Jesus Came to Establish the Kingdom of God

Jesus’ itinerate ministry was packed into three brief years. He grieved the error, false teaching and hypocrisy he confronted at every turn. His mission was to drop truth like a plumbline into the confusion. Through word and example, he would reveal his heavenly Father’s true nature. He would shed the light of God’s glory into earth’s darkest crevasses.

Jesus was God’s special envoy of another kingdom. From the outset of his ministry, he proclaimed the arrival of “the kingdom of God.” “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.” (Mark 1:15) What amazing news! Though we are functioning in an earthbound place with its daily dramas, take heart, another kingdom is in our midst!

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.”

(Mark 1:15)

Jesus described the sequence and impact this way: “The Law and the Prophets were until John (the Baptist); since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is urgently invited to enter in.” (Luke 16:16) Jesus directed his followers to make the kingdom the object of their deep desire and fervent prayer: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

Yet, the kingdom of God can seem mysterious. E. Stanley Jones, who wrote several classic books in the mid-twentieth century, understood its significance. He refers to the kingdom of God as a unifying worldview, “God’s all-out answer to man’s total needs” and our “native land.” He says, “All science, all knowledge, all achievements, all nations, all persons, all things must be related to this Unshakable Kingdom in surrender and obedience and alignment or else end in frustration and failure and decay.” (The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person, p. 53, 33)

With Jesus’ focus on the kingdom, we might wonder if he had one eye on the kingdom he was proclaiming, and the other on the garden he knew from the time of Creation. Was he connecting dots in a way that further clarifies God’s grand design?

As noted earlier, Jesus said, “Everyone is urgently invited to enter in.” What a compelling invitation: to grasp God’s true nature; to draw upon his forgiveness and grace; to honor him; to love him; to allow him to give us identity and shape our individual destinies. To intimately bond with the God who created us for close fellowship with himself, the God who would do anything, even at the sacrifice of his own son, to reestablish the bond he desired from the beginning.

Today can be the day when you accept this invitation and take your first step in knowing God personally. Ultimately, the choice is yours to believe that Jesus died for you and rose from the dead and to turn away from your sin and accept Jesus as your Lord. You were created with the ability to think for yourself, and this isn’t a decision anyone else can make for you. Are you ready to start your relationship with God?

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

(Matthew 6:10)