If someone shared some good news with us, I doubt many of us would expect talk about a kingdom. Why? First, not many of us know much about kingdoms—we prefer freedom over a king. Second, we think a kingdom is not a solution to personal problems. Third, we do not associate a kingdom with good news. We think of professional politicians, not liberation.
At the core of Jesus’ teachings was the coming of a kingdom (Matthew 4:17). That kingdom was good news. Why? First, Jesus taught Jewish people who for generations expected a kingdom. Second, they expected the kingdom to liberate them from their enemies. Third, this kingdom would provide God’s protection and preservation. Worry about the future would end!
However, what they anticipated and God’s intent were not the same. What God gave them (and us) surpassed their expectations, but not their desires. As is common, they thought human desire was superior to God’s intent. God would bring a kingdom that would provide freedom and protection that ended worry about the future, but it would not be physical. People want the physical! As we say, “Money talks!”
One primary difference between God’s intent and Jewish expectation was where that kingdom would exist. The Jews expected a physical, external kingdom that regulated people’s behavior through laws and traditions. God intended an internal kingdom that regulates behavior through individual commitment.
Thus, no matter what happens externally, God directs the individual eternally. What transpires in this physical world will not limit what God provides. God’s kingdom is good news. God’s intent always surpasses human desire!
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