From that time Jesus began to proclaim, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." (Matthew 4:17 NRSV)
Jesus came preaching that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand." What was there about that kingdom that got the fishermen so excited? And why are we not just as excited? Maybe we don't understand what the kingdom is. Or maybe it just hasn't been presented very well.

It reminds me of a woman who read somewhere that dogs were healthier if fed a tablespoon of cod liver oil each day. So each day she followed the same routine--she chased her dog until she caught it, wrestled it down, and managed to force the fishy remedy down the dog's throat. Until one day when, in the middle of this grueling medical effort, the bottle was kicked over. With a sigh, she loosed her grip on the dog so she could wipe up the mess. To her surprise the dog trotted over to the puddle and begin lapping up what had been spilled. THE DOG LOVED COD LIVER OIL. It was just the owner's method of application the dog objected to.

Sometimes I think something like that has happened to the good news of the kingdom of God. It is so wonderful that we cannot describe it. It is so wonderful that is it hard to wrap our minds about it. I believe the more Jesus is a part of our lives the more we will understand God's kingdom.

God of peace, help me to live with the love of Christ everyday, so that I can be an example of your great kingdom. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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