virus: the kingdom is at hand!

Eric Boyd (
Thu, 6 May 1999 16:12:22 -0400


I wrote: "I ask again, what did Jesus teach"

Snow Leopard <> writes: >Jesus said, I shed my blood for the remission of your sins. and

>1) You're forgiven, sin no more
>2) I will die to remove your sins
>3) The law is made for man, not the other way around

You've missed the entire point of Jesus's preachings -- and instead concentrated on the things he did to prepare people for what his preachings dealt with. Jesus's message was not so much "I forgive you" as "Repent -- for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand". Once people repent -- which he sometimes acknowledges by pointing out the "faith" they have -- then he forgives (and heals) them. To really see that this is his entire mission in the early years, one need only look at his first activities:

Matt 3:17
"From that time on Jesus began to preach "Repent, for the kingdom of
heaven is near"

Mark 1:14
"After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming
the good news of God. "The time has come," he said, "The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news".

Luke 4:43
"But he said "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the
other towns also, becuase that is why I was sent". (see also Luke 4:18-19)

Then, one can verify that this same mission still consumed him much later -- what did he send his disciples out to preach?

Matt 10:7
"As you go, preach this message: the kingdom of heaven is near"

Mark 6:12
"They went out and preached that people should repent"

Luke 10:9
"Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'the Kingdom of heaven is
near you'"
Luke 10:11
"Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near"

As a final note, about half of the Parables Jesus uses begin with
"What is the kingdom of God like?", or something similar. Many of
them are very instructive, but overall, I've never been sure what exactly Jesus meant by his Kingdom. Just when I think I've got it, I find something entirely different. Maybe you know what he meant?

Towards the end of his mission, Jesus began to see that people had rejected his message -- and this is echoed in his frequent cries of
"who do you (or the people) say I am?". Jesus was a man seeking to
make an impact, and finding instead that people did not understand his message (a sentiment which is itself repeated many times throughout the Gospels). Interestingly, he begins to see himself in the Suffering Servant passages in Isiah -- and this likeness is enough to pave the way for the coming Christian theology at the hand of Paul.

... I had hoped that you would find Jesus's emphasis on the Kingdom yourself -- it's difficult to miss -- but since I seem to have to spell things out, so be it. I recommend reading an entire Gospel to put Jesus's mission in context.