Jesus had a very clear and deliberate message. It wasn’t that he is the Son or God and divine, though that is part of the message. It wasn’t that we are saved and will go to heaven when we die, though that is part of the message. It was the message of the kingdom.
It is a kingdom that was launched during his ministry, death and resurrection. It is a kingdom that has come to transform not only our lives, but also our enemies and the nations (races and cultures) of the world.
And it’s a message that has a very clear “how to” built into it. This kingdom doesn’t come like the kingdoms of the world, but in exactly opposite terms. This is something for us to really get our head and lives around. The kingdom and the “how to” are outlined in all Jesus’ teachings and actions.
The kingdom model is inclusive, in the sense that it is caring for all others. It isn’t for us as individuals only, but one where the people of the world are included in our family and we are included in their family through the gospel message. It is a gospel that is shown and preached through the way it is lived out.
It isn’t a kingdom in which we live our own lives and give aid to others. It is a kingdom where the very cultures and structures of our lives are changed to bring justice and an entirely new way of doing things to the world. This justice brings healing: Isaiah’s vision of the fulness of God’s plan coming to pass in the earth.