Saturday, January 28, 2012

The True Kingdom of God

In contrast to John the Baptist and other Jewish contemporaries, Jesus said the Kingdom of God is at hand--now.

First century Jews were looking for the coming of the Anointed One who would save--rescue--the Jewish people who had endured so much. Their centuries-old faith told them that God was a God of justice and yet their lives told a different story.  How were they to reconcile that?  They were waiting for a Savior who would bring about God's Kingdom--His justice--to His people.

Jesus, whom Christians recognize as that Savior, came and told them that God's Kingdom had already arrived.  How in the world could that be true?  Injustice still reined.  The answer is that God's Kingdom was not going to be a magical, much less a violent ushering in of a futuristic paradise.  It would ONLY come about with mankind's full cooperation with the Just God.  It can happen no other way, because God created us with free will and He created us and the world as "good".

We need to cooperate with God in living His Kingdom of Love here on earth.  The very fact that we call God's periodic direct interventions "miracles" is that they are so over and above the usual way things are done.  Jesus did not come to the earth to tell us, "Wait a couple of thousand years or more--God will smite those awful enemies eventually."  Jesus came to live among us to show us how to live His kingdom on earth.

Wrong-headed focus on the "end times" causes us to see God's Kingdom as either something that is basically His responsibility to "do" (and therefore, we blame Him when it has not occurred) or we see it as something that must be ushered in violently--as a battle of sorts.  This sort of thinking has caused so many problems over the centuries and continues to cause problems in our world.  Who are we battling against?  Those not of our language, race or faith?  Any student of history can easily see the results of that line of thinking.

No, the true Kingdom of God is one of loving non-violence.  That is the life that Jesus led when He was on earth.  His very death shows us by stark contrast, the extreme to which He went, to show us God's Kingdom on earth.

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."  ~Jesus


John Kunnathu said...

I enjoyed reading this post. I fully agree. Yes, God has done His part. Now it is our turn.

Please read a related article I recently wrote at

Staying in Balance said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, John. I enjoyed reading your post as well.

Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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