In Proposition 42, George Peters states:
“Jesus Christ, in His early ministry, preached that the Kingdom of God was nigh at hand.”
This particular observation is rooted in passages such as Matthew 4:17 where Jesus declared, “From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Some translations state “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The term/phrase “at hand” is translated from the Greek word eggizō meaning “to draw or come near to, to approach.” The point of this proposition is the present the fact John the Baptist used the exact same Greek word in Matthew 3:2 in his own declaration to the people to repent for the kingdom was at hand. We have in both instances a consistent message that tapped into the understanding the people had concerning the coming of the kingdom.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 42 is the following:
“The fundamental idea, forming a bond of union between Jesus and the preceding Revealers of the Purpose of God, is the Kingdom of heaven. This He preached first; this He revealed last through John the Revelator; this was the special subject (Acts 1:3) between Him and the apostles after His resurrection; and hence by it He places Himself in contact with the Prophets, in unison with John the Baptist, in sympathy with His disciples, and stamps Himself as the great Preacher of the Kingdom. This suggests that perfect unity of Teaching must exist between all these; that no accommodation theory can interpose between His teaching and that of John’s or the Prophets; and that the subject of the Kingdom, being so prominently set forth, must be (Props 1 and 2) a most interesting topic to every intelligent believer and student.”
Consistency and unity of message is the driving point Peters is making in this observation. This is indeed an important point to drive home to the reader given the temptation to believe the message had changed somewhat from the time of the Prophets to the time when the Kingdom of heaven was at hand during the days of John the Baptist and Jesus to the time the disciples went out declaring this same message. There is no jumbled array of messages being presented. Conversely, as Peters aptly notes, there is unity of message. Given the span this message was declared (i.e. from the Prophets to the time of Jesus), any serious student of Scripture should take note of this message and dive into understanding its purpose and application in both its original context and how it applies to us today and in the future. The reason I am taking the time to work through this book is for that reason – the importance of this message.