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Understanding the Kingdom of God

My Friend Debbie     What was the message of Jesus? Many people would answer this question by saying, "The message of Jesus was love." Since many of Jesus' teachings were centered on love, it is easy to come to that conclusion. After all, the greatest of the commandments involved love. However, when taking a closer look at His teachings throughout scripture, it is interesting to learn that the core of His message was about the kingdom of God; therefore, what Jesus actually proclaimed, first and foremost, was not solely that we should love, but that we should repent and believe in the Good News.

     This was the first description of Jesus' ministry in the Gospel of Mark: "Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel,' " Mark 1:14, 15 (NAS). Throughout Jesus' ministry, the kingdom of God was the focal point of His teachings. People were to enter that kingdom through repentance and faith. As Jesus demonstrated, the ministry of proclamation involves the announcement of eternal truth and the call for personal commitment.

     According to his book, Christianity Through the Centuries, Earle Caims says, "Any careful study of the Gospels will reveal that the kingdom was the primary message of the teachings of Christ." Jesus explained that this was not just a future kingdom, but that it was composed of all human beings that were willing to submit and follow after Him.

     Many of Jesus' parables explain something about this kingdom: it is like a mustard seed, a treasure, a merchant looking for pearls, and a king who gave a banquet (Mt 13:44,47; 22:2). Jesus even defines his purpose in light of the kingdom. "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose," Luke 4:43 (NAS).

     Therefore, in order to fully understand the message of Jesus, as well as His ministry, we must first seek to understand what He taught concerning the kingdom of God. And then we must endeavor to carry out that message to its fullest extent.



     1Jakob Balling, The Story of Christianity (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmens Publishing, 2003), 22.

     2Earle E. Cairns, Christianity Through The Centuries (Michigan: Zondervan, 1996), 54.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Candace Gaines

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