Jesus talks a lot about the kingdom of God. A lot! Does anyone know what a “kingdom” is? [Accept all answers]. A kingdom, in Jesus’ time, was a large group of people who lived in a land that had a king for a leader. The king usually promised to take care of the people in his kingdom––to help them when they were sick or having any kind of problem. He protected them from other kings and kingdoms. If you had a good king as your leader, you tried to do the things that the king thought were important. You may even have had a picture of him on your wall.
Sometimes Jesus is called “King Jesus”. God is called “king” many, many times in the Bible. One of the ways that Jesus talks about our friendship with God and the happiness God brings us is by saying “living in God’s kingdom.” To be God’s friend is to ‘live in the kingdom”. Lots of people think they have to be good enough and to do lots of good things so God will love them. But that’s not so. God already loves all of us because God made us, because we belong to God.
When you were a baby, did you do the dishes for your mom? Did you vacuum out the car for your dad? Did you win spelling bees or bowling trophies when you were a baby? [Wait for answers]. Did your parents love you when you were a baby? Parents, raise your hands if you loved your babies even though they couldn’t do the dishes. Wow! That looks like everyone. Parents love their children not because they can do good things–––they love them because they are theirs.
That’s just the way God loves us; we don’t earn it. God just loves us. In this Scripture Jesus said, “Little children, it makes God happy to give you the kingdom.” That means you don’t have to do good things to make God love you; God already loves you. We do good things to love God back. God’s kingdom is living with God’s love––getting love and giving love–every single day!
Scripture quotations are the author’s paraphrase
Copyright 2014, Richard Niell Donovan