Summary: The word "come" in the New Testament is a very important word and takes on expanded meaning when referring to the Kingdom of God and the appearance of Jesus Christ as the Word who came from Heaven.
“The Coming of Christ in John”
Did you ever notice how important little words are? Many times we might throw out “big two dollar words” with the intention of impressing people, but the “little words” are every bit as important as the “big impressive words”.
I was looking over John 6 and the teachings of Jesus after His feeding of the multitudes with just 2 fish and five small barley loaves and realized that the word “come” is extremely important, not only in John 6, but in the message of the entire Bible. As I recall, “come” was one of the first verbs that I learned as a child in the first grade reader about “Dick and Jane.” I want to first go the meaning and occurrence of the word “COME” in the Gospels and then examine some key verses John 6 chapter which occurred after the free fish sandwiches at the time of Passover.
The Word, “COME”, and God’s Kingdom
The word most often used in the New Testament for “come” is “erchomai”. We going to take a crash course through the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke first. In Mark 1:38 the COMING of Jesus as the Messiah is announced as He comes to proclaim the Kingdom of God (Next week we are going to look closely at what the Kingdom of God means) “38 Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else--to the nearby villages--so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." HE CAME TO ANNOUNCE HIS KINGDOM and to call sinners to repentance in Mark 2:17: On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
In doing so, Jesus sets up a new order of life. (Matthew 5:17:” "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Jesus comes to call sinners to repentance so that they can receive an inward change of the heart so that they too will be BLESSED BY GOD, and have a desire to LIVE out the law instead of being condemned by it.
Luke 19:10 tells us “For the Son of Man (JESUS) came to seek and to save what was lost." How will He accomplish this? Mark 10:45: “For even the Son of Man (Jesus) did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Great crowds come to see Jesus but only a certain few make a willing commitment by embracing and doing Jesus’ words; They are able to do so by obedience to Jesus’ commands: Look at Luke 6:47: I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice.” Then look at Luke 9:23: “Then he said to them all: "If anyone would COME after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” A hard saying for anyone who is self-serving and thinks that they are the center of their little kingdoms. Jesus follows up in Luke14:27: “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” This is the dividing line between true faith-followers and those who want only the benefits of Jesus without the sacrifice demanded.
Jesus offers many divine invitations in his parables, explaining the exclusivity and the cost of discipleship and in Luke 15 he shows the difference between people who have become entrenched in religious practices and those who have truly experienced a change of heart in the familiar story of the prodigal son. The renegade son comes home to God out of lostness and alienation and in Luke 15:21 he says: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son,” to which the Father replies in verse 24: “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.”
How important is the Coming of God’s Kingdom! We are to pray for the coming of His Kingdom in Matthew 6:10; Jesus declared in Mark 9:1: "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power." The future kingdom is a kingdom which includes eternal life; Mark 10:29-30 says: "I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.” Being part of the Kingdom of God includes self-denial and personal persecution, but in the age to come, eternal life!