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THE WATCHTOWER OCTOBER 2014

 COVER SUBJECT | GOD’S KINGDOM—WHAT CAN IT MEAN FOR YOU?

God’s Kingdom—What It Means to Jesus

God’s Kingdom—What It Means to Jesus

During his earthly ministry, Jesus spoke about many subjects. For example, he taught his followers how to pray, how to please God, and how to find true happiness. (Matthew 6:5-13; Mark 12:17; Luke 11:28) But the subject that Jesus spoke about more than any other—the subject closest to his heart—was God’s Kingdom.Luke 6:45.

As noted in the preceding article, Jesus centered his life on “preaching and declaring the good news of the Kingdom.” (Luke 8:1) He exerted himself, walking hundreds of miles throughout the land of Israel in order to teach people about God’s Kingdom. Jesus’ ministry was recorded in the four Gospels, which contain over 100 references to the Kingdom. Most of those references are found in the words of Jesus, and yet they must represent just a fraction of all that he said about God’s Kingdom!John 21:25.

Why did the Kingdom mean so much to Jesus when he was on the earth? For one thing, Jesus knew that God had selected him to be its Ruler. (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 22:28-30) But Jesus was not focused on achieving power or glory for himself. (Matthew 11:29; Mark 10:17, 18) He promoted the Kingdom for reasons far beyond his own interests. Primarily, Jesus was and is interested in God’s Kingdom * because of what it will do for those whom he loves—his heavenly Father and his faithful followers.

WHAT THE KINGDOM WILL DO FOR JESUS’ FATHER

Jesus has deep affection for his heavenly Father. (Proverbs 8:30; John 14:31) He admires his Father’s endearing qualities, such as His love, His compassion, and His justice. (Deuteronomy 32:4; Isaiah 49:15; 1 John 4:8) Surely, then, Jesus must hate to hear the lies that are spread about his Father—lies such as that God is indifferent to human suffering and that God wants us to suffer. This is one reason why Jesus was eager to declare “the good news of the Kingdom”—he knew that in time the Kingdom would clear his Father’s reputation. (Matthew 4:23; 6:9, 10) How will it do so?

Through the Kingdom, Jehovah will take drastic, positive action in behalf of the human family. “He will wipe out every tear” from the eyes of faithful humans. Jehovah will eliminate the causes of those tears, seeing to it that “death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.” (Revelation 21:3, 4) By means of the Kingdom, God will eliminate all human suffering. *

 Little wonder that Jesus was eager to tell people about the Kingdom! He knew that it would reveal just how powerful and compassionate his Father really is. (James 5:11) Jesus also knew that the Kingdom would benefit others whom he loves—faithful humans.

WHAT THE KINGDOM WILL DO FOR FAITHFUL HUMANS

Long before he came to earth, Jesus lived in heaven with his Father. The Father used the Son to bring everything into existence—from the mind-boggling heavens with their countless stars and galaxies to our beautiful planet and the wildlife that inhabits it. (Colossians 1:15, 16) Out of it all, though, Jesus became “especially fond of” humankind.Proverbs 8:31.

Love for humans characterized Jesus’ ministry. From the very start, he made it clear that he had come to earth to “declare good news” to those in need. (Luke 4:18) But Jesus did more than talk about helping people. Time and again, he demonstrated his love for humans. For example, when a large crowd gathered to hear him speak, Jesus “felt pity for them, and he cured their sick ones.” (Matthew 14:14) When a man with a grievous disease expressed faith that Jesus could heal him if he really wanted to, Jesus was moved by love. He healed the man, compassionately telling him: “I want to! Be made clean.” (Luke 5:12, 13) When Jesus saw his friend Mary mourning the death of her brother, Lazarus, Jesus “groaned within himself,” “became troubled,” and “gave way to tears.” (John 11:32-36) Then he did the unimaginable—Jesus brought Lazarus back to life although Lazarus had been dead for four days!John 11:38-44.

Jesus, of course, knew that the relief he offered then was only temporary. He realized that sooner or later, all whom he healed would get sick again and all whom he resurrected would die again. However, Jesus also knew that God’s Kingdom would bring a permanent end to such problems. That is why Jesus did not just perform miracles; he also zealously declared “the good news of the Kingdom.” (Matthew 9:35) His miracles demonstrated on a small scale what God’s Kingdom will soon do earth wide. Consider what the Bible promises regarding that time.

  •  No more health problems.

    “At that time the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. At that time the lame will leap like the deer, and the tongue of the speechless will shout for joy.” Additionally, “no resident will say: ‘I am sick.’”Isaiah 33:24; 35:5, 6.

  • No more death.

    “The righteous will possess the earth, and they will live forever on it.”Psalm 37:29.

    “He will swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces.”Isaiah 25:8.

  • Those who have died will return to life.

    “All those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.”John 5:28, 29.

    “There is going to be a resurrection.”Acts 24:15.

  • No more homelessness or unemployment.

    “They will build houses and live in them, and they will plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. They will not build for someone else to inhabit, nor will they plant for others to eat. . . . The work of their hands my chosen ones will enjoy to the full.”Isaiah 65:21, 22.

  •  No more war.

    “He is bringing an end to wars throughout the earth.”Psalm 46:9.

    “Nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor will they learn war anymore.”Isaiah 2:4.

  • No more food shortages.

    “The earth will give its produce; God, our God, will bless us.”Psalm 67:6.

    “There will be an abundance of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains it will overflow.”Psalm 72:16.

  • No more poverty.

    “The poor will not always be forgotten.”Psalm 9:18.

    “He will rescue the poor who cry for help, also the lowly one and whoever has no helper. He will have pity on the lowly and the poor, and the lives of the poor he will save.”Psalm 72:12, 13.

When you consider those promises regarding God’s Kingdom, can you see why the Kingdom means so much to Jesus? While on earth, he was eager to talk about God’s Kingdom to anyone who would listen, for he knew that the Kingdom would bring an end to all the distressing problems we see today.

Do the Bible’s promises regarding the Kingdom appeal to you? If so, how can you learn more about that Kingdom? And what can you do to make sure that you will benefit from its blessings? The final article in this series will answer those questions.

^ par. 5 This article refers to Jesus’ feelings in the present tense because Jesus is alive in heaven, and since his return to heaven, the Kingdom has undoubtedly remained close to his heart.Luke 24:51.

^ par. 8 For information regarding why God has allowed human suffering for a time, see chapter 11 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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