Looking for the Kingdom of God

The daffodil in the picture above reminds me of something I noticed years ago.

I grew up in Kansas and my father had big daffodils referred to as jonquils planted around the house.

What age I was escapes me when I first noticed that it always snowed, at least one more time, after the daffodils had bloomed in the spring.

Ever since mentioning this observation to my mother, without fail, she has continued to report to me that it has remained a constant occurrence – at least in my hometown.

  • What does this have to do with Bible Study?

Consider the following passage:

ESV  Luke 23:50-53 Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.

The passage above occurs after Jesus has been crucified but before His resurrection from the dead.

  • What do we learn about the man named Joseph in this passage?
  1. Joseph is a Jew from Arimathea.
  2. Joseph is a member of the Jewish council.
  3. Joseph is a good and righteous man.
  4. Joseph had not consented to the decision and action to crucify Jesus.
  5. Joseph was looking for the kingdom of God.
  6. Joseph asked Pilate for Jesus’ body.
  7. Joseph wrapped Jesus’ body in burial linen and placed him in a new stone tomb.

Consider the following from the Matthew Henry KJV Commentary on this man Joseph:

He himself waited for the kingdom of God; he believed the Old-Testament prophecies of the Messiah and his kingdom, and expected the accomplishment of them. This was the man that appears upon this occasion to have had a true respect for the Lord Jesus. Note, there are many who are hearty in Christ’s interests, how, though they do not make any show in their outward profession of it yet will be more ready to do him a piece of real service, when there is occasion, than others who make a greater figure and noise.

  • Are you looking for the Kingdom of God?

Just as I observed years ago that the snow will come again at least once after the daffodils have bloomed or at least pushed up through the soil where they had been sleeping, I will also continually seek the Kingdom of God as Joseph of Arimathea.

Consider the following passages:

ESV  Luke 24:1-9 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, [Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and other women] went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.

5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

The Kingdom of God is not among the dead but the living. The women remembered that Jesus had told them and all who had believed in Him, that He would die and then rise again.

Then after the women had reported that Jesus’ words had come true, Jesus affirms yet again that He has fulfilled prophecy and that those who were firsthand witnesses are commissioned for sharing this with all nations.

ESV  Luke 24:44-48 Then [Jesus] said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

God is in the business of restoring His creation to be aligned with His Kingdom. Jesus was sent by God to point the way to God’s Kingdom.

Reflection Questions:

  • Are you seeking God’s Kingdom in your daily life?
  • Are you like Joseph of Arimathea in standing against the tide of majority decline?
  • How can you impact those around you with grace and forgiveness as God and Jesus have offered you?
  • What do you regularly watch for in nature or your daily routines that provide insight into God’s kingdom plans for you and others?
  • How do you celebrate Easter to remember God’s grace and power?

My prayer for us this Easter Sunday 2022 is that the Lord Jesus will open our minds to understand the Scriptures so that we too will be able to witness to the amazing news that the Kingdom of God through Jesus’ death and resurrection has overcome the grave.

ESV  Zechariah 8:22 aMany peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and bto entreat the favor of the LORD.

Blessings,

Barbara Lynn

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2 Replies to “Looking for the Kingdom of God”

  1. I definitely can relate to Daffodils in the snow!!

    Would be interested in your thoughts to share with a friend who shared her disalutionment in her faith after praying and truely believing that God would answer their prayers for healing for her husband who died a year or so ago if Cancer (our age-young-60’s) Her admission of her shock that healing didn’t happen. What do you or can you say to one who shares that heartache and dissspointment about God.

    In some ways not too different than the women and disciples on Easter AM when things didn’t work out as they expected.., and their initial lack of understanding. It’s hard to understand when our specific prayers are not answered.
    What can be said .. except we know not the great plan of our Lord. And there perhaps must be some sort of reason for another outcome.
    Then that begs the question.. why bother to even pray specifically. Somewhere in faith journeys we came to believe the myth that praying will result in answers which seem reasonable and helpful, even miraculous like healing. But most of the time that doesn’t seem to be the case. People die, there are world tragedy like wars.. people are cruel and hateful. Like Richard said” what’s going on here?”

    Please share your thoughts. Wanta go to lunch one day this coming week?

    1. Glad you can relate to this post.
      So sorry to learn of your friends sorrow through that painful scenario.
      Yes, there is much we won’t or are not allowed to understand on this side of heaven. I think you say it well that the Lord’s ways are not are ways.
      The mystery of why the Lord would sacrifice His son, Jesus Christ, for us is truly amazing. No other faith practice has anything close to this.
      As to what you say to your friend, I think when her pain is fresh and raw, the most important practice is to listen to her and spend time with her.
      Admitting that we don’t understand why God didn’t answer her prayer in the way she expected is a valuable affirmation of her pain and suffering.
      And as to the question of why do we bother to pray specifically is to remind ourselves that prayer is a relationship where we can ask for what we want or think is best but also learn to accept the Lord wants more for us than just to give us what we want or think is best. He wants our hearts, soul, mind, and body completed surrendered to His plans – plans that scripture tells us are meant for our good – even when we don’t understand them.
      I’d love to meet you for lunch so I’ll call you to arrange a date.
      I appreciate you!

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