This kingdom is not according to this world.  It is very unlike what the Jews of Jesus’ day expected and desired for the reign of Messiah.  These expectations/desires apply to more than the Jews of Jesus’ day.  This world and its desires operate by force and revenge, but human effort and fleshly desires are not the nature of Messiah’s Kingdom.

Matthew 5: 7-8

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

The blessed in this kingdom are those who are willing to be transformed by its blessings, and so, they do battle on the “inside” not the “outside.”


Matthew 23:23-26

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.  You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides!  You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Matthew 15:18

18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.

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