Jesus had already preached that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, and when he sent forth his twelve apostles he commanded them to preach and say, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Jesus himself taught the doctrines of the kingdom, but in the words of our text there is implied deeper ideas of the kingdom of God yet to be revealed in all their fulness of meaning.
[Sidenote: The body of Christ]
We should divest our minds, temporarily at least, of preconceived ideas of formal church organization and earnestly seek to understand the real signification of that church of which Christ was himself personally the founder. A few texts make this point clear: "And hath put all things under his [Christ's] feet, and given him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Eph. 1: 22, 23). The church, then, is the body of Christ. Of this body Jesus himself is the head. "And he is the head of the body, the church ... that in all things he mi