Lesson 64

Illustrations of the Kingdom

"Our Heavenly Father . . . May your kingdom come, and
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
Matthew 6:10 (Phillips Translation)

Jesus and his disciples taught others about the kingdom through parables and by performing miracles. The miracles were a sample of what is to happen in the kingdom. Just as many of the Old Testament stories were pictures of things to come, so the miracles, too, were pictures or foreshadows of the kingdom blessings.

Instead of only a few people being healed in the kingdom, all the diseased and disabled of mankind will be healed. Deaf ears will hear, the blind will see, etc. (Isaiah 35:5, 6).

Leprosy is a picture of sin. When Jesus healed the ten lepers only one returned to thank him. Only a few in this age appreciate that Jesus died to save all the world from sin (Luke 17:11-17).

The healing of the sick represented the fact that in the kingdom all diseases (physical, mental, moral) will be healed by the "Good Physician." God’s work in Christ is to save the whole world from sin.

The opening of the blind eyes and the deaf ears represented the opening of the eyes and ears of understanding in the kingdom. Then mankind will realize how much God loves them and the wonderful provisions he has made for everyone.

Our Lord’s transfiguration on the mountain was another illustration of the kingdom. Transfiguration means that while Jesus’ appearance seemed to change, it did not actually do so. It was a vision, or picture, of himself as the glorified divine being he would become.

Peter, James, and John, who were with him, could see the vision as had been promised in Matthew 16:28. They also heard the voice of God, "This is my beloved Son . . . hear ye him" (Matthew 17:5)

Moses and Elias, who had been dead for a long time, were also seen in the vision. Moses represented the Law and the Ancient Worthies who will be princes in all the earth. Elias represented the heavenly phase of the kingdom, the church class. The vision assures us that the kingdom will come in due time!

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