What does kingdom represent in the Gospels that speak of the “kingdom of God ” and the “kingdom of heaven “? What about the expression “The kingdom is at hand ” (Mt 3:2 and elsewhere)?
Matthew uses “kingdom of heaven ” where other Gospels speak of the “kingdom of God. ” They mean the same thing: an acceptance as normal what God considers normal.
Jesus describes two groups of people who differ radically about what normal means (Mt 25:31–46). Thus, they ask the same question: “When did we see you naked? ” and so on. Their questions reflect what each group considers normal. The saved people consider generosity normal. The condemned people do not.
Those who are saved are willing to be stretched until God can become “all in all, ” as St. Paul writes (1 Cor 15:28). The kingdom of God has already begun, but it is not yet complete.