Jesus teaches his disciples many things, yet focuses on a single theme
WHAT was Jesus’ mission on earth? He himself said: “I must declare the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this I was sent forth.” (Luke 4:43) Consider four things that Jesus taught about that Kingdom, the central theme of his preaching.
1. Jesus was designated King. Jesus directly said that he was the foretold Messiah. (John 4:25, 26) He also showed that he was the King that the prophet Daniel had seen in vision. Jesus told his apostles that he would one day sit on a “glorious throne” and that they too would sit on thrones. (Matthew 19:28) He referred to this group of rulers as his “little flock,” and he also noted that he had “other sheep,” who were not a part of that group.
2. God’s Kingdom would promote true justice. Jesus indicated that the Kingdom would do away with the greatest injustice by sanctifying, or making holy, the name of Jehovah God and clearing it of all the reproach that Satan has heaped upon it since the rebellion in Eden. (Matthew 6:9, 10) Jesus also demonstrated impartiality daily by teaching men and women, rich and poor, without distinction. Though his mission was primarily to teach the Israelites, he also reached out to help Samaritans and Gentiles, or non-Jews. Unlike the religious leaders of his day, he showed no trace of bias or favoritism.
3. God’s Kingdom would be no part of this world. Jesus lived during a time of great upheaval. His homeland was under the domination of a foreign power. Yet, when people tried to get him involved in the political affairs of the day, he withdrew. (John 6:14, 15) He told one politician: “My kingdom is no part of this world.” (John 18:36) To his followers, he said: “You are no part of the world.” (John 15:19) He would not allow them to use weapons of war, even to defend him personally.
“He went . . . from village to village, preaching and declaring the good news of the kingdom of God.”
4. Christ’s rule would be based on love. Jesus promised to refresh people, to ease their burdens. (Matthew 11:28-30) He lived up to his word. He gave loving, practical counsel on coping with anxiety, improving relationships, combating materialism, and finding happiness. (Matthew, chapters 5-7) Because he showed love, people from all walks of life found him approachable. Even the most downtrodden flocked to him, confident that he would treat them with kindness and dignity. What a Ruler Jesus will be!
There was another very powerful way in which Jesus taught about God’s Kingdom. He performed many miracles. Why did he do so? Let us see.