The kingdom of God has been equated with all sorts of things in the last two milennia. Some have claimed that it is heaven, and that Jesus was saying, in so many words, now you can go to heaven when you die. Others have understood the kingdom of God as referring to the Church. From their perspective, jesus announced the beginning of the age of the Church. Still others have seen the kingdom of God as a world infused by divine justice. They have taken Jesus announcement as a call to social action. In recent times, spiritually inclined people have reduced the kingdom of God to inner awareness of ones divinity.
Brief Life summary: Who was Jesus Christ?
Later in this series, Ill recommend some books, both fat and thin, that will provide further exposition of the the meaning of the kingdom of God in the preaching of Jesus. In my next post Ill take on the question: What is the kingdom of God? _ *Gordon fee, jesus: Early ministry/Kingdom of God, lecture delivered at Regent College. Tape series 2235e,. Copyright regent College, vancouver,. _ What is the kingdom of God? In my last post in the series, What Was the message of Jesus?, i explained that the core of Jesus preaching was the good news of the kingdom of God. This is summarized succinctly in Mark 1:15, where jesus proclaims, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near ; repent, and believe in the good news. Of course this summary leads to an obvious follow-up question: What is the kingdom of God? What is it that, according to jesus, has drawn near?
how did Jesus proclaim the message of the kingdom? When is the kingdom of God night coming? What will life in the kingdom of God be like? Who will bring the kingdom of God? how is the kingdom of God coming? Answering these questions could very well fill a big, fat book. But my intent is to offer relatively bite-sized answers.
Gordon fee, one of the wisest of evangelical New Testament scholars, once said in a lecture on Jesus: you cannot know anything about Jesus, anything, if you miss the kingdom of God. You are zero barbing on Jesus if you dont understand this term. Im sorry to say it that strongly, but this is the great failure of evangelical Christianity. We have had Jesus without the kingdom of God, and therefore have literally done jesus. If youve read this far, Im assuming that you dont want to be zero on Jesus, and that you dont want to do him in, either. So we must work together to figure out what Jesus meant when he said the kingdom of God has come near. For this was, indeed, the core of his message. I plan to structure the rest of this blog series around basic questions having to do with the kingdom of God in the ministry of Jesus. These questions will include: What is the kingdom of God?
The phrase kingdom of God appears 53 times in the new Testament Gospels, almost always on the lips of Jesus. The synonymous phrase, kingdom of heaven, appears 32 times in the gospel of Matthew. Throughout the accounts of Jesus ministry, he is always talking about the kingdom of God. Many of his parables explain something about this kingdom: it is like mustard seed, a treasure, a merchant looking for pearls, and a king who gave a banquet (Matt 13:44-47; 22:2). Jesus even defines his purpose in light of the kingdom: I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose (luke 4:43). Gordon fee speaking at laity lodge. Given the centrality of the kingdom of God to the preaching, and, as well see, the actions of Jesus, its strange that many Christians are relatively unfamiliar with what this phrase means. But if we want to understand the message of Jesus, not to mention his whole ministry, including his death and resurrection, then we must grapple with what he says about the kingdom of God.
(summary) - is there a god?
And Jesus essay message angered most of the religious leaders he encountered. In the end, it got him killed on a roman cross. So what exactly was this inspiring, challenging, goading, and apparently subversive message of Jesus all about? Ill begin to answer this question in my next post. What paragraph Was the core of Jesus Preaching?
In my last post I began a multi-part series that seeks to answer the question: What was the message of Jesus? I mentioned that many people would answer this question by saying something about love, because we rightly associate jesus teaching with love. But, as it turns out, love is not the core of his message, though it is close and essential to that core. What Jesus actually proclaimed, first and foremost, was not that we should love, but something else. We find a succinct summary of this something else in the first description of Jesus ministry in the gospel of Mark: Now after John was arrested, jesus came to galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom. Here is Marks summary of the core of Jesus message. It is, in a nutshell: The kingdom of God has come near.
Neither the romans nor the jewish authorities would have been particularly bothered by a jewish prophet who told people to love each other. Truly, quite a few Jews would have been distressed over the thought of having to love their enemies. But the romans the obvious enemies of first-century jews wouldnt have crucified someone whose main crime was telling Jews to love them and turn the other cheek! If anything, the romans would have protected such a peacemaker. So, the rock solid fact of Jesus crucifixion suggests that the core of his message must have been more contentious, indeed, more scandalous, than a call to love. Its common for people to reduce the message of Jesus to something all too simple and, i might add, all too similar to the biases of whoever is doing the reducing.
Youll see this in many of the contemporary scholarly attempts to summarize the message of Jesus. The infamous Jesus Seminar, by the time it stoned Jesus to death with its red, pink, gray, and black beads, ended up with a sage who spoke in esoteric riddles, just the sort of teachings preferred by, well, the voting members of the jesus Seminar. Such a peculiar preacher would hardly have been put to death as a threat to roman order in Judea, however. (you can find my in-depth critique of the jesus Seminar and its approach to jesus in my series: Unmasking the jesus Seminar. whatever Jesus preached, it got people excited. Even the demons were riled.
The life of Jesus—From His Birth to his death bible Stories
A well-informed person might even remember that Jesus called his followers to love their enemies. So is love the center of Jesus message. In fact, he did talk quite a bit about love. Jesus said that loving God is the greatest shredder commandment and loving our neighbors is the runner up, or even an extension of the winner (Mark 12:29-31). So, to be sure, love figured prominently in the message of Jesus. But love was not the core of his proclamation. If Jesus had been running around first-century judea telling people to love each other, he certainly wouldnt have been crucified on a roman cross.
mennonites, Episcopalians, and, yes, even Presbyterians (like me) think their theology is a legitimate if not the most legitimate expression of what Jesus himself taught. Need I say more? You can purchase this statuette from m/. Given the popularity of Jesus, you might think that most people would have a reasonably accurate understanding of his message, that which he proclaimed and enacted almost 2,000 years ago in Judea. Yet, in my experience, this is not the case. Most people cannot describe the message of Jesus in a way that reflects the earliest historical records of his teaching, which are found in the new Testament Gospels. If you were to ask the average person what Jesus preached even the average Christian youd probably hear something about love: Jesus taught about love. He said we should all love each other.
When is the kingdom of God Coming? How is the kingdom of God Coming? How Did the message of Jesus lead to his Crucifixion? Summary, what Was the message of Jesus? Just about everybody wants Jesus on their side, or so it seems. Yes, there are a few zealous atheists who seem happy owl to dismiss the relevance if not the historical reality of Jesus. But, for the most part, people like to claim Jesus as a supporter. This includes large numbers of secularists and Muslims, ironically enough.
A summary of The good News of Jesus Christ - christian Concourse
Copyright 2011 by mark. Note: you may download this resource at no cost, for personal use or for use in a christian ministry, as long as you are not publishing it for sale. All i ask is that you acknowledge the source of this material: m/blogs/markdroberts/. For all other uses, lined please contact. Table of Contents, introduction, what Was the core of Jesus Message? What is the kingdom of God? How Did Jesus Proclaim the kingdom of God? Where is the kingdom of God?