Matthew 6:10a

Setting and Overview
In the beginning of Matthew 6:10, we find the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer: “May your kingdom come.” We have already seen the Kingdom of God (usually the “Kingdom of Heaven” in Matthew) play an important role in this Gospel and even in the Sermon on the Mount. Understanding what Jesus means by “your kingdom,” what it means to pray that it will come, and how it should impact our perspective and lives now, is critical to understanding Matthew’s Gospel as a whole.
John the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples all declared the message that kingdom of heaven was near (Matthew 3:2, 4:17, 10:7.) We see the message of the Kingdom of God both open and close the book of Acts (Acts 1:3, 28:30-31), as well as appear several times in between (Acts 8:12, 19:8, 20:25.) When we think of a kingdom, we usually think of a king, his rule or reign, the people that he rules, and the land or area over which his rule Is exercised. On one hand, Scripture makes clear that God rules over all (Psalm 24:1, I Corinthians 10:26, Psalm 103:19, I Chronicles 29:11-13.) At the same time, we also see an emphasis throughout the Old Testament on God’s presence among His people and His special rule over them within the land that He gives them (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:18-21, Exodus 6:6-8, 19:7, 23:31, 25:8, Deuteronomy 12:10-12, II Samuel 7:10-16, II Chronicles 36:21-23, Ezekiel 37:26-27, Isaiah 52:7.) In the New Testament, Jesus refers to Himself as the temple (John 2:18-21) and thus even Gentiles who are Christians have the blessing to be able to come near to God (Ephesians 2:12-13) and as Christians, God dwells among us (Ephesians 2:21-22.)
As Christians, we thus belong to the Kingdom of God now and are under Christ’s rule (Colossians 1:13-14, Matthew 28:18-20.) Furthermore, the blessings of the presence and rule of God are enjoyed among those who are in the Kingdom (Ephesians 2:21-22, I Peter 2:9-10.) At the same time, while God is sovereign over all, He permits Satan to actively rule in this world (Ephesians 2:1-3, I John 5:18-19.) So for now, subjects of the Kingdom of God exist alongside those who are not (Matthew 13:24-29.) Therefore, when we pray for His Kingdom to come, we are praying with the realization that His Kingdom has already broken in (Matthew 12:28, Luke 17:20-21, Matthew 13:31-32), but that we still await and look forward to its full consummation (Matthew 13:37-43, I Corinthians 15:20-25.)
Examination and Application
If we pray for God’s royal reign to extend and be seen more fully now, and for the full consummation of the Kingdom to come soon, then that should also mean that we are living as who desire it and are eager to participate in God’s working in extending that reign now. This means that we are committed to glorifying God (I Thessalonians 2:12), seeing others come into the Kingdom (Acts 2:47), seeking to help others enjoy Kingdom blessings (Romans 14:17.) Among Christians, that should challenge us to live out Kingdom values in a way that glorifies God and draws others in (Acts 2:42-47, I Corinthians 12:25, Philippians 2:2-4, Romans 12:10-13, Romans 15:1, 7), which includes building each other up through productive relationships (Romans 14:18-19, I Thessalonians 5:11-14.) When we engage the world, this means continue to living out Kingdom values visibly, so as to glorify God and draw others in (II Tim 2:24-25, Matthew 5:13-16, I Peter 2:12-15.) As we do that, however, we never lose sight of the glorious promise of the future, of the full consummation of the Kingdom of God (Revelation 11:15.)
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