The *Kingdom, and what it means

The Life of Jesus Christ - Chapter 6 - Who is Jesus? - Part 6

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An online Bible Study course by Barrie Wetherill about the life of Jesus. This book is in EasyEnglish Level B. Use the links below for other online Bible Study books and commentaries that will help you. Or go to the Word List, which explains words with a *star.

Easy English Bible homepage | Matthew (commentary) | Mark (commentary) | Luke (commentary) | John (commentary)


Jesus came to set up an entirely new *kingdom. His *kingdom was for people who trusted Jesus. The *Holy Spirit now lived in these people. Jesus did not want to change things in a small way. He was a real revolutionary. (A revolutionary is a person who starts a revolution. But Jesus' revolution was not political. Instead, Jesus set up the *kingdom of God.) That was why he was born in an animalsí shed, and not in a palace, or into a royal family.

People in this world often want only what will give them pleasure. Some people desire money and some people desire power. We recognise such attitudes in the way that the *Pharisees and other people behaved towards Jesus.

But Jesus came to establish a new *kingdom. People who belong to this new *kingdom love perfectly. They serve other people humbly.

A *kingdom for new men and new women

Like any other revolutionary, Jesus saw wrong things in society. For this new *kingdom, he would need new men and women. He needed people whom the *Holy Spirit had changed. They would have new hearts and they would love in a different way.

Also like any revolutionary, he asked us to obey him totally. But he is also not like todayís revolutionaries. His methods are totally fair and loving. Other revolutionaries would not hesitate to use cruel methods to achieve their ambitions. But Jesus was gentle and humble.

How to follow Christ

Just after Peterís words at Caesarea Philippi, we read these words.

Matthew 16:24-28 ĎIf anyone would come to me, he must give up his own desires. He must take up his *cross. [That is, he must be ready to suffer.] He must follow me. Whoever wants to save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for me will find it. A man may gain the whole world, but lose his *soul. That would be terrible. A man's *soul is more important than anything else that he could gain. The *Son of Man [Jesus] will come in his Fatherís *glory with his *angels. Then he will reward each person for what he has done. I tell you the truth about some people here. They will not die before they see the *Son of Manís *kingdomí.

Do we want to follow Christ? Then we must give up our own desires. We must give up the desire to do what other people do. We must give up our jealous ambitions. In these verses, Jesus showed that people are very foolish in this world. Whatever they gain in this world is not really useful. It will have no value when Jesus comes again to *judge the world. It will have no value when we live with him, after death. But suppose that someone did gain the whole world. That person would lose his soul. And he would lose his life with Jesus. Jesus came to give us a completely full life (John 10:10). This only comes to people who follow him completely. So, when we serve Jesus, we should be totally sincere.

Earlier, when Jesus taught his *disciples on the mountain, he said this. We cannot trust anything that we own. It is not safe to do this. In the end that thing will disappoint us. If we have money or valuable possessions, thieves can steal them. Many possessions will lose their value because time will spoil them. If we trust only our family or friends, they will also disappoint us. God made people. He designed people so that they would trust him alone. We are completely safe only when we do that. Jesus came to forgive us. He wants to give us peace with God. [That is, Jesus wants us to be friends of God.] And Jesus wants to give us *eternal life, and security. Because of Jesus, anyone can trust God. First, that person must be really sorry for his *sin. Then that person can turn to God. God will make that person a citizen of the *Kingdom of God. But we must give up the behaviour and attitudes of people who do not obey God.

What does a Christian have to give up?

What does the Christian have to give up? Jesus asks us to give up our *sin. He offers to forgive us. He gives us *eternal life. We trust him. So, we believe that Godís word [the Bible] is true. And the Bible teaches new attitudes to us.

The life of the *apostle Paul shows us this. When he became a Christian, he gave up a good career. He gave up the chance to be an important man in his nation. Even although he was young, he was already a leader. He gave all this up for Christ. There were more things that he had to give up later. But Paul always said that he gained so much more. What he gained in Christ was much better than his old life. Paul had new attitudes now. To do well in his career was not important to him now. Popularity was not important now. What was important was to please God. We can see this when we read his letters. Nothing else in life could satisfy him. He was really happy only when he was pleasing God. Here are his words.

Philippians 3:7-10 I achieved many things. But these things do not seem worthwhile now that I know Christ. In fact, I think that everything in this world is of little value. But I have received something much better: I know Christ Jesus my *Lord. I have lost everything because of him. But I consider that these things are like rubbish. I have gained Christ. I belong to Christ. The law could not make me good. But Christ makes me good as I trust him. God makes me really good because I believe in Christ. I want to know Christ and the power of his life. I am willing to suffer like Jesus and to become like him in his death. Then I will also become alive again, as he did, after death.

The *apostles could not possibly know this when Jesus was with them. Their ideas about Jesus' *Kingdom were still wrong. But they knew enough to understand this. Jesus was the *Saviour. God had promised this *Saviour. So, they should trust him. And they should obey him.

Read: John 6


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