14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God: 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:14 – 15 CSB
Living in the Reign?
What do I mean by living in the Reign? What is the Reign? How do we live in it? I am so glad you asked!
Let’s begin by looking at the verse quoted above. It says that Jesus came proclaiming good news. What was the good news He announced? Our sins could now be forgiven?
We could now go to Heaven when we die?
He announced, “The Kingdom of God has come near!” But what does that mean?
A Time of Promises Fulfilled
Every Jew that heard this announcement would have known what Jesus was referring to. Over and over again in the Old Testament there were promises that God would one day rule the world as King. Look at a couple of these passages with me.
The vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
In the last days
the mountain of the Lord’s house will be established
at the top of the mountains
and will be raised above the hills.
All nations will stream to it,
and many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us about his ways
so that we may walk in his paths.”
For instruction will go out of Zion
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will settle disputes among the nations
and provide arbitration for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plows
and their spears into pruning knives.
Nation will not take up the sword against nation,
and they will never again train for war. Isaiah 2:1 – 4 CSB
Here God is reigning out of Zion. All the nations are coming to Him to receive instruction. The Lord is judging between nations and putting an end to conflicts. It would be a glorious time for sure. Let’s look at another one.
Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
a Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
a Spirit of counsel and strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
His delight will be in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge
by what he sees with his eyes,
he will not execute justice
by what he hears with his ears,
but he will judge the poor righteously
and execute justice for the oppressed of the land.
He will strike the land
with a scepter from his mouth,
and he will kill the wicked
with a command from his lips.
Righteousness will be a belt around his hips;
faithfulness will be a belt around his waist.
The wolf will dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard will lie down with the goat.
The calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf will be together,
and a child will lead them.
The cow and the bear will graze,
their young ones will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like cattle.
An infant will play beside the cobra’s pit,
and a toddler will put his hand into a snake’s den.
They will not harm or destroy each other
on my entire holy mountain,
for the land will be as full
of the knowledge of the Lord
as the sea is filled with water. Isaiah 11:1 – 9 CSB
One anointed by the Spirit will rule in righteousness and faithfulness. The result of His reign will be that all creatures will dwell together in harmony, and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. Wow!
There are many more passages we could look at, but these will give you a taste of the hope the Jews had of a coming King. Now Jesus was announcing that the fulfillment of these ancient prophecies was breaking in upon them.
Notice again in Mark 1 that Jesus announced that the Kingdom of God was coming near. Pay special attention to the word Kingdom. What did He mean by using that term? Most of us think of a kingdom in terms of real estate, like the kingdom of Great Britain. This is not what Jesus was talking about, however.
The Greek word for kingdom is baseleia. It means royal power, kingship, dominion, or reign. You could say that it refers to a king exercising his dominion. In short, Jesus was saying, “The time has come and God is beginning to reign as King!” That can only be a good thing! And if Jesus was proclaiming it, you could bet your life it was the truth.
How should we respond to the news that God is taking charge as King? Jesus said we should repent and believe this good news. This means we should turn away from however we previously thought about life and fully embrace this announcement as a fact. If we truly believe what Jesus said, we will seek to bring every area of our lives under God’s dominion. That is what it means to live in the Reign.