Kingdom

 

What was the message of Jesus?  What was his agenda?
 
The gospels show that Jesus was always speaking about two great interrelated themes: the kingdom of God and eternal life. 
 
His message was:

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)

 
What is the kingdom of God? 
 
The kingdom of God is quite simply the will of God being established on earth by Jesus.  
 
Jesus taught his followers a prayer known as The Lord’s Prayer. It includes the words: 

“Your Kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

The kingdom of God is life governed by God’s justice, peace and love.  That is why the announcement that the kingdom of God is near is good news.  At least, it is good news for those who want to see evil overcome in the world.
 

In what sense has the kingdom of God ‘come near’?

The kingdom of God has come near in the coming of Jesus.  Jesus embodies the kingdom.  His presence radiates the kingdom.  Indeed, Jesus himself is ‘the King’.
 
The title most often given to Jesus in the Bible is ‘Messiah’ (Hebrew) or ‘Christ’ (Greek).  These terms basically meaning ‘King’.  So ‘Jesus Christ’ literally means ‘Jesus the King’. 
 
Jesus said that the kingdom of God should be our number one priority:
 
Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well. (Matthew 6:33)
 

What is life meant to look like under the kingship of Jesus? 

The gospels tell us that Jesus spoke a great deal about these things:
  • He told his followers to love their enemies. The kingdom of God means forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.
  • He told his followers to care for the poor. The kingdom of God means justice for the marginalised
  • He told his followers to trust in God not in wealth. The kingdom of God means being driven by love not materialism.
 
 

Love Care Trust

The kingdom enables us to live life as it was always meant to be lived.
 
‘Eternal life’ is a theme particularly important in John’s Gospel  It is not just a life that goes on forever; it is the quality of life found in the Kingdom of God.
 
Jesus said about his followers:

I have come in order that they might have life – life in all its fullness.(John 10:10)

 
The life of the kingdom of God flows out of peace with God – the experience of God’s presence and love in our lives.

 

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3)