Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). These words were spoken in contrast to what the Jews were seeking at that time. They had become a secular nation, even though that was not God’s plan, and in their daily lives were primarily concerned with the things of this life. The people of God were seeking first the material life to the exclusion of the spiritual life in most cases. Jesus said, “For all these things the Gentiles seek” (Matthew 6:32) in order to signal to them how they, the people of God, had become like the people that lived without God. The difference between God’s people and the Gentiles would be what they sought. Jesus was saying in other words, but you be different and seek the spiritual things, and that was the kingdom of God.
Jesus spent much of his ministry preaching and teaching about the kingdom and that it was very near (Matthew 4:17). He taught about the coming of the kingdom of God and also the nature of that kingdom through many of his parables (Matthew 13:10-11). The Jews had forgotten the prophesied purpose of the kingdom of God (Isaiah 2:2-4). They had forgotten that the kingdom of God would not be secular nation in one place, but that all nations would come to form the spiritual kingdom (Isaiah 2:2-4), and that is what took place on the day of Pentecost in the city of Jerusalem as the gospel was preached, believed, and obeyed (Acts 2:14, 36-41). Those that responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ were in fact seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33, Acts 2:41, 47).
Jesus’ words should ring true in our century as they did when he walked upon the earth some 2,000 years ago. One that is not a Christian can seek first the kingdom of God by believing and obeying the gospel of Christ (Colossians 1:13, 1 Peter 1:18-19, Acts 2:47). Seeking Jesus is seeking the kingdom of God (Acts 8:4, 12) because Jesus shed his blood on the cross for the kingdom of God, the church (Acts 20:28, Matthew 16:18-19). You can seek Jesus and by doing so seek first the kingdom of God and be added to the saved to continually walk in the light (1John 1:7-9).
Jesus’ words should continue to ring true in our century for those that have become Christians and in doing so were added to the church, or the kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13). However, like the Jews of the first century it is easy to become sidetracked in this world and be concerned with the material, the secular kingdom, and the traditions of men. It might come as a surprise to some Christians, but the church of Christ waves no earthly flag, and if a Christian truly desires to seek first the kingdom of God, then it will not be done with a flag. A song that Christians have sung for years is “The Banner of the Cross.” Seeking first the kingdom of God means letting the banner of the cross be seen and without being colored by the flags of the secular nations. The banner of the cross represents what Jesus did and in waving that banner we are seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. What would Jesus tell us today? “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”