Paul refers to the Father’s affection for Jesus by calling it the ‘kingdom of his beloved Son’. Obviously, the kingdom is the sphere over which Jesus rules, and we will consider some other aspects of it shortly. But what is the connection between Jesus as king and the love of his Father?
First, we know that his inauguration as king was an expression of fatherly love. The Father invited the ascended Saviour to sit at his right hand, and this invitation was marked by heavenly love. Second, the promise of the Father at the inauguration was that he would make all the enemies of his Son into a footstool for his feet – because of his love for his Son, the Father desires that Jesus will be completely exalted. Third, the relationship of love that is expressed between the Father and the Son will be the predominant feature of the kingdom activities of Jesus – he will perform his various roles with love for the objects of his actions, that is his people, whether in bringing each of them to know him initially or working in and through them at different times and in different ways. All will be an expression of divine love.
With such a king, what is his kingdom like? Many things could be said, but I want to mention three. First, the kingdom of Jesus is full of his loving compassion. We can see this aspect of kingdom living in the way Jesus interacted with needy people when he was on earth. He showed compassion to all kinds of people, and he rules in this manner yet.
Second, the kingdom of Jesus is full of loving security. The king is determined to keep all of his people safe, and the great motive for his determination is his great love for them. It is impossible for them to be lost as long as Jesus loves them – and he will love them for ever.
Third, the kingdom of Jesus is full of loving use of all its limitless resources. The king bestows lovingly on his people every gift he freely gives them, whether it is peace, guidance, insight, answer to prayer, etc.
This kingdom of Jesus exists in two places – some members of it are on earth and other members of it are in heaven. Those in heaven are more capable of appreciating the love of the King. Yet there are expressions of his love that can only be known on earth. For example, it is from earth that we send up prayers for deliverance from temptation – the deliverance he gives from them can only be known on earth. So we should value such experiences while we have them, because in heaven such deliverances do not happen.