What Is The Kingdom of God?

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.

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In Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright I read his spin on the Kingdom of God.[1]  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?

Go Further:

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. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.

This course is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. 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. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world.

Marcus Borg, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith

Marcus Borg, Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary

Jesus Christ for Today’s World by Jurgen Moltmann

Courses by N. T. Wright:

N. T. Wright, In The Day the Revolution Began, N. T. Wright once again challenges commonly held Christian beliefs as he did in his acclaimed Surprised by Hope. Demonstrating the rigorous intellect and breathtaking knowledge that have long defined his work, Wright argues that Jesus’ death on the cross was not only to absolve us of our sins; it was actually the beginning of a revolution commissioning the Christian faithful to a new vocation—a royal priesthood responsible for restoring and reconciling all of God’s creation.

N. T. Wright, In this course Simply Jesus, students will be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus of Nazareth. The goal of the course is to look at the story of Jesus from the perspective of a historian. Too many times Jesus of Nazareth becomes interpreted as simply another ‘religious figure’ among many religious figures. But this so often eliminates the understanding of a man who lived in time and space at a critical time of history.

N. T. Wright, How do we know that Jesus was actually raised from the dead in bodily form? This course with Prof. N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, examines the extraordinary claim that Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead in a bodily fashion to appear in person to people after his cruel death, crucifixion, and entombment. This journey will look at the ancient world’s understanding of the afterlife from Jewish and Greek perspectives along with the implications of their understandings as it relates to the early Christian claim of the bodily resurrection of Jesus.

N. T. Wright, Simply Good News is an introductory course based on the teachings of Prof. N.T. Wright and his book bearing the same title. The student will be guided through the idea of what ‘good news’ meant to the 1st Century person living in the Roman Empire. The course will also guide the student to understand how that ‘good news’ is to be understood by readers of the New Testament in the 21st Century.

N. T. Wright, Paul: A Biography – N. T. Wright’s definitive biography of Paul reveals the apostle’s lasting role in Christian history as an inventor of new paradigms for how we understand Jesus and what he accomplished. Wright celebrates Paul’s stature as one of the most effective and influential intellectuals in human history, while shedding fresh light on his writings, thoughts, and ideas. Consider these remarkable facts: Paul’s writing occupy less than 90 pages in a modern translation yet they have, page per page, generated more sermons, books, monographs, and journal articles than any other writings from the ancient world.

Themes in the Gospel of John by N. T. Wright:  The course approaches the Gospel of John in a way that looks at seven key themes. These themes bind the Fourth Gospel together in a manner that allows us to see this ‘new way of living’ as possible for followers of King Jesus. In so doing, we then apply these themes to the current era in order to ask ourselves questions about how we are putting them into practice. In a way, this is the story of how to live out being the presence of God on earth through the indwelling of God’s spirit.

[1] N. T. Wright, Simply Jesus:  A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters, (HarperOne):  2011.

2 thoughts on “What Is The Kingdom of God?”

  1. The first sentence is way off from any semblence of incarnational theology. God on Caesar’s throne is the description of Christendom, granted, but the kingdom of God in gospel terms is the converse of Christendom. This has been the subject of my research for a long time! Have a look at Church, Gospel and Christendom or the more accessible The Fall of the Church. Both published by Wipf & Stock and available from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Church-Gospel-Empire-Sovereignty-Impregnated/dp/1610977440; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fall-Church-Roger-Haydon-Mitchell-ebook/dp/B00EJNWIGS/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1
    Peace and love Roger

    Dr Roger Haydon Mitchell

    Political Theologian with Westminster Theological Centre


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