” An everlasting kingdom certainly isn’t temporal – since all that is physical passes away.
Secondly, if God’s kingdom were physical and of this world, Paul would not write: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Corinthians 15:50).
This last verse is speaking of our eternal home. Therefore, although the Kingdom of God is here on earth, since we can enter it now, it is also in the future – since it is an inheritance we take possession of when we leave our earthly abode. It is both here now and coming.
There are a number of synonyms for “Kingdom of God” in the Bible, including “Kingdom of Heaven,” and “Kingdom of the Son.” The term “Kingdom of God” is found in all four Gospels, but the expression “Kingdom of Heaven” occurs only in Matthew, where it is found 31 times. For example in Matthew 3:2 Jesus says: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” Mark has the same message, but uses “Kingdom of God” instead of “Kingdom of Heaven.” He writes: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
In Colossians 1:13 we see that this Kingdom is called the Kingdom of the Son: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”
We are to pray for the Kingdom of God to come. Indeed the Kingdom has come into our lives when we can pray without reservation and with all sincerity: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” To pray “thy Kingdom come” means that we subject our will to the will of the Father. Remember how Jesus prayed in Gethsemane. “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will’” (Matthew 26:39). He was totally consecrated to the Father’s will.
Have you ever struggled to discern the will of God in your life? Have you ever prayed in earnest for God’s will to be done? When have you put God’s will first, in front of your own desires? Have you ever had a Gethsemane?
d) Thine Is the Kingdom
It is paramount to recognize that the Kingdom of God is His. It is not about us. Thus, when the disciples wanted to know who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus said: “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). And again: “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11). Leadership in the Kingdom of God is servant leadership. The Kingdom of God is a theocracy. Theocracy means that God rules. Only when we let the Spirit of God lead will we be able to do His will.
Someone wrote: “We aren’t capable of running the kingdom – it would be like a child running a household – paying the bills, doing the ironing, answering the door. So our humility and subjection to God’s kingdom being His is about submission and humility, yes, but also for our best interest. It allows us to rest in Someone else’s leading. It provides direction and a compass. Why would we even want to be in charge? Isn’t our freedom greater while leaning?”
e) What Is the Kingdom of God Like?
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44). We need to pursue it with our whole hearts. The joy of attaining it surpasses all else.
“It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened” (Luke 13:21). It will permeate all we do and have. It is active even though it is unseen.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46). It is so valuable that all else combined is not as desirable as it is.
As born again believers, we are in the Kingdom now, but we have not yet seen it in its final glory. As a child of God, you are a partaker of the Kingdom of heaven now, but “also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed” (1 Peter 5:1). Therefore, the Bible ends with the prayer: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20), which is another way of saying: “Thy kingdom come.” We already experience the blessings of the Kingdom in our earthly lives, but the best is yet to come. May we all be ready!