Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)
- TITLE: Jesus Defines the Kingdom of God
By ThresiaPaulose varghese
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The Kingdom of Jesus
The gospel while narrating the passion history begins with a query from Pilate, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Ironically, in the passion narrative according to evangelist John, although Pilate has POWER, Jesus is the one who exercises AUTHORITY over him. It almost seems as Pilate, not Jesus, is on “trial for truth”. Pilate fears the loss of his throne, whereas Jesus declares, “my kingdom is not of this world,” fearlessly challenges Pilate and will die for justice and truth. Yes, his kingdom is a different one built upon justice and truth.
Jesus himself Defines about his Kingdom
1) At the very beginning of his announcement about the Kingdom of God, Jesus creates a sensation with his ministry. “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom 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)
2) Jesus promises the path to the Kingdom of God is a mystery and it will be revealed only to his followers. Jesus says, “It has been given to you to know the mysteries o the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given…Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”( Matthew 13:11, 13)
3) Jesus also defined the thoughts and behavior necessary to enter into the Kingdom of God and taught his disciples that there are distinct differences between god and evil. He stated clearly that one cannot serve both good and evil. “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)
4) The Kingdom of Heaven is based on Justice and love. The kingdom means the sovereign, righteous rule of God. It is a rule in which power and goodness, judgment and mercy are combined. The term Kingdom arose when the nations were monarchies, and it had a more realistic symbolism then than it is now, and it connotes power exercised, not in arbitrary dictatorial authority, but in loving concern. Jesus’ understanding of God was of one whose power is supreme over all he has created, but whose love for every person is that of a father.
5) If anyone wants to enter into the Kingdom of God, he has to keep the commandments of Jesus. Through his commandment the goal of the kingdom is directed toward a redeemed society of persons. A redeemed society here is not identical with a reconstructed social order, though this may well be one of the demands of seeking God’s kingdom and his righteousness in obedience to the love commandments.
6) The law of God has the key to the Kingdom of God. Jesus simplifies and summarizes the commandments into his new commandment- the commandment of love. “ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you , you should also love one another.” (John 13: 34)
7) Jesus insists us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, on which he promises we will get everything. “Strive first for the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, all these things will be given to you as well.”(Matthew 6:33)
Jesus Wants us to reach the Kingdom of God
Jesus came to this earth to take us to the Kingdom of God. He not only showed us the way but also sacrificed his own life so that we may reach that Kingdom o God. Let us therefore live a life fitting to that Kingdom of God which is already existing among us.
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