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On the Kingdom of God…

30 Mar

A quote from Christopher J. H. Wright in his book Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament

So when Jesus came proclaiming the kingdom of God, he was not talking about a place or an idea or an attitude.  It was not just pie in the sky nor joy in the heart.  The reality of God’s rule cannot be spiritualized into heaven (now or later) or privatized into individuals.  Now of course it does  have spiritual and personal dimensions which are fundamental also.  But the term itself speaks of the aligning of human life on earth with the will of the divine government of God.

‘Heaven rules’, said Daniel – on earth.  And the rule of the God of heaven demands a repentance that puts things right in the social realm as much as in personal humility (Dan. 4:26-7).  Jesus cannot have meant any less.  Espcially since his declared agenda, taken as we saw in its precise wording from Isaiah 61, could as easily have been taken from [Psalm 146] – a Psalm celebrating Yahweh’s kingship in specific terms related to human needs and social evils.

To enter the Kingdom of God means to submit oneself to the rule of God and that means a fundamental reorientation of one’s ethical commitments and values into line with the priorities and character of the God revealed in the scriptures.  The point of being Israel and living as the people of Yahweh was to make the universal reign of God local and visible in their whole structure of religious, social, economic and political life.  They were to manifest in practical reality what it meant to live as well as sing, ‘the Lord reigns’ (pp 247-48).

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Posted by on March 30, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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