The kingdom of heaven and Matthew 10
This article discusses the kingdom of heaven before analysing the mission discourse of Matthew 10.
Regarding the kingdom, a distinction is made between God’s universal or eternal kingdom (which includes all) and the mediatorial kingdom of God which focuses only on the earth. The mediatorial kingdom has gone through phases. One phase was the theocratic kingdom and another phase is the Messianic kingdom which will be established at Christ’s second coming.
After focusing on the kingdom of heaven the article proposes that the mission discourse in Matthew 10 is a single mission assignment that covers two distinct time periods when the gospel of the kingdom is preached. This assignment commenced during Christ’s first advent when the 12 apostles preached the gospel of the kingdom only in Israel. However, as a result of ‘this generation’ committing the unpardonable sin, this assignment became postponed until it will be resumed in the Tribulation when the coming King will authorise Jewish messengers to preach the gospel of the kingdom again – this time as a witness to all the nations. Based on this view of the mission discourse in Matthew 10, this article also proposes a chiastic structure for Matthew 9:36−11:1a. Each section of this text will then be briefly discussed. Although the Church can make applications from this discourse, it is argued that Matthew 10:5b−42 does not refer to the Church age.