Thoughts from Luke 4:43
After being tempted by the devil, Jesus went to Nazareth and preached His first sermon. Then, He journeyed to Capernaum where He taught in the synagogue. Next, He went to Simon’s house where He healed Simon’s mother-in-law. After that, He departed and went to a lonely place.
The multitudes tried to keep Him from going away, but Jesus said: “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” Clearly, Christ was sent to earth for the purpose of preaching the kingdom of God. Given His mission, it was necessary for Him to go to other cities. He would not restrict this message to just one city.
The kingdom of God was a topic constantly on the lips of Jesus. When He began His ministry, He preached the kingdom of God. Throughout His ministry, He referred to the kingdom. Moreover, He exhorted His disciples to preach about the kingdom of God. His death did not change His emphasis and resurrection. Between His resurrection and His ascension, He talked with the disciples about the kingdom of God.
In our next “thoughts” we will talk about (1) Christ and the Kingdom, (2) the Spirit and the Kingdom, (3) the Scope of the Kingdom, and (4) the Future of the Kingdom. The implications for us are astounding. The kingdom of God is like the pearl of great value (Mt. 13:46). When people see what the kingdom is, many of them will seek the kingdom of God and find peace in their hearts.
More Thoughts from Luke 4:43
Today, our topic is Christ and the Kingdom. The kingdom of God is God’s kingdom. Because He has always existed, His kingdom has always existed. Nevertheless, the presence of the kingdom became known in a new way when Christ came to earth. Jesus came to establish the kingdom of God on earth.
When Christ began preaching, He preached the kingdom of God. It was clear from the beginning that He was talking about an ideal kingdom. The ideal kingdom is the perfect form of a kingdom. He only ministered on earth for three years. Early in His ministry, it became evident that the ideal kingdom would not be fully established, or realized during His earthly ministry.
This did not come as a surprise to God. It was all a part of the divine plan. Jesus was the lamb slain (Rev. 13:8) from the foundation of the creation! Jesus must walk a paradoxical road (Phil. 2:5-11) before the ideal kingdom would be established. He had to be the Servant Messiah before He could be the King Messiah. It was necessary for Him to suffer, die, and be resurrected for the forgiveness of the sins of men.
How should people respond to the preaching of the Kingdom of God? In Mark 1:14-15 we read, “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” All who hear must repent and believe the gospel.
More Thoughts from Luke 4:43
Today, our topic is The Holy Spirit and the Kingdom. The Holy Spirit is God. He has always existed. He empowered Christ during His ministry. He empowered the disciples. Then, when Christ was near the end of His earthly ministry, He spoke about sending the Holy Spirit to help us (John 14:16).
The Holy Spirit exalts Jesus Christ. Our gospel is first, last, and always centered in Christ. Going further, the Spirit is the bridge between the kingdom of God and this world. Through the power of the Spirit great measures of the Kingdom are realized among us. When the Spirit is present, and Christ is exalted, we know that God is among us. When God is among us, the kingdom of God is present.
Jesus declared that the Spirit would teach us and bring His teachings to our remembrance (John 14:26). He would guide us into all truth (John 16:13). The very name of the Spirit, which is the Paraclete, indicates that He will defend us, comfort us, and help us. Although Jesus is not physically present with us, we are not left alone. He has sent His Spirit to help us.
In addition, the Spirit will empower us. We read about this in Acts 1:8. Jesus was soon to ascend. The disciples were concerned about when the kingdom would be restored to Israel. Jesus told them that it was not for them to know when this would happen. Then, He went on to talk about the baptism in the Spirit which would empower the disciples to witness. Today, the church is an expression of the Kingdom.
In our next “thoughts” we will consider the scope of the kingdom and then the future of the kingdom. Your comments are welcome.
More Thoughts from Luke 4:43
Today, we will focus on the scope of the Kingdom. Right away, we notice that the scope is comprehensive. Even though the kingdom is not fully realized and established now, no aspect of life is untouched. When Christ returns, we will realize the ideal of all aspects of life. Here, I will mention just three aspects of our lives that are included in the kingdom.
First, the kingdom has to do with righteousness. When we believe in Christ, we become righteous in Him. In an absolute sense, there is only one perfect person. His name is Jesus. When we are in Christ, we inherit His perfection. In this life, we grow and mature in Him and constantly become more like Him. When He returns, we will live out that perfection fully.
Second, Jesus preached the kingdom of God. Many times, along with His preaching, He healed the sick, cast out devils, and performed miracles. According to Matthew 4:23: “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.” When Jesus worked miracles, the kingdom of God was present (Luke 11:20).
Not every illness is healed in this life. We do not always see the miracles we desire. However, we do know that all things are in His hands. We know that ultimately, in the long run, we will be made completely whole. As believers in Christ, we cannot be defeated.
Third, many people were concerned about what they would eat, drink, or wear. Jesus was concerned about all these matters, but His approach to meeting the need put everything into proper perspective. He said (Mt. 6:33): “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
When we pray, we must pray with faith. We can pray to believe that God will care for us in every way. Through faith in Christ, the power of the Spirit, and our determination to trust and obey, His kingdom will be present in our lives. He will take care of us. We can cast all our cares on Him and rely on Him to be with us.
More Thoughts from Luke 4:43
We have discussed the relationship of Christ and the Kingdom, the Holy Spirit and the Kingdom, and the Scope of the Kingdom. Today, we will consider the Future and the Kingdom. In the future, the ideal Kingdom will be realized.
When I say the “ideal” Kingdom, I am referring to the complete rule of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom itself has always been perfect, but the rule of the Kingdom is not totally realized until Jesus returns. When Jesus returns, He will come back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will rule in justice, love, and power. All the goals of the kingdom will be realized.
We read about the future Kingdom in Rev. 21:3-4: “3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
When He comes, we will reign (2 Tim. 2:12) with Him. The ideal future includes us as leaders with Him. Our lot is to be side-by-side with Him in ruling the universe. I do not think that the Word has fully revealed all that will take place. It would be too glorious for us to comprehend. We have much that awaits us!
We do not know when Christ will return. However, we do know what our task is until He comes. In our text, Jesus said: “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” Jesus has commissioned us to carry on this task.
When Jesus gathered His disciples on the Mount of Olives near the end of His earthly ministry, He told them (Mt. 24:14) “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.” Only God knows when this forecast has been fulfilled. Meanwhile, we must do all we can to fulfill the Great Commission.
George M. Flattery, Ed.D., is the founder of Global University and Network211.