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RE:QUEST

A space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith

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Jesus: The Kingdom of God

What did Jesus teach about the Kingdom of God?

 

Jesus taught a lot about the Kingdom of God; it was central to his teaching. But what exactly is the Kingdom of God, and how do people enter it?

Christians believe that the Kingdom of God is not a physical place on earth, you cannot draw a map of it or visit it for holidays. The Kingdom of God is the domain over which God reigns as King. So wherever God is 'in charge', that's where his kingdom is.

Jesus taught that to enter the Kingdom of God, people must be born again. That is when they decide not to follow their own ways, which are often self-centered, but to live a new life with God in control. Jesus often compared the kingdom of God to a seed planted in the hearts of men and women. Everyone has the seed of the kingdom within them, but it will grow only if given the proper 'care and feeding.'

Jesus talks about this in his famous Parable of the Sower:

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 13:3-9)

At another time Jesus said that in order to inherit the Kingdom of God a person must become like a child.

People often discuss what Jesus meant. What do you think he meant? Why do you think Jesus would want people to be more like children than adults?

Jesus went on to explain the parable of the sower: “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:18-23 How might this teaching affect a Christian's actions and choices?