Discipleship Mini-series - Part 4 - Gospel of the Kingdom of God
I strongly recommend listening to the audio, bellow is a brief summary of what is covered in the audio. Also the text bellow is taken from my post on Being a Disciple. I have broken that post down into 6 mini-posts where the focus is on the audio content.
Jesus’ disciples, and children of Israel, in general, were experts in messing up, constantly missing the point, oftentimes misunderstanding and falling short of what God desired for them. The disciples were often confused by Jesus’s teaching, they were continually messing up. That means there is hope for you and me.
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to 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 NKJV
Jesus talked about many things, and all of them together give us a better understanding of the Kingdom of God. People misunderstood Jesus partly because they misunderstood what the kingdom of God was all about. We have the same danger today. So many think of the kingdom of God as something that happens after you die. Others think of it as something that will be established in the distant future. And though the gospel of the kingdom of God, does emphasize a hope after death and the second coming of Jesus, Jesus preached the kingdom of God also as having a very practical impact in our lives presently.
The best way to preach the kingdom of God that will be established when Jesus comes again is by giving people a glimpse of it now! If people believe that the kingdom of God is playing harps in a cloud, they may not be very interested in it at the present. But what if they realized that the kingdom of God is about community and helping each other and selflessness and a focus on the other?
What if people experienced, right now, in this sinful world, that the kingdom of God is about humility and service?
In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
-Matthew 6:9-10 NKJV (bold mine)
The model prayer begins with a request for the kingdom of God to come, and with a description of what that would look like, the will of God being done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus prayed for a re-establishment of the kingdom of God. This means making God king once again. Here on earth just like God is king in heaven.
Like the disciples of Jesus, we miss the point. We fall short. We rebel. We want God’s kingdom to come later. Right now I want to live for my kingdom, when I die then I’ll enjoy God’s kingdom.
Jesus emphasized the kingdom. He lived in such a way that He brought that future to the present. There will be no more death! So He raised the dead. There will be no more disease, so He healed the sick! Jesus lived a life of service that revealed to those around Him the realities of the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus’ ministry also included, preaching and worship at church.
Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; but He said to them,“I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.
- Luke 4:42-44
But it did not stop there. Preaching and teaching and worship are integral parts of ministry and of the kingdom of God, but it cannot be all there is to it.