There are a large number of ideas about what theKingdom ofGod looks like or should look like. To look at this mountain of opinions can be overwhelming.
Probably a better first question to ask is not about the Kingdom’s nature, but to ask if the Kingdom is here or not? If it is not, then this will save us the trouble of having to study the opinions which say it is. If it is here, then this will save us the trouble of having to study the opinions which say it is not here.
Better still – if we can know where the Kingdom is, then this will go a long way to help us understand the nature of the Kingdom.
Like any other kingdom study the KoG as to its place, its priorities, its people, its plan and its Prince.
Try this with a finite kingdom. What earthly kingdoms comes to mind (like British, Saudi, Vatican, etc.)? How do they hold up to analysis under these 5 key points? How do these 5 things show their strengths and/or limitations?
Why look at these 5 things? Because…
– Its place shows that it is real in time and space
– Its priorities show the nature of its government – what it’s like to live in this kingdom ruled by Christ?
– Its people shows who its subjects are
– Its plan shows where it’s going across time
– Its Prince shows the right of its ruler to reign
Ultimately the One who is in charge will define what the Kingdom is like. The Person of Christ and His message should be the things that define our understanding of the Kingdom. Good intentions as good as they might be are inadequate to define the Kingdom. If we rely on our good intentions or best hopes, then our view of the Kingdom will look like ourselves.
an axiom – – – Christ and the Gospel define the Kingdom.
Some say that the idea of the Kingdom of God is just a metaphor.
Is it just another word picture for my individual relationship with Jesus? My relationship with Jesus does indeed matter, but we cannot dismiss the Kingdom as just a metaphor, because Jesus is the King of the Kingdom. He is real and so is His Kingdom. Since He is the real King of His real Kingdom we need to learn not just what it means to be rightly related to the King, me to Him. We need to learn what it means to live within His large Kingdom.
Living in the Kingdom of God will teach us how to relate to one another and the world around us. The Church will cease one day, but the Kingdom lasts forever.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is not only about my communion with God. It is just as much about our community with each other and the restoration of God’s gracious sovereignty across all borders, people groups and nations.
So then, where is the Kingdom of God?
Is it here or is it in another time and place?
As we study the Gospel according to Mark we are seeing that the Kingdom of God pressed in much deeper into our world when Christ, the Messiah, the King, came in.
Can you name 2 or 3 ways that the Kingdom of God strongly re-entered History within the first few days and weeks of Jesus’ ministry (see Mark chapters 1-2)?