What Is God’s Kingdom? How to Show We Want It
DO YOU know the prayer Jesus taught his followers?— If you don’t, we can read it together from the Bible, at Matthew 6:9-13. The prayer, which many call the Lord’s Prayer, includes the words: “Let your kingdom come.” Do you know what God’s Kingdom is?—
Well, a king is the ruler of a country or territory. And his government is called a kingdom. In some countries the head person in the government is called the president. What is the Ruler of God’s government called?— The King. That is why God’s government is called the Kingdom.
Do you know whom Jehovah God picked to be King of His government?— His Son, Jesus Christ. Why is he better than any ruler that men may choose?— It is because Jesus really loves his Father, Jehovah. So he always does what is right.
Long before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Bible told about his birth and said that he would become God’s chosen Ruler. Let’s read about this, at Isaiah 9:6, 7, from the King James Version. It says: “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called . . . The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.”—Italics ours.
Do you know why the Ruler of God’s Kingdom is here called “The Prince”?— Well, this prince is the son of a king. And Jesus is the Son of the Great King, Jehovah. But Jehovah has also made Jesus the King of His government, which will rule the earth for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6) After Jesus was baptized, he began “preaching and saying: ‘Repent, you people, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.’”—Matthew 4:17.
Why, do you think, did Jesus say that the Kingdom had come near?— Because the King, who would later rule in heaven, was right there with them! That is why Jesus told people: “The kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:21) Wouldn’t you like to have Jehovah’s King so close to you that you could even touch him?—
So tell me, what important work did Jesus come to earth to do?— Jesus answered that question, saying: “Also to other cities I must declare the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this I was sent forth.” (Luke 4:43) Jesus knew that he could not do all the preaching himself. So, what do you think he did?—
Jesus took people along with him and showed them how to do the preaching work. The first ones he trained were the 12 he chose as apostles. (Matthew 10:5, 7) But did Jesus train only his apostles to do this work? No, the Bible says that Jesus also trained many others to preach. In time, he sent out ahead of him 70 other disciples in groups of two. And what did they teach people?— Jesus said: “Go on telling them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” (Luke 10:9) In this way the people learned about God’s government.
Long before in Israel, new kings would ride into the city on a colt to show themselves to the people. Now this is what Jesus does as he visits Jerusalem for the last time. You see, Jesus is going to be the Ruler of God’s Kingdom. Do the people want him as King?—
Well, as he rides along, most of the crowd begin laying their outer garments on the road in front of him. Others cut down branches from the trees and put these on the road. By doing this they show that they want Jesus to be their King. They cry out: “Blessed is the One coming as the King in Jehovah’s name!” But not everyone is happy. In fact, some religious leaders even say to Jesus, ‘Tell your disciples to be quiet.’—Luke 19:28-40.
Five days later Jesus is arrested and is taken inside a palace to appear before the governor, Pontius Pilate. Jesus’ enemies say that Jesus claims to be a king and that he is against the Roman government. So Pilate asks Jesus about this. Jesus shows that he is not trying to take over the government. He tells Pilate: “My kingdom is no part of this world.”—John 18:36.
Pilate then goes outside and tells the people that he finds no fault with Jesus. But now the people don’t want Jesus to be their King. They don’t want him to be set free. (John 18:37-40) After talking with Jesus again, Pilate is sure that he has not done anything wrong. So, finally, after bringing Jesus outside for the last time, Pilate says: “See! Your king!” But the people shout: “Take him away! Take him away! Impale him!”
Pilate asks: “Shall I impale your king?” The chief priests answer: “We have no king but Caesar.” Can you imagine that? Those wicked priests have been able to turn the people against Jesus!—John 19:1-16.
Today it is very much as it was then. Most people really don’t want Jesus to be their King. They may say that they believe in God, but they don’t want God or Christ to tell them what to do. They want their own governments right here on earth.
What about us? When we learn about God’s Kingdom and all the wonderful things that it will do, how does that make us feel toward God?— We love him, don’t we?— How, then, can we show God that we do love him and that we want to be ruled by his Kingdom?—
We can show God how we feel by following Jesus’ example. And what did Jesus do to show that he loved Jehovah?— “I always do the things pleasing to him,” Jesus explained. (John 8:29) Yes, Jesus came to earth ‘to do God’s will’ and “to finish his work.” (Hebrews 10:7; John 4:34) Consider what Jesus did before he began his preaching work.
Jesus went to John the Baptist down at the Jordan River. After they waded into the water, John put Jesus all the way under the water and then lifted him out again. Do you know why John baptized Jesus?—
Jesus asked John to do it. But how do we know that God wanted Jesus to be baptized?— We know that because when Jesus came up out of the water, he heard God’s voice from heaven say: “You are my Son, the beloved; I have approved you.” God even sent his holy spirit in the form of a dove down upon Jesus. So by being baptized, Jesus showed that he wanted to serve Jehovah all his life, yes, forever.—Mark 1:9-11.
Now you are still growing up. But what are you going to do later?— Will you be like Jesus and get baptized?— You should copy him, for the Bible says he left you “a model for you to follow his steps closely.” (1 Peter 2:21) When you do get baptized, you will be showing that you really want to be ruled by God’s Kingdom. But it is not enough just to be baptized.
We need to obey all the things that Jesus taught. Jesus said that we should be “no part of the world.” Would we be obeying him if we become involved with things of the world? Jesus and his apostles stayed away from such things. (John 17:14) What did they do instead?— They talked to other people about God’s Kingdom. That was the big work in their lives. Can we do that too?— Yes, and we will do it if we mean what we say when we pray for God’s Kingdom to come.
Please see these other scriptures that tell us what we can do to show that we want God’s Kingdom to come: Matthew 6:24-33; 24:14; 1 John 2:15-17; and 5:3.