What is the kingdom? Jesus says here it is like a treasure and a treasure seeker. Like many treasures, it is not out in the open. Most people are not aware of its existence. The world cannot naturally see the Kingdom of God.
But there are some who are looking for it. These are the treasure seekers. These are the wild-eyed dreamers who know ‘there’s gold in them there hills!’
Treasures were often buried for safekeeping. The most likely circumstance envisioned here is that of a peasant who, while working in the field of a wealthy landowner, found the treasure but covered it again lest the landowner claim it for himself. The peasant then invested all his own resources into that field to procure the treasure. Stories of finding lost treasure naturally circulated among the poor; Jesus uses the story line to stir his hearers to seek for a treasure far greater than any on earth.[i]
What is God’s Kingdom? Simply defined, the Kingdom of God is the government of God. As a King, he is not elected. He has established authority on His terms. There is no democratic election process to have God placed in charge of His domain. He is the perfect benevolent dictator.
I know the word ‘dictator’ makes some squirm and want to react. Our worldly models of government do not give us an understanding of the perfection of God’s rule and his right to be the Law. People move into perverse error when they try to morph theocracy with human agency. Moral majorities fail because the majority is not moral, nor fully surrendered to the King.
You cannot subject God to anything. Only we can become subject to God. And that is the present point of God’s Kingdom. Will you become His subjects?
Citizenship in the Kingdom is clearly optional. You can choose to surrender to the King and be identified as His subject or you can live as a loyal subject of the fallen world. The King does not force citizenship.
Jesus indicated that the Kingdom of God is at work inside of people. It has both a present and future reality. It is also mysterious and outside our natural understanding. Repeatedly Jesus says the kingdom is like… What is the kingdom like? The only way to understand the Kingdom is to discover the King.