John the Baptist and Jesus begin their work

Part 2 of an EasyEnglish Bible Study Course on the Life of Christ

www.easyenglish.info

Words in boxes are from the Bible. A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

A *prophet is here!

Barrie Wetherill

John the Baptist began his work suddenly. Very soon people began to talk about him. He lived in the desert. The desert was east of Jerusalem, near the Jordan river. Very few plants grow there. Very few animals live there. It has bad soil. The soil has chalk in it. Stones and rocks cover the ground.

John the Baptist's clothes

John wore simple clothes. He wore a kind of long coat. Men made clothes like this from camel’s hair (Matthew 3:4). Elijah wore a coat like this (2 Kings 1:8). Such a coat would last for a long time. It was cheap. It was suitable to wear in the desert. Also, it was a sign. It showed that this man was a *prophet.

 

John the Baptist's food

John’s food was very simple also. He ate 'wild honey and locusts’. [The Bible mentions wild honey several times. It is honey that has appeared naturally (without the help of men). Locusts are large insects with legs and wings.] Probably John did not only eat wild honey and locusts. This shows us what kind of man he was. Most people tried to please themselves. They lived in that way. John did not please himself. He wanted to show people this. John did a special work for God. This lasted for only a few months. But it was very important. People listened to John’s words.

There had been many *prophets since Moses lived. The Jews knew this. But after the time of Malachi, no *prophet had spoken for 400 years. People wanted very much to hear from God. There had been so many wars. God had promised them a *Messiah. So, the people asked, 'When would the *Messiah come?' Long ago Elijah had appeared quite suddenly. Now John came in the same way. He shouted out his message (Matthew 3:2) -

John’s message A new *kingdom

John’s message was very important. He said that there would be a new *kingdom. It would be the *kingdom of God. This *kingdom would have many good things. The *prophets wrote about this. There would be joy, peace and security.

It seems that John expected Jesus to set up a political *kingdom. The *disciples thought this too, even after Jesus came back to them. Jesus became alive again after his death. Then the *disciples asked Jesus when he would set up the *kingdom (Acts 1:6).

For the present time, the *kingdom is a *spiritual *kingdom. Neither John nor the *disciples understood that. It is the time when Christians *preach the good news about Jesus. They teach the good news all round the world. In the future, Jesus will come back to the world again. The full *kingdom will come only then.

John was not the *Messiah himself. He told this clearly to the crowds. He was merely the person who came first. He came with the message about the *Messiah.

What is the *kingdom of God?

The *kingdom of God means this: God rules in our hearts and in our lives. So, we love him. And we obey him. Jesus said, 'The kingdom of God is inside you’ (Luke 17:21). People are wicked. So all other *kingdoms had failed, because they could not teach people to love God.

But, in the *kingdom of God, God would 'write his laws inside us’. He promised this by his Spirit (Jeremiah 31:34). Before we can live in this *kingdom, we must *repent. This was John’s message. We have done wrong things. We must be sorry for these things. We must invite God into our lives. We must live like God wants us to. But nothing can happen unless we *repent. This comes first.

*Repent and believe

We must *repent. This message is all through the Bible. It is there many times:

Jesus himself spoke this message, when he began his special work for God. That happened soon after John appeared publicly (Matthew 4:17).

It was an important part of the message of Peter. Peter spoke on the day of *Pentecost (Acts 2). Later, Peter spoke about the message to a great crowd in the *Temple. He said that they should repent (Acts 3:19).

It was an important part of Paul’s message. He travelled to many countries. Paul spoke about Jesus. He said that people must repent (Acts 26:20). 'Repent and believe’. This was the message.

John’s message of trouble!

John said that the *Messiah would come soon. This was a joyful message. But John would not have been a popular *preacher today. He warned some people about the way that they lived. He wanted to help people. People should have the right kind of fear of God. God’s *kingdom has some essential things. John knew these things. God’s kingdom is a *kingdom of *righteousness. God’s *kingdom can have nothing evil in it God must destroy anything that is evil.

John warned the *Pharisees and *Sadducees

God would *judge the people of Israel. John knew this. They would have to *repent. The *Pharisees and *Sadducees came to John. They asked for *baptism. They probably did this because John was very popular. John’s message was hard. But people liked him. The *Pharisees and the *Sadducees controlled the people. They did not want to lose control. John spoke hard words to these leaders of the Jewish religion.

Later (Matthew 3:10) John said this: God will destroy many people. Some people will not obey him. He will destroy those people. John continued:

Matthew 3:7 You are like snakes! You do not deserve to escape God's anger.

 

Matthew 3:11, 12 I *baptise you with water. This will show that you have *repented. But there is someone more powerful than me. He will come after me. I am not important enough to be his servant. He will *baptise you with the *Holy Spirit and with fire. A farmer keeps his good wheat. But he burns the straw. And this powerful person, who is coming, will be like that. He will keep good people safe. But he will punish wicked people severely.

God will *judge the world

God will *judge the world. That is what John was saying. God is good. And he will *judge everyone. We know that nobody is good by nature. The only way to avoid God’s anger is to *repent. John spoke often about this when he *preached. He told the people to *repent. Then they would change. They would live in a different way. They would think in a different way (Luke 3).

People who pretend to *repent

John was not sure about the *Pharisees and *Sadducees. That is clear. They only wanted people to admire them. This can happen today. Some people do not *repent completely. You may pretend to *repent. Perhaps you think that you have *repented. Other people, and even yourself, think that you have *repented. But it is not true. God gives us good things. You will not have all these good things. He gives us these things when we trust Jesus.

John *baptises Jesus

Matthew 3:13-17, Luke 3:21, 22

Jesus' *baptism

People had done wrong things. Some people were sorry for the wrong things. John *baptised those people. Jesus came to him, with other people, for *baptism. John tried to stop him (Matthew 3:13). Christ himself had done nothing wrong. He had no *sin to *repent of. But Jesus was going to begin his public work. This was the time. He wanted to show that he was a man. People should think that he was a man. He came to rescue people. He was like these people. Immediately the *Holy Spirit came down on Jesus like a bird. A voice spoke from *heaven, 'You are my Son. I love you. I am very pleased with you’ (Matthew 3:17).

John recognized that Jesus was the *Messiah

God had told John how to recognise the *Messiah. 'I would not have known him, if God had not told me this. The *Holy Spirit will come down and remain on him. He will be the man who will *baptise with the *Holy Spirit’ (John 1:33). At this time God gave power to Jesus. Jesus had work to do. It was the power of the *Holy Spirit for this work (Acts 10:38).

On another day, John saw Jesus near him. The *Holy Spirit told John to say this to the crowds, 'Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the *sin of the world’! (John 1:29). Neither John nor the crowds could have understood this completely at that time. Later, Jesus died. He then came to life again. Jesus said many things. After that, men could understand many of these things better.

The Lamb of God

This name for Jesus is only here in John 1, in the *New Testament. 'The Lamb’ is sometimes a name for Jesus in the Book of Revelation. It is not clear what John the Baptist meant. It is not clear what his *disciples understood by this phrase. Here are some of the possible meanings:

• •

The *Passover Lamb – Exodus 12

To remind us of the animal which God gave in Genesis 22:13. It was the *sacrifice in place of Isaac

The lamb which Isaiah 53:7 mentions

 

The lambs which the Jews offered every morning and evening as *sacrifices in the *Temple

The lambs which Jews gave to God as *sacrifices, when they were sorry for their *sins. 'The Lamb’ could mean any of these. Perhaps John did not mean only one thing. What is important

is the idea of *sacrifice. Jesus would be the *sacrifice to take away *sin.

John's authority to *baptise

John spoke about Jesus with great power. People believed that John was a *prophet. He showed this by the simple way that he lived. He showed this by what he said.

Afterwards, the men who ruled in the *Temple came to Jesus. They came just before he died on the *cross. They asked him what authority he had. Why did he do the things that he did? Jesus replied with a question:

The men from the *Temple refused to answer Jesus' question. They could not say that men told John to *baptise people. All the people believed that God had appointed John to be a *prophet. So Jesus then replied, 'Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things’.

The *Devil tries to make Jesus do wrong things Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13

Immediately after the *baptism, the *Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert. There the *Devil tried this: to make Jesus do wrong things. This event is very important in the life and work of Jesus. Perhaps it is the most important event. It is a very serious and holy event. We must know about it. Jesus was alone in the desert. Only Jesus knew about what happened there. At some time he must have told his *disciples about it. Both Matthew and Luke write about it.

In the desert

This happened immediately after Jesus’ *baptism. The *Holy Spirit led him into the desert. He was there for 40 days (Luke 4:1). There is a desert between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. Probably Jesus was there. The Jewish name for that area means 'The Waste Land’. It is 35 miles in one direction and 15 miles in the other. [That is 56 kilometres in one direction and 24 kilometres in the other]. It has dusty hills and bare rocks. They are rough and sharp. Nothing can grow there. It is very hot. The land is high up. But there is a steep cliff. Below that is the Dead Sea.

People believed that wicked *spirits ruled the desert. (Jesus speaks about this in Matthew 12:43). The *Holy Spirit led or sent Jesus there. What happened to Jesus seems to be continuous. It did not just last for short periods. Clearly the experience was worst at the end of the 40 days. There, in the desert, Jesus met the *Devil.

Jesus’ purpose

Alone with God

What was Jesus’ purpose during those 40 days?

People in the Bible were often alone for a long time. During such times, they prayed and thought about God. Often this was before they did an important work for God. Sometimes it was before God had a special message for them. Men like Moses and Elijah were often alone with God for a long time. They were active men. They changed the world for good. When they were alone with God they learned more about him. They learned more about the power of the *Holy Spirit.

Mark 11:29 I will ask you one question. Answer me. Then I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. Did God appoint John to *baptise people? Or did John's authority come from other people?

God wants us to know him better. This is how. Sometimes we can make ourselves nearly crazy with too much activity. He does not want this. He wants us to get right with Him. He wants us to spend time in thought and prayer about him. Then we can be sure about what he wants. When we do something, we do it in God’s way. We do it for God, with his power.

This was very important for Jesus. He came to show us what God is like. He helps us to understand God. He came to bring us back to God. We could never do this ourselves. Jesus knows that. How could he do it? There is a right way to obey God. Here Jesus established for always that right way. Men admire importance and power. Jesus chose to suffer and to die. The *Devil came to him at the beginning. There was a special reason for this. The *Devil wanted to make Jesus do wrong things. He wanted Jesus to choose his method, and not God’s method. This is very important for us, when we work for God.

The *Devil's scheme

The *Devil is *prince of this world. He rules over people. He makes them do wrong things. But Jesus, who is the great friend of people, had come into the world. The Devil saw this. At Jesus’ *baptism God showed it clearly to all. The *Devil’s rule was going to end. Jesus would set men free from that rule. The *Devil decided to fight Jesus with all his strength. He had attacked Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Here he attacked the second Adam in the desert. The second Adam is Jesus.

How to defeat the *Devil

Adam and Eve had done nothing wrong. The *Devil tried to make them do wrong things. Christ had also done nothing wrong. The *Devil tried to make him choose wrong things too. We can learn two things from this.

The *Devil will try to make us do wrong things. This is not a *sin for us. The *Devil tried to make even Jesus do wrong things. It is *sin only when we give in to it.

This happens in everybody’s life. It happened to Jesus. And it will happen to us. Jesus defeated the *Devil. So he can give us power to defeat him too.

The *Devil tests Jesus for the first time Matthew 4:3, 4 Luke 4:3, 4

Jesus had not had a meal for 40 days. Jesus was now very, very hungry. Then the *Devil came to test him. In that particular desert there are stones (called lapides or septaria) that look like small loaves of bread. Everywhere that Jesus looked he would see these stones. There are also stones there that look like fruits. People call them Elijah’s melons. [A melon is a large round fruit.] The *Devil tried to test Jesus the man. The *Devil was very clever. It is not wrong to have what we need. We must live. Jesus had powers as God. Why should Jesus not use these powers? They could supply his needs. This was the first time that the *Devil tested him.

'Make this stone become bread'

This *Devil's scheme was clever. Jesus could have used this method to make people believe in him. If he gave out free bread, crowds would come to him. (In fact, this happened later. But Jesus never obeyed the *Devil. In fact, Jesus cared about the people who followed him. He cared about their needs. So, he fed hungry people. And he cured ill people.) But Jesus did not come to the world to make life better. He came to make better men and women.

The *Devil wanted Jesus to give
n to hunger. To desire food is a common physical need. It is not wrong to be hungry. But it is always wrong to obey the *Devil. The *Devil did not tempt Jesus with sex. The *Devil was too clever to do that. Instead, the *Devil used something that a hungry man really needed. That is, Jesus needed food.

 

Jesus trusted God

Jesus did not give in. Instead, Jesus trusted God.

God made people. He wants people to trust him. He had led Jesus into this desert. There God allowed Jesus to be hungry. God would choose when Jesus' hunger would end. And God would choose how it would end. But it would not be right for Jesus to make it end. And it would be terrible if Jesus obeyed the *Devil. The common needs of life are important. But it is more important to obey God.

How did Jesus answer? He did not argue. He used the authority of the Word of God [that is, the Bible]. He said:

The *Devil tests Jesus for second time Matthew 4:5-7, Luke 4:9-12

The Devil put Jesus on the very top of the *Temple. This was to test him. He told him to throw himself down. He said this: 'God would protect Jesus. Words from the Bible show that. This would impress the crowds of people who saw it. The Bible says, "For he will tell his *angels to protect you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands. Then you will not hit your foot against a stone".' Psalm 91:11-12

A powerful thought

The *Devil tested Jesus with a powerful thought. It is very clever. Perhaps the *Devil did not think that he would win the first time. He wanted to prepare for the second time. Then he tested Jesus again. Jesus refused to obey the first time. He trusted that his Father would care for the needs of his body. 'Quite right!', said the *Devil. And the *Devil used this trust. He mentioned the words from Psalm 91 to make his idea seem right. He used only some of the words. He did not use the words that come first. These words are very important:

Study the Bible carefully

This reminds us about an important principle. We need to know the words of the Bible well. If we think of Bible words, we must be careful. If somebody mentions Bible words to us, we must be careful. If the words tell us to do something wrong, we must be careful. There are other words round these words. We must think about them too. Think about the whole story. And think about the message in other parts of the Bible, too. Only then can we know if we really understand the words. People can use the Bible in a right way or in a wrong way.

People wanted to see *miracles

Many people would oppose Jesus. He knew this. Many people would not trust him, unless they saw special signs. They needed signs. These proved that he was from God. If he could impress them by a few special signs, people would believe. They would very easily believe that he was the *Messiah. The *Devil suggests that this would be wise. It would be an easy way to give a sign to the people. Then they would listen to Jesus.

Jesus knew that his Father will guide him. He also knew what God does not want. God does not want foolish behaviour. He does not want anyone to be in unnecessary danger. He does not want anyone to force him to act.

When the *Devil tested Jesus in this way, Jesus replied. He spoke words from Deuteronomy 6:16:

'The Word of God says, “Man does not live by bread alone” '.

'v9 Make the *Most High, who is the Lord, your home and your safe place – v10 then no hurt will come to you. You will be quite safe’.

It is wrong to test God.

 

These are very important words. Jesus knew about the events at Massah. This was when the Jews were in the desert. We can read about it in Exodus 17:1-7. The Jews complained about Moses. They said, 'Is the *Lord among us or not’? They were really complaining about God. They wanted God to do something. They made Moses ask God for water, by a *miracle. The Jews wanted a sign, that is, a *miracle. This would prove that God was with them. God would help them in his time and in his own way. They had to learn this. God will help us in his own good time. We have to trust God.

God's way

Jesus would not use the *Devil's way to make people believe in him. He would not show his power like this. He chose God's way, although it was the hard way. He chose to serve other people. He chose to suffer. His life ended at the *cross. But after the *cross, it led to *glory. People who trust Jesus now, must also choose God's way. It has been like this ever since the time of Jesus.

The *Devil tests Jesus for the third time Matthew 4:8-11, Luke 4:5-9

The *Devil showed Jesus all the *kingdoms of the world 'in a moment of time’. We do not know how the *Devil did this. We do not need to know. He really did this. That is enough to know.

The *Devil offered to give Jesus all the authority and greatness of these *kingdoms. But first, Jesus must *worship the *Devil.

The Devil was pretending something: this is a quick and easy way to make the Bible true. God does want all the *kingdoms of the world to belong to Jesus. The *Devil tried to make Jesus take them like this. It would have been the wrong way. It would have been wrong for Jesus to use his power like this. It is wrong to obey the *Devil, even for what seems to be good. The *Devil is powerful and cruel. He is very wicked. We cannot defeat *sin by *sin.

Serve God alone

Jesus’ answer is very important. He spoke words from Deuteronomy chapter 6. In this passage, God had promised to give the country called Canaan to the people of *Israel. Canaan would become their home. But in Deuteronomy 6:10-13, God warned the people to remember something. They would receive Canaan only if they trusted God alone. In Deuteronomy 6:13 we read, 'Respect the *Lord your God, and serve Him only’. That is very clear. There was no other way and no easy way.

The *Devil has always tempted Christians to use politics in order to obtain power. And many Christians want to please people in this way. We know this when we read about the Roman Catholic church, hundreds of years ago. Some churches today try to have power in this way. We can also see this.

The *Devil leaves Jesus

So the *Devil stopped testing Jesus. But Luke also says that the *Devil left Jesus 'for a season’. The *Devil would test Jesus many times. Even on the *cross Jesus could have used his power to save himself. People told him to come down from the *cross if he really was the Son of God.

Jesus and the *Holy Spirit

The *Holy Spirit was with Jesus while the *Devil tested Jesus.

The *Holy Spirit came to the Lord Jesus when John *baptised Jesus. At the same time a voice from *heaven spoke. This showed that Jesus was God’s Son. God had also chosen him to serve in the world. That was when Jesus began his special work for God.

Before the *Devil tested Jesus, the *Holy Spirit led Jesus. The *Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert. There *Satan came to Jesus. In the desert the *Holy Spirit gave Jesus power. This is how Jesus defeated *Satan. Jesus did not do what the *Devil wanted.

Many years before this, God called the people of *Israel 'my son’. They too were in the desert. The *Devil tested them there. But they had not trusted that God would give them power. They had failed. But the Son of God won.

After the *Devil tested Jesus, Jesus came back to *Galilee in the power of the *Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14). Then Jesus began to work for God publicly. Jesus knew that he was the *Messiah. The *Holy Spirit had given him power for this work (Luke 4:18). Jesus knew this.

Jesus begins his special work for God Jesus *preaches at Nazareth

After Jesus left the desert, he returned to his home in Nazareth. On the sabbath [Saturday, which is the Jews' special day for prayer] he went into the *synagogue. He taught there. He chose these words from Isaiah:

Jesus said that these words were about him. Jesus came to begin the *kingdom of God. He would free people from *sin. Then they would be in God’s *kingdom. But Jesus read only part of Isaiah 61:2.

The rest of Isaiah 61:2 is about the 'day when God punishes’. Jesus will return to the world when that day comes. We call this event 'the Second Coming'.

The first time that Jesus came, he announced God's good news. He spoke about God’s *grace and *mercy. He showed that God loves us. Jesus came for sinners. Jesus invited the people to trust him. Isaiah wrote about the Lord’s servant who would suffer. These words all came true.

Jesus will come again, for the second time. Then he will be the *Lord from *heaven. He will be the judge of everyone: people who are alive and people who are dead.

The people at Nazareth could not have understood this at that time.

Why the people of Nazareth wanted to kill Jesus

The people of Nazareth did not like what Jesus said. Jesus explained that, soon, the Gentiles would trust him. [Gentiles are people who are not Jews.] This made the people of Nazareth very angry. They tried to kill Jesus.

Jesus' words impressed many people. His words were wonderful. He taught with authority. Also, his *miracles attracted many people. But people did not want to change their attitudes and behaviour. They would have to change these things if they belonged to the *kingdom of God.

Jesus' work in Galilee

Jesus went about in Galilee. He *preached in the *synagogues. He said the same words that John had said, 'Be sorry for the wrong things that you have done. The *kingdom of *heaven is near’ (Matthew 4:17). Jesus taught many things. The first four books of the *New Testament tell us a lot about these things. They tell us that his words impressed the people. His words pleased the people. He also cured every illness. He freed people from *demons. He cured even people who had great pain. Some people could not move their arms or legs. He cured these people. At this time Jesus chose his first *disciples: Peter and his brother Andrew, and James and John, who were sons of Zebedee (John 1:35-51, Luke 5:2-11).

Isaiah 61:1, 2 I have the Spirit of the *Lord God. He has chosen me to tell good news to poor people. He has sent me to comfort sad people. He has sent me to free the prisoners. He has sent me so that blind people will see. This is the year when God cares for his people. I declare this.

 

A single day in the life of Jesus

Mark gives us a short but complete report of a day in Jesus’ life in Mark 1:21-45. He shows us clearly the authority of Jesus and the power of the *Kingdom of God. Jesus changed people's lives by the power of the *Holy Spirit.

In verses 21 and 22 we see the authority of Jesus when he teaches. People knew that Jesus was not the same as their usual teachers.

In verses 23 to 28 we see the authority of Jesus over *demons. Jesus' authority impressed people. Jesus did not argue with *demons. We can see this. He told them what to do. Then they had to leave a person.

In verses 29 to 31 we read about the authority of Jesus over illness. Jesus cured the mother of Simon’s wife. He cured her completely. She could cook a meal immediately. She did not need time to get well.

In verses 32 to 34 we read more about the authority of Jesus. He cures many people. He frees other people from *demons.

These verses show us where Jesus got power for his work. He spent time alone with his Father, God.

Verses 38 to 39 show us the most important part of the work of Jesus. This is when he *preaches about the *kingdom of God. The *miracles were important. But they are not enough. They showed the power of the *kingdom. Jesus spoke about this power.

Mark 1:21, 22 They went to Capernaum. On the Sabbath Jesus went into the *synagogue. He began to teach. His words impressed people. He spoke with authority. He was not like the teachers of the law.

Mark 1:23-28 There was a man in their *synagogue. He had an evil *spirit. He cried out, 'What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – you are the Holy One of God’!

'Be quiet’! Jesus ordered. 'Come out of him’! The evil *spirit shook the man. It came out of him with a scream.

This impressed all the people. They asked each other, 'What is this? This is something new – and this man has authority! He even gives orders to evil *spirits. And they obey him’. News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

Mark 1:29-31 As soon as they left the *synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s wife’s mother was ill in bed. They told Jesus about her. So he went to her. He took her hand. He helped her to get up. The illness left her. She began to serve them.

Mark 1:32-34 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick people. They also brought everyone who had *demons. Everybody came to the door. Many had various diseases. Jesus cured them. He also sent away many *demons. He would not let the *demons speak. They knew who he was.

Mark 1:35-37 Very early in the morning Jesus got up. It was still dark. He left the house. He went away to a quiet place. He prayed there. Simon and his companions went to look for him. When they found him, they said, 'Everybody is looking for you’!

Mark 1:38, 39 Jesus replied, 'Let us go somewhere else. There are villages near. We will go to these villages. I want to *preach there also. That is why I have come’. So he travelled through *Galilee. He *preached in their *synagogues. He forced *demons to leave.

Mark 1:40-45 A man with illness on his skin came to Jesus. The man knelt in front of Jesus. The man said, 'If you want to, you can cure me’.

 

Jesus loved and cared for the man. He reached out his hand. He touched the man. 'I do want to’, Jesus said. 'I am curing you now’! Immediately the illness left the man. Jesus had cured him.

Jesus sent the man away at once. Jesus warned him, 'Do not tell this to anyone. Go to the *priest. Give to God the gifts that Moses commanded. This will show people what has happened’.

Instead the man went out and he began to tell everybody. The result was this. Jesus could no longer enter a town. He had to stay outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

Verses 40 to 45 tell us some things again. Jesus had authority to cure people’s diseases. These *miracles show the power of the *kingdom again. Also, Jesus had great care for people. We see this here. He touched the man with the skin illness. Nobody else would touch that person.

Confusion about the *kingdom Wrong ideas about the *kingdom of God

The Jews read the Bible and the *prophecies in it. They had fixed ideas. They thought that the *Messiah would be a military leader. He would defeat the Romans. He would establish their nation.

The *kingdom that pleased God

Jesus came to do far more than that. His *kingdom would be the *kingdom that pleased God. It would be a *kingdom that was right with God. For this, Jesus needed new men and new women. He would change people completely by his *Holy Spirit. Then they could belong to the *kingdom.

When Jesus came for the first time, he came to die for *sinners. He offered to forgive them. He offered a new life. He came to give men and women the power of the *Holy Spirit. This would change their lives.

The work of Jesus set up the *kingdom. He established it by his death on the *cross. And when he came alive after death. The *resurrection was like an order to make the *kingdom grow. The *Holy Spirit gave power to the people of the *kingdom.