New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham has written an excellent, accessible, and brief-but-packed-with-scholarship book on Jesus: Jesus: A Very Short Introduction. Bauckham is th author of the brilliant Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels As Eyewitness Testimony.
Here is a snippet:
"What is God’s rule like? For some of Jesus’ contemporaries, God’s priority must surely be the liberation of his people from the yoke of the Roman oppressor. He must establish his own sole rule over his holy people by defeating those who had no right to rule them. If this were seen to be happening, God’s kingdom might be said to be arriving. But for Jesus, there were other priorities. He saw the kingdom arriving in the sorts of things he was doing:
- bringing God’s healing and forgiveness into the lives of people he met,
- reaching out to those who were pushed to the margins of God’s people,
- gathering a community in which service would replace status.
I say - in my life, let God rule!