Our next reference, the 33d separable reference to kingdom, is Matthew 4:23 (and I’ll tie this with #40, 9:35). Very important little sketch of Jesus’ ministry by Matthew: Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him..
1. This passage finds its complement in 9:35. The two of them together surround the Sermon on the Mount and chps 8-9 (miracles, discipleship) to make this section into one grand presentation: “Here is Jesus.”
2. The news going around everywhere might — just might — be an allusion to all flesh of Isaiah 40 hinted at in Matthew 3:2.
3. Most importantly, Jesus’ ministry is three-fold:
b. Preaching kingdom
c. Healing one and all.
4. Kingdom, so it seems to me, refers to the power of God at work in Jesus in this ministry of teaching, preaching, and healing. Kingdom may only refer to the preaching part, in which case we are not given clues.
5. At the minimum, we have to see kingdom in its word-sense: it refers to a King, to a King’s will, and to a King’s society. Now present in some sense, or at least now being announced.
6. I think #4 may be a fuller sense but I think one has to connect kingdom to healing and to this massive attraction to Jesus — showing again the christological focus of anything close to kingdom.