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Bright and early, Jesus spoke in Mark 1 (ESV):

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

What is the meaning of the kingdom of God is at hand in light of the Lord's prayer?

NET Bible Matthew 6:

10 may your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

What is the meaning of the following?

May your kingdom come even though the kingdom is at hand.

Related question:
What is the meaning of "The time is fulfilled" in Mark 1:15?

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  • I just posted an answer to your question now at hand. But again, I noticed that you had already acknowledged Dottard's answer (within a matter of just a few hours) and before I'd even seen your Q., let alone even begin to answer. I thought you said that you were going to do better in future.... Again, a good Q. nevertheless, upvoted + 1. Aug 15, 2021 at 21:05
  • Thanks for the reminder. I'll try to wait longer.
    – user35953
    Aug 15, 2021 at 21:15
  • @user35953-See comprehensive answer of Ray Grant below. "Timing" is awesome indication of supernatural quality of biblical prophecies!
    – ray grant
    Jul 3, 2023 at 22:34

5 Answers 5

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The Kingdom of God, as understood by the NT writers had two stages:

  • Phase #1. The establishment of the earthly kingdom of God, the Christian church as described frequently in the Gospels. This kingdom of God/heaven began with the resurrection of Jesus. The apostles were specifically instructed to:

Acts 1:8 - But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

  • Phase #2. When Jesus returned the second time, God will pronounce what was prophesied in Rev 11:15 -

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.”

This point in time is known in Bible-langue as the great "eschaton" is spoken about in future langue when Jesus returns, Matt 16:27, 24:30, 31, 38, 39, 42, 26:64, Mark 8:38, 13:26, 27, Luke 21:25-28, John 14:3, Acts 1:11, 1 Cor 1:7, 4:5, 11:26, Phil 3:4, 20, 1 Thess 1:9, 10, 3:13, 4:16, 17, 5:23, 2 Thess 2:1, 2, 8, Titus 2:12-14, 2 Tim 4:8, Heb 9:28, 10:25, 37, James 5:7-9, 1 Peter 2;12, 2 Peter 3:8-10, 1 John 2:28, 3:2, 3, Rev 1:7, 3:11, 22:12, 13, 20, 21, etc.

This has obviously not yet occurred! However, were still part of the kingdom of God, now and wait for the "not yet" of the future, complete kingdom of God.

CONCLUSION

Mark 1:14, 14 is discussing the immanent arrival of the Jesus Messiah who would by His death and resurrection establish the earthly kingdom of God. Matt 6:10 is describing Jesus' instruction to His disciples to pray for the completion of the kingdom of God at His return.

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What is the meaning of Mark 1:15 in light of Matthew 6:10?

Note the explanation of this scripture in the web series "Bible Verses Explained" on jw.org:

Meaning of Mark 1:15

Jesus Christ said that the Kingdom of God was “at hand,” or had “drawn near,” because he, as the future King of that Kingdom, was present on the scene.

Jesus did not mean that the Kingdom had already begun ruling. In fact, he later indicated to his disciples that the Kingdom was still in the future. (Acts 1:6, 7) However, he had arrived right on schedule, in the very year that the Bible had foretold he would appear as the future King. For this reason, Jesus could say: “The appointed time has been fulfilled”​—the time for him to begin his public ministry of preaching the gospel, or good news, regarding the Kingdom.—Luke 4:16-21, 43.

For people to benefit from the good news about the Kingdom, they needed to repent, that is, to feel regret over past sins and to live by God’s standards. Those who repented showed that they had faith in the good news about that future Kingdom.

Context of Mark 1:15

Jesus said these words at the start of his ministry in Galilee. “From that time on,” states the parallel account at Matthew 4:17, Jesus preached about the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom was the theme of Jesus’ ministry. In fact, the Kingdom is mentioned over 100 times in the four Gospels, most often in statements that Jesus made. In the Bible record, Jesus spoke more about the Kingdom of God than he did about any other subject. [bold mine]

So Jesus was beginning of the Kingdom to be established. How does this relate to Mattew 6:10?

The Israelites knew that Jehovah God would be establishing a new Kingdom (Daniel 2:44). During the first century, they were still waiting for that Kingdom. Jesus was the first evidence of Jehovah God beginning to fulfill that prophecy.

As previously mentioned, God's Kingdom was not going to be established while Jesus was here on earth. Jesus was now preparing the Israelite nation (and future Gentiles) to seek that Kingdom in earnest. Asking for the Kingdom's arrival in prayer was how Christ's disciples would keep their focus on that Kingdom.

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    Good answer. Upvoted +1. Nice tie in to Dan 2:44. We will most likely not agree with when the 69th week of Daniel's '70 Weeks' prophecy ended. For years I believed, like the JW's, that the end of the 69th week heralded the start of Jesus' ministry (with his baptism even) and that the 70th week was the week following, with Jesus' death being at the half of that week. It wasn't until I was enticed into an 'in depth' study, resulting in a 4000 word essay, of this most revealing prophecy that I realized the truth of the matter (IMO) and an extract of this essay is included in my answer here. Aug 15, 2021 at 21:29
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What is the meaning of Mark 1:15 in light of Matthew 6:10?

...time is fulfilled... Mark 1:15

In Daniel's '70 Weeks' prophecy and in particular Dan 9:25, the 7 weeks and 62 weeks, amounting to 69 weeks (483 years), was to end with the 'death' of Christ. See the following extract from a previous answer of mine:-


......."So you are to KNOW and DISCERN that from the issuing of a decree to RESTORE and REBUILD Jerusalem (NOT the Temple, that was the earlier decree of Cyrus, the Persian) until MESSIAH the Prince (RULER), there will be SEVEN weeks and SIXTY-TWO weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress."

.....these were to be weeks of (360 day) years...483 years (69 x 7 years, 1 x 7 years shy of the full 490 years), 173,880 days, to be more precise. If this number was to be divided by regular days in a year i.e. 365.2422 one would arrive (after rounding) to 476 years only, whereas 483 is to be the all important (prophetic) number. Let me explain: The angel Gabriel, appearing to Daniel as if a "man", informs Daniel that he is to KNOW and DISCERN the relevant decree, to RESTORE and REBUILD Jerusalem, leading to the MESSIAH. The question should be: "Are we talking, birth; beginning of ministry; death; or even ascension??? Let me give you a clue and it's to do with that number 483.

The most popular consensus, among many a theologian, as to which decree (involving Israel) starts the countdown to the MESSIAH, is the first decree of ARTAXERXES I of Persia, in 458/7 BC (7th regnal year), which involved the Jewish priest Ezra. BUT, they use the modern 365.2422 year and base their calculations on an erroneous 27 AD baptism and 31 AD death of Jesus, instead of the 29 AD and 33 AD truth. See: "7 clues tell us precisely when Jesus died..." https://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/when-precisely-did-jesus-die-the-year-month-day-and-hour-revealed

If on the other hand, we take the second decree of ARTAXERXES I, the less popular consensus, which was in 445/4 BC (20th regnal year), which involved the Jewish leader, Nehemiah, rather than Ezra, this is the ONLY decree, especially when taken from the Spring of 444 BC - when using the, more relevant to the time, (360 day) year - that can survive the math. Artaxerxes' first regnal year started in the Spring of 464 BC (20 years before 444 BC), even though his father XERXES died in August of 465 BC. This was due to the murderer of Xerxes, i.e. Artabanus (one of the king's ministers) usurping the throne, for apparently 7 months, before Artaxerxes killed him.

NOW, if we count down 483 (360 day) years (remember the "0" year), or 173,880 days, from the Spring of 444 BC, we come to the Spring of 33 AD, the proven season and year of Christ's "DEATH", not baptism.......


When Jesus was talking here in Mark 1:15, he was at the beginning of his ministry, half way through the 69th week. At the end of the 69th week, Jesus was to be crucified, and after 3 days and 3 nights be resurrected, then after several ethereal appearances to his disciples, and others, ascend to sit at the right hand of God, to begin his Kingdom rule....albeit in heaven only, NOT yet on earth. Compare the following verses from the NASB:-

Gal 4:4

...But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His son, born of a woman, born under the Law...

Eph 1:10

...with a view to administration suitable to the fulness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth...

1 Tim 2:6

...who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time...

Titus 1:3

...but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God...

Matt 6:10

In contrast to Mark, Jesus is talking again, later on in his ministry, giving advice on how one should pray.

When Jesus tells his disciples to pray for God's kingdom to come, they are also to request that God's 'will' be done on earth. In other words, they were to ask for God's kingdom to come on earth.... AS IT SOON WILL BE (at hand) IN HEAVEN.

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Jesus also said that “God’s kingdom is within you, which could mean a heavenly character trait, of which “holiness” probably is the first that comes to mind, because of the words in Leviticus 20: “Be holy, as I am holy”. And that praying “let your kingdom come”, then would mean to let it come in our hearts; meaning “help us to become and stay holy”.

That “the time is at hand” might refer to Christ’s crucifixion, which portrayed the way of salvation; the debasement of fleshly desires.

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Very Near When Jesus BEGAN his ministry, it was appropriate for Him to announce that the Kingdom was at hand. Jesus was incarnated to establish a Kingdom, symbolically "sitting on the Throne of His ancester King David (Matthew 2:2, Luke 1:67-70). {Also foretold in Daniel's prophecy, 7:14, and Isaiah 9:7} It was about to happen! The excitement was building.

Process toward Realization But there were several things that had to be accomplished before the actual "Coronation" and establishment of the Kingdom on Earth. Actually it took a transition period from Jesus' appearance unto the final destruction of the O.T. Temple (30-70 A.D.) to get rid of the old Mosaic order and fully introduce the Kingdom of God on earth. (Hebrews 8:13) The Old Covenant had to make way for the New Covenant to fully come in.

Prayer So the prayer given to the disciples was in the midst of this time. Jesus wanted them to "anticipate" its coming to--and establishment--on Earth. Asking the Father in prayer for this was an appropriate thing to do. A lot of events were to transpire that would need the Father's providence and aid. Serious things! Because something is at hand means it is about to arrive, but hasn't yet come. It is about to be manifest, but...there's this thing about rejection, a crucifixion, a resurrection! A victory suitable for a King! (Ephesians 1:18-23!) And also the Destruction of the Temple since the blood sacrifices would be unnecessary. Prayer is always necessary in times of major transition. Amen.

The Time Has Come This establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth was prophesied about several times in the O.T. The Time of its appearance was even foretold. Marj was undoubtedly referring to this when he said, The time is fulfilled. Or, The time has come (NIV). The point of fulfilment has arrived! {See Daniel 9, and the Seventy Heptad time foretold} Even John the Baptist recognized this time (Matthew 3:2).

Even the ancient Roman historians, Seutonius and Tacitus, wrote that the Jewish scholars were expecting a fifth kingdom to be set up during the first century! Of course, they thought it ludicrous that a Jewish kingdom could ever conquer Rome! But they were unaware of who the King of it was to be! Or that there were men praying to the Father above for help in setting it up!

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  • Paving the way for the Kingdom on Earth may well have commenced in earnest with the foretelling of the Messiahship of Jesus by way of John the Baptist, but, in Matthew 3:2, John's proclamation of the coming kingdom was with regard to the Kingdom of heaven... "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Even Jesus after his baptism, confirming his Messiahship, said the same thing (Matthew 4:17), which was after his temptation by the then, and still present, ruler of the earthly kingdom. Until Satan is abyssed (has not yet happened), Matt, 6:10 is on hold ..... Jul 3, 2023 at 12:30
  • Kingdom of Heaven Altho some religious ministers claim that the Kingdom of Heaven is different from the Kingdom of God, the SYNOPTIC references reveal that they are indeed the same entity. One term played to the Jewish audience, and the other to the other nations who were reading the Gospel. So if one Kingdom is said by the Bible to be fulfilled (being fulfilled), then it also applies to the other Kingdom terminology as well. (Luke 11:20, 17:21, God; Matthew 11:12, 16:19, 19:14, Heaven) Noticed that when Jesus gave parables of the Kingdom, He likened it to events then occurring.
    – ray grant
    Jul 3, 2023 at 20:42
  • The Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God are indeed the same entity, but for the Kingdom of God to be ruled by the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS ... "On earth as it (already) is in heaven", Satan has not only to be dethroned but jailed as well. Unlike some other things, this should not be hard to understand. Jul 3, 2023 at 22:33
  • Present Kingdom The Kingdom parables of Matthew 13, et al. show the earthly Kingdom to be progressive in permeating the earth. This spiritual Kingdom (not observable) has local embassies in every nation, of which its ministers are Ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20) Christ is King, but what good is a King without a Kingdom? He indeed reigns now throughout the earth, until he has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Cor. 15:25-26). There are other enemies, tares, and smelly fish in His kingdom now to be sure...but the King is a'comin, at the right time.
    – ray grant
    Jul 3, 2023 at 22:59
  • Excuse me!! It is not the earthly Kingdom that is progressive in permeating the earth, it's the Kingdom message. The 1st Century Great Commision being instrumental in this. Jesus may well have been given all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt, 28:16-20), but he does not yet rule over the earth, as he does presently - and has done since his resurrection/ascension - in heaven. He only rules as "King" of his Kingdom, in the true sense of the word, in heaven at this time. Armageddon will change that however. Jul 4, 2023 at 0:04

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