At the very beginning of Jesus ministry it became apparently obvious what he was going to focus on. The Kingdom. What is the kingdom? Well that is not an answer that I believe that can be answered in a single post. Jesus didn't even do that. I encourage you to join me in this very important conversation. It is one that we need to return unto. It is a message that is so easily forgotten & I'm not sure why.
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him. – Matthew 4:23 – 25 (NIV)
Not too long after his 40 day fast & temptation from Satan, we find this passage about how Jesus began his ministry. Jesus spent the first days of his ministry proclaiming the "good news" of the Kingdom. What did that include? It included making this world a better place to live. It involved reaching out to those who needed him. People who were, sick, lame, diseased, possessed and down & out came to Jesus. He loved on them and healed them. Jesus saw a broken, hurting and messed up world. Jesus saw those who were hurting and knew that this was not right. This was not the way it was supposed to be!
Can we say that a part of the Kingdom of God is the restoration of Creation? The Kingdom of Heaven is also used in the Gospels to refer to the same concept. Heaven, the dwelling place of God is a perfect place. It's a place where everything is as it should be. There is no sin there to mess it up. There is NO sin in heaven. The Kingdom of God/Heaven is God's rule over all of Creation. God is the Sovereign King and He rules His Kingdom the way He chooses. The ways of the Kingdom show us what the world was originally created to be; until sin screwed it all up. The Good News is that you and I were headed to Hell….until Jesus showed up. Jesus' death & resurrection purchased our redemption. This is the Gospel message. This is Good News. God has not given up on the world and has made renewal and restoration available to all.
Creation is headed somewhere. Since Genesis 3 when sin entered the scene it's been a downward spiral for all of creation. Hate, violence, greed, selfishness, indifference and any other sin you can name has been stealing all life from creation. This kind of world is not what God's wants. Thankfully this will not always be true.
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:19-20
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. Acts 3:20-21
The Kingdom of God is a story of God’s mission to renew and restore all that is broken and marred by sin. Jesus began preaching it from the very beginning. Jesus invites us to be a part of putting this world back together again. The teachings of Jesus show us how to do this. Jesus shows us that living a life of peace, grace, forgiveness, etc, is the best way to live. They bring healing.
Jesus preached the "Good News" of the kingdom. What kind of "Good News" is your life showing. You have 2 choices. You can choose to add to the suffering of the world. Or you can choose to join God in putting it all back together again. The latter sounds the way the King wants us to live in His Kingdom. Don't you think?