During His time here on earth, the Lord Jesus spoke frequently about “the Kingdom.” Of course, the Jews were looking forward to the Kingdom that was prophesied so much in the Old Testament. The Old Testament prophets foretold a time when Israel will be the penultimate nation in the world. Having been under the heel of Babylon, Persia, Greece and then Rome, the Jews were ready for a change. But the Kingdom Jesus spoke of was different from the Kingdom described by the prophets. He was describing a spiritual Kingdom.
There are tenets of Christianity that we take for granted today as having been known. However, the Lord Jesus never spoke of them while teaching the scribes and Pharisees and the general Jewish public. Jesus never spoke of these doctrines until the time of the Last Supper. (John chapters 13 through 17.) More specifically, He did not mention them until Judas the betrayer left the room. (John 13:30-31)
In the privacy of the room, Jesus spoke to His Disciples as a separate group from the Jews. (John 13:33) He called them His children, just as Believers are His children.
Jesus gave them (and us) a new commandment, different from the Law which He fulfilled at all times during His earthly sojourn. He told them to love each other just as much as He had loved them (and us.) He loved us enough to die for us.
Then Jesus gave Believers a hope that was never given to those under the Law. He told us that He was going to His father’s house, where there are many dwelling places, and He would prepare a place for us. Better yet, He would come back for us! (John 14:2-3) The righteous of the Old Testament had the hope of Heaven, but never the promise that God would come and get them.
Jesus told the Disciples that they would do greater things than He did, which is difficult to believe. But through the centuries the Church has continued the soul-saving program begun by the Lord Jesus. (John 14:12) Then Jesus promised the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) in John 14:26, a gift not given to those under the old covenant. Later, He told the Disciples that they were no longer servants, but friends. (John 15:15)
In this five chapter passage, seven times Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in My name, I will do.” (John 14:13, John 14:14, John 15:7, John 15:16, John 16:23, John 16:24, John 16:26-27) This shows the importance of praying to the Lord in the name of Jesus. Seven times Jesus made that statement. Seven is an interesting number, the number of completion.
I think that it is safe to state that those living under the Law of Moses never had any of these promises! Believers are so blessed. We are different. We are special. We are a royal priesthood and a holy nation. (First Peter 2:9) All these promises were given to us directly from the Lord Jesus, and then later confirmed by the Apostles Paul, John and Peter.
How wonderful to be called a friend of Jesus. Praise His name, and may He come for us soon!