CHXIV - XIV Kingdom of Israel Kingdom of God The Kingdom...

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XIV. Kingdom of Israel -- Kingdom of God The Kingdom theme is so central to an appropriate understanding of the biblical faith that it can readily function as a Theological Center that illuminates both Testaments, and in fact it bridges the gap between the Two Testaments. 1 The Kingdom theme is written across the length and breadth of the history of the people of God. It begins, if we are to take the seriously hint of the writer of Hebrews (11:10), 2 with father Abraham who left Ur of Chaldees in the response to God's call to seek "the city . .. whose builder and maker is God" (Gen. 12:1ff). It resonates in the OT expectation of a coming Prince who will spring from the line of David: a "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6). It spans the Testaments to emerge again in the Apocalypse when human history comes to a close with "the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God" (Rev. 21:2). Nor can any close reader of the Synoptic Tradition 3 mistake the central role that the Kingdom of God plays in the proclamation and ministry of Jesus Christ. Indeed, St. Mark describes the beginning of Jesus' ministry with these pertinent words: "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel'" (Mk. 1:14-15 ). Pro clamation of the Kingdom of God is the central and unifying theme in Jesus' ministry, especially as it is presented in the Gospel of Matthew. 4 Many of Jesus' most memorable parables painted pictures of this wonderful kingdom. It is like a sower who went out to sow (Mt. 13:1-10, 18-31); it is like a tiny grain of mustard seed which "becomes a great tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its 1 John Bright, The Kingdom of God (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1953), remains the definitive work on this topic. My analysis in this section is dependent upon Bright's fine work. See also: 2 Heb. 11:10: "For he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God." 3 "Synoptic" literally means "to see the same." The term refers to the perspective established by the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. 4 Give the rough outline of the Kingdom Theme as a theological center in Matthew.
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branches" (Mt. 13:31-33); it is like leaven, a tiny pinch of which will leaven three measures of flour (Mt. 13:33). It is like a treasure hidden in a field (Mt. 13:44), or a pearl of great price (Mt. 13:45) -- both of which are worth any cost one must pay to acquire them. But the Kingdom of God also remains somewhat mysterious in Jesus' proclamation. Indeed, Jesus implied that His reason for teaching in parables was connected with communicating this sense of mystery (Mk. 4:11-12; Mt. 13:10-17). Central to its mystery was the complicated timing associated with the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom was unquestionably inaugurated ("already") by Jesus' messianic mission, and yet its complete consummation lay in
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course REL THEL 353 taught by Professor Tyson during the Spring '08 term at Houghton College.

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CHXIV - XIV Kingdom of Israel Kingdom of God The Kingdom...

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