The kingdom of God is what the world will look like if God sat on Caesar’s throne. The kingdom of God is distributive justice not retributive justice. Everyone is entitled to get a fair share of God’s world. God owns the world. These are some points I heard made by John Dominic Crossan when I listened to a podcast interview with him.
In Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright I read his spin on the Kingdom of God. The kingdom of God was the actions of Jesus. Jesus healed people both physically and mentally. Jesus forgave people. Jesus forgave the prostitutes, tax collectors, the marginalized. Jesus forgave those who society considered unworthy.
Jesus gave the unworthy a seat at the table. He ate with them. He partied and celebrated with them. He accepted and loved them! He made them feel whole! He healed them to their innermost core.
This is what the kingdom of God looked like. It was healings, celebrations, forgiveness and a renewed heart.
Why did Jesus do all of this? As N. T. Wright proclaims, “No point putting the world right if the people are still broken.” The Jewish people waited for the kingdom of God. The Jewish people waited for YHWH himself to come and rule as Israel’s king. They waited for God to remove the corruption and oppression. They waited for God to bring justice equity.
N. T. Wright mentions, “At exactly the time when Jesus was growing up, there was a movement- call it a political movement, a religious movement, or (as Josephus calls it) a “philosophy” – that said it was time for God alone to be king.”
This is what it looked like when God was king. This is what Jesus was doing!
What do you think is the Kingdom of God?
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 N. T. Wright, Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters, (HarperOne): 2011.
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David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
Check out my review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain. It also works well in group studies too.
Listen to Simply Good News by New Testament scholar and author N. T. Wright. It is based upon his book Simply Good News. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. Also works well in group studies.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright.
Discover the Context, Content & Production of the New Testament in The Bible- An Introduction to the New Testament by Scott Metz.
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