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Friday, October 31, 2014

Jesus is the Kingdom of God

Then, after John was handed over, Jesus went into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying: “For the time has been fulfilled and the kingdom of God has drawn near. Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
Mark 1:14-15

What is the kingdom of God? Some commentators say it is the reign of God others say it is heaven, some say it is being ruled by God.

I would like to propose that the kingdom of God is Jesus himself. Christianity is not a matter or rules or rituals. It is a relationship with Jesus. This relationship leads us to our  goal in life: to be united with the Father through Jesus.

Based on this perspective, Jesus is telling people that the time is fulfilled or completed. It is the right time and he is here. God himself became man to share in our sufferings and to pay the ransom for our sins. Other translations say "the kingdom of God is close at hand". It gives us a picture that it is so close that we just need to reach out our hand to touch it or to touch him. Jesus is here, close to you. He cares for you and he wants to save you. He wants to take all your sufferings and pain and be with you through them, eventually leading you to victory.

This desire of Jesus requires a response and Jesus himself tells us how to respond. Repent and believe in the Gospel. Repentance is turning away from sin and turning towards God. The truth is we cannot be united with God without Jesus. Many think they can do this on their own and all will fail. Many think they can be united with God by being good. But God did not call us to be good. He called us to be holy. And holiness is God's grace working in us. This is possible only when we accept and obey Jesus.

Turning to God is merely acknowledging our helplessness and asking him to come into our lives. It is as simple as that and that is the good news! Many people think they have to do some great and difficult things to be forgiven. But all they need is to turn back to God.

Christmas reminds us of God being with us. It reminds us that Jesus became man to be with us. Jesus is close at hand. We just need to reach out and touch him. Turn to Jesus. Trust in him because he cares for you and is waiting for you.

Lord, I reach out my hand to touch you. Come into my life and be the Lord of my life.

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