CAPERNAUM, JUNE 22, AD 26
Jesus of Nazareth conducted the ceremony in the synagogue today, reading from the Scriptures and talking openly about a “kingdom.” Jesus made several points that were hotly debated after he spoke. Jesus declared the new kingdom to be for all peoples, gentiles, sinners and even women. He spoke of a spirit from God that indwells all men and women, and of a mysterious “Spirit of Truth” that will come when he has “finished” his work, a spirit that “will be poured out upon all flesh.”
Jesus made it clear that his kingdom was not of this world. “I come to proclaim faith, the gift of God, as the price of entrance into the kingdom of heaven. This kingdom is a spiritual experience having to do with the enthronement of God in our hearts.”
The promise of everlasting life
Those who entered his kingdom, he stated, would gain “everlasting life.” Jesus explained that the kingdom of heaven is an evolutionary experience, beginning here on earth and progressing up to Paradise. He concluded: “If you would but believe that my Father loves you with an infinite love, then you are in the kingdom of God.”
There was a large attendance, including many strangers believed to be from Jerusalem. Reviews for the message of Jesus were mixed. About a third thought that he spoke the truth, even though they admittedly could not understand the meaning of all of his sermon. About one third decided to reject such a spiritual concept of the kingdom. About one third were completely confused by his statements; some of this group even thought Jesus was beside himself.
(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
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