In the New Testament, there is often a question of the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven. Yet it is not easy to understand what it is about. The word of God enlightens us on this subject and Jesus, through parables in particular, tries to explain to us how the reign of God is prepared and established.
The Kingdom of God - or the reign of God - is announced to us by Jesus in the gospels.
Jesus in Mark’s gospel tells us: “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)
He even taught us to call him in our prayers, through the Our Father, which he passed on to his disciples: “Thy Kingdom come.”
The Kingdom of God is therefore a reality; that is the Good News. It is not an elsewhere, even if it is not yet established in this world in which we live. If Jesus describes it to us as a hidden treasure; this treasure is nevertheless very real. We can, sometimes right now, feel the signs, see a ray of it.
The Kingdom of God is not indicated by large luminous signs. Jesus invites us to look for him. He even tells us to make this quest our priority!
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
but this quest does not require special abilities; it is not the richest, the smartest or the fastest person who will discover it. Only those who can be guided by the Holy Spirit can join the Kingdom. It is therefore with an open heart that we can move forward.
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17)
Jesus warns us, it will not be simple to enter the Kingdom of God because it requires renouncing the laws of this world. Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3, 3)
but he gives us some keys to join him: humility, modesty, attention to others and especially to the smallest among us…
he even tells us the supreme law of this Kingdom which, if we apply it, will make us blessed inhabitants of the Father’s house:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
In the gospels, Jesus repeatedly describes the Kingdom of God. He often evokes it through parables, so that only those who are truly seekers of God understand it:
“Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you...” (Matthew 13:10)
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied. He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there.
Through his parables, Jesus also describes to us what the Father expects of us in order to be welcomed into his Kingdom.
In the parable of talents, we understand that we must make the gifts that God has given us grow, put them at the service of his Kingdom. We must also make the word of God grow in us, so that it can germinate and bear fruit, as Christ explains in the Parable of the Sower.
The Parable of the Wedding or that of the 10 virgins also allows us to understand that we are invited, and not forced, to share God’s bliss but also that it requires that we prepare for it, that we take care of how we will present ourselves there.