In Proposition 108, George Peters states:
“The formula “Kingdom of heaven” connected with the parables confirms our doctrine of the Kingdom.”
Peters is simply stating in this proposition his belief that the parables of Jesus and the use of the formula/phrase “Kingdom of heaven” by Jesus within the parables, further supports his overall thesis being presented of the doctrine of the Kingdom. I humbly submit I agree with this assertion for reasons that will be discussed below.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 108 is the following:
“We unhesitatingly say that, if the Kingdom, the main leading covenanted subject preached, is what so many style it, then it was the duty of Christ to so plainly proclaim it that, at least, His own disciples should not say what they did, Acts 1:6. Having already vindicated Christ’s preaching, it is not necessary to enlarge. Therefore, we only add: that the Jews did not receive the truth because a spiritual Kingdom was presented in it for their acceptance, but for the reason that these parables, before the setting up of the Kingdom, imposed upon them preparatory duties and intimated a period of time to intervene, which was unpalatable to their hearts and expectations. Hence the parable itself, the real truth contained in it, proved to be instrumental, just as Paul indicates in 2 Cor. 2:14-17. Truths hitherto concealed may indeed be found in them, reference to higher truths still future may be indicated, but never is the leading subject, that of the Kingdom, thus concealed. Covenanted as it is, firmly bound by the oath of the Almighty, it cannot be transmuted into a mystical or spiritual Kingdom by a hidden process, without a violation of unity, language, and Covenant.”
Given the immense importance of the doctrine of Kingdom in Scripture and within the framework of salvation history, for Jesus to ignore this doctrine in his most frequent method of teaching, namely that of parables, would be unthinkable. What is clear from the parables contained in the gospel accounts in which Jesus taught on the Kingdom is that while the parables were presented in a manner that often left his audience, notably the religious leaders, in a quandary, the doctrine of the Kingdom is nevertheless clearly evident and understandable.
Jesus typically provided an explanation of his parables and in those explanations, he outlined this all important doctrine. In those explanations, the exegete can identify how the teaching of Jesus in his parables on the doctrine of the Kingdom connectes to the overall covenantal promises by God throughout Scripture. After all, Jesus taught what he heard from his Father meaning there will be no contradictions to be found between his teaching on the Kingdom and what we find elsewhere in Scripture. Given the promise of the coming Kingdom is a covenant established by God with His people, we can assert that oath will not be broken.
Certainly it can be stated the religious leaders and the Jewish people at large had a misunderstanding of the timing of the promised Kingdom. Perhaps this impacted their ultimate blindness and deafness to what Jesus taught given they ancitipated the Messiah would immediately bring liberation and a return of the Davidic king to the throne. Despite that misunderstanding on the part of the people, Jesus clearly outlined in his parables the nature and timing of the covenant promise from God that the Kingdom would indeed come, albeit at a future time.