From the first teachings of Jesus throughout the New Testament we learn about the Kingdom of heaven or Kingdom of God. We mainly learn that it is often not what we think it should be or it does not comply with our common sense. For example, from the Beatitudes in Matt 5-
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…
You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery’, but I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
You have heard it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth’. But I tell you do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile go with him two miles.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy’ but I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” A little further in Matthew 18: 1 “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a little child and had him stand among them and He said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’”
Many of the Kingdom lessons are counter to our first response and our intuition. We have learned to respond to situations in ways that are not in line with the One Who designed and created us. In Matt 11: 25 Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” And Jesus said in Matt 20: 26- 28 “…instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many…”
Paul said in 1 Cor 1: 19, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” And in 25, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than Man’s strength.” Finally, Rev 7: 17: “For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their Shepherd…” “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Sam 16: 7
Inverse means “opposite or contrary in position, direction, order, or effect.” So, what we have learned from these readings about the kingdom of heaven is the opposite of what we have learned in our life experiences. Maybe it’s time we reversed our thinking.