Proclaim the Kingdom

MEMORY SELECTION: “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” —Matthew 9:37,38

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Matthew 9:35 – 10:1, 5-15

A SCRIPTURE that Jesus applied to himself is found in Isaiah 61:1,2 which reads, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” When Jesus repeated this prophecy as recorded in Luke 4:18,19 he was in effect making a public proclamation of the purpose for his ministry.

The mind of Jesus was enlightened by God’s Holy Spirit and for the first time the details were revealed of how the reconciliation between God and man would be accomplished. This was the Gospel, the good news of the kingdom, that Jesus was anointed to proclaim. He stated: “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”—John 9:4,5

Jesus knew that his ministry was to be of relatively short duration and the time would come when he could no longer work and, therefore, it was incumbent upon him to be active while it was day. It is a staggering thought that during his ministry Jesus was the only true light in the world for no one else had as yet been blessed with the Holy Spirit. Only Jesus was able to know God and proclaim his message of truth.—Matt. 11:27

The record reveals that Jesus fully occupied himself in doing the works of his Father, which was in essence the proclamation of the kingdom. Even the miracles which he performed were illustrative of the work that will be accomplished during the kingdom, and were evidence or proof of his messiahship.

In Isaiah 59:20, 21 there is a wonderful prophecy concerning the footstep followers of Jesus and the privilege they have of sharing with our Lord the gift of the Holy Spirit and the enlightenment of mind concerning God’s word. The text reads: “The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.” (Emphasis ours)

At our Lord’s first advent he came only to “Jacob” (or Israel) and from Israel a remnant accepted him as the Messiah. But when he was rejected the Gospel went to the Gentiles to make up the balance of the “seed.” And this call has been extended down through the Gospel Age—even until now. The important part of the prophecy is the assurance that the same spirit that was upon Jesus and the same words that the spirit revealed to Jesus have been promised to his footstep followers. This being the case the “seed” has the same commission to preach the Gospel.

Jesus, in the fifth chapter of Matthew, admonishes his would-be-followers: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”—vss. 14-16

The general thought of the text is that those who are favored with light have a privilege and a responsibility to let it shine, not only by preaching the Gospel of the kingdom but by the everyday conduct of life. If this is done, it will bring glory and honor to the Father which is in heaven.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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