Sovereignty, Sonship and the Supreme Desire
Sovereignty – God is King and sovereign Lord over all. He reigns not only over the material physical worlds of the universe he created but also over the spiritual world which transcends the material plane of time and space.
Sonship – membership in the Kingdom of Heaven means the recognition that you are a Son of God, made by Him, your Father who lives in Heaven. God is really your Father, it is not just a metaphor that Joshua is referring to – our biological parents are co-creators with God, they participate in the creation of children, though in reality we are children of creation. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Supreme desire to do the will of the Father. To be a member of a religious organization or church is not necessarily to be a child of God. To be a true faith-son of God one must have the will of God as their highest desire. When the will of God is an obligation or duty, when it is your law or rule, then you are not really a true son. When the will of God becomes your will, then you are a true faith-son of the Living God.
The Prince of Peace based his gospel, his religion on a fact: that God is our Father and we really are his sons. Everyone is a son of God: to love our neighbor as ourselves was not a new concept to the Jews. What was new was that Joshua expanded the idea of a neighbor to include all nations, races, tribes, sexes and religions. The Jews only believed that their neighbor was another Jew. The gentiles or heathens were not their neighbors nor were they members of the elite chosen people.
Are not all men and women our brothers and sisters? Are we not all created by God?
The Hebrews had a racial God. The goyim – which is variously translated as nations, people, gentiles or heathen – figuratively means a herd of animals or swarm of locusts, disclosing their low opinion of other peoples.
The fact that Israel was ruled by the heathen Romans was a blow to their national pride which the Deliverer was supposed to relieve. The radical message that there is neither Jew nor Gentile in the Kingdom of Heaven was a slap in the face to many of the intensely nationalistic Israelites.