In Summary ...
I love to summarize things; to bring long messages to the shortest, simplest conclusion. We all do that some. In mathematics we seek the lowest common denominator, the simplest formula. We wouldn’t settle for 2a+2b=2c. We would reduce it to a+b=c. So, when looking at the Bible, we might look for some ways to reduce, to simplify.
Let’s ask the complicated question: What did Jesus teach? That certainly is a loaded question that couldn’t be answered in a few words, or one sentence, or certainly not in one word. But let’s be so bold as to try.
More than any one thing, Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is like:
…a merchant in search of fine pearls (Matthew 13.45)
…treasure hidden in a field (Matthew 13.44)
…a man who sowed good seed in his field (Matthew 13.24)
…a mustard seed (Matthew 13.31)
…leaven (Matthew 13.33)
…a dragnet that was cast into the sea (Matthew 13.47)
…a king who wanted to settle accounts (Matthew 18.23)
…a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire (Matthew 20.1)
…a certain king who arranged a marriage (Matthew 22.2)
…a man traveling to a far country (Matthew 25.14)
The point, though said in different words, was: “I AM THE KING.” This was His message, the central theme, the purpose of His coming.
I AM THE KING.
THIS IS THE KINGDOM.
So, while we are summarizing, let’s go to the Old Testament and ask a couple of complicated questions. God spoke directly to people many times. What did He say more than anything else? Surely that is an important question. He said, “I AM THE LORD…” It is obvious that this was of primary importance to Him; that we understand and acknowledge Him as the Lord. One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 11.6:
“...anyone who comes to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.”
This is God’s first and most important point. Know that HE IS THE LORD.
Ok, the next question: Did the Old Testament teach about the Kingdom? You know that it did.
“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established…lifted up…people shall come…out of Zion…”
“I will pour out my Spirit in those days….and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved for on Mt. Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance.”
“...the God of Heaven will set up a Kingdom that will never be destroyed.”
In summation, the Bible could be reduced to this one message. In the Old Testament: God is the LORD. He is preparing for a King. In the New Testament: The King is here! The Kingdom is here!
Believe in Him.