Grand Canyon University: BIB 354
Within scripture and the gospels, Jesus was an incredible teacher and preached the good news of the kingdom of God to those around Him in his ministry. In the Gospels, he is called teacher more than 40 times, which proves that he was truly an influential figure and people hung to every word he spoke. Within his words and teachings, he talks about a variety of topics such as love, forgiveness, and purity. However, the big picture for Jesus as a teacher was speaking truth and pointing people towards the coming of the Kingdom of God. The majority of what he spoke on centered on this idea of kingdom, ...view middle of the document...
In His teachings during his ministry, he references the “kingdom of God” 87 times (Stein, 1996). What makes the coming of the Kingdom interesting is that the Jews expected it to look a little different. The understanding was more political than eternal or a heart change. The expectation was that Jesus coming would lead to an overthrow of the Roman rule and empire (Stein, 1996). However, as we see from scripture and from how Jesus approached teaching about the Kingdom, it was not this. In Matthew chapter 5 verse nine it says “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” (NIV). Clearly, the Kingdom of God as described in this passage is not one to overrule with force or power, but displays more of an eternal heart change where Jesus’ love will be known (Busenitz, 2012). The Gentiles are called to be “peacemakers” and build the Kingdom through a role of love.
Kingdom is for the Poor, not just the Elite
Along with the Kingdom being present and preached as eternal, it was also meant for a group of people that was not necessarily expected. The kingdom was not meant for a certain group of elites, but was meant to be for the lost and broken. It was for the poor and the sick, the ones who were in need of a savior. The Gentiles were to play a role in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom came to fulfill Old Testament prophecy and promise that the outcasts of this world would be saved and fought for (Barrick, 2012). Jesus called forth tax collectors, prostitutes, the lame, the sick and weak. The outcasts that no one dared to go near or associate themselves with, Jesus approached them and gave them the Kingdom of God. In Matthew chapter 11 verses 4 through 6, Jesus is sending a message to John the Baptist saying that the outcasts are being changed because of the coming of Jesus. At the end of this scripture, Jesus says “…and the poor have good news brought to them” (NIV). The Kingdom of God came for the poor so that they may be saved through the Messiah, Jesus Christ.