As I write this sunny morning in Jerusalem, I gaze across rocky hillsides dotted with shrubs and small trees. Bible scenes come alive here. Easily I envision Jesus beginning His Sermon on the Mount: “One day as He saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around Him, and He began to teach them.”
As Matthew 5:3 declares, Kingdom blessings begin to flow once a person realizes he or she is poor and in need of God.
Last night I sat by a busy Jerusalem street watching hundreds of people walk by. Only a few miles away from me, maybe on a similarly warm evening, long ago “a Jewish religious leader…came to speak with Jesus. ‘Rabbi,’ he said, ‘we all know that God has sent You to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with You.’” (John 3:2)
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” As their conversation further progressed Jesus presented Nicodemus with the Gospel: “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
It might be easy to overlook the significance of John 3:16 since it is so familiar. It’s a perfect outline of the Good News. In only one sentence, Jesus touches on all the vital truths needed for eyes to open to the Kingdom:
- the world
- He gave His one and only Son
- believe in Him
- will not perish
- have eternal life
This is the Gospel. To everyone who repents, believes and receives Jesus, the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs! Without the King, there is no Kingdom. May we never try to establish the Kingdom without the King. We have an amazing message we’re to proclaim. “This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached as a witness to all peoples….” (Matthew 24:14)
Question for reflection: The Abrahamic Covenant says, “I will bless you…all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” What was the first blessing on Jesus’ list of blessings and why is it so important?
Kingdom prayer: Lord Jesus, within the next few days, please open an opportunity for me to share Your Good News with someone poor in spirit who realizes his or her need for you. Amen.