the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Grant's Commentary on the Bible Grant's Commentary
by L.M. Grant
Though written about four hundred years after Malachi, the Gospel by Matthew admirably preserves the continuity of God's dealings with Israel, for it is written plainly from a Jewish viewpoint, its message particularly suited to Israelites, though the wisdom of God has so declared the truth as to make it also of vital importance to Gentiles. Christ is presented here as the King of Israel, His title to this being carefully established. As such He of course has a kingdom, but in Matthew alone this is called "the kingdom of heaven," and here 33 times, though he also calls it "the kingdom of God' a few times. Israel expected the kingdom with its headquarters in Jerusalem, that is, with they themselves in control. The Lord Jesus therefore speaks of "the kingdom of heaven," a kingdom having its headquarters in heaven, though of course the kingdom itself is on earth, a sphere over which Christ has supreme authority. Other Gospels speak of the same kingdom as "the kingdom of God;" but Israel must learn that God's kingdom is ruled from heaven, with no earthly centre of authority.