“From a strictly historical viewpoint, unless ancient texts come to light, we will never know exactly who Jesus was. But as scholars have researched and gathered information about him over the years, it becomes more and more evident his primary mission was to deliver a special message from God to the Jewish people. He wanted them to know that God’s kingdom was present now, not in some nebulous future. There was no need to wait for some cosmic cataclysm, nor was there any ritual, law, or sacrifice to fulfill. God’s love and mercy were immediately accessible.
As I considered this new perspective of Jesus, I thought of something he reportedly told his listeners: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). To me, he was saying we should enjoy the richness of life in the here and now. There is no need to wait for some future event to occur. We can be in God’s presence at this very moment. I believe this is the “good news of the kingdom” that Jesus came to proclaim.”
Nan Yielding, in “Things I Never Learned in Sunday School”
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