Nothing captures my attention as much as Jesus' talk about the kingdom of God. What does He mean? What is the kingdom of God? So many questions swirl in my head. James D. G. Dunn, a New Testament scholar, wrote a great little book about Jesus and the kingdom of God. At the end of each chapter he asks questions and I have tried to answer them with what little I know.
In what sense can we say that “the Kingdom of God” was present or active in Jesus’ ministry? What are Christians praying for when they say the Lord’s Prayer: ‘Thy Kingdom come’?
Answer: The Kingdom was present in Jesus’ ministry in the ways He interacted with people. He met the needs of the people through His intimate interaction with them. He touched and blessed the people, even the poor and oppressed. He brought the Kingdom of God to them ina physical way. He also taught about the kingdom in parables that made what He had said easy to remember. He was always seeking to transform the heart through the mind. Jesus also exemplified what life in the Kingdom of God looks like. He displayed to us the type of life we could have in God’s Kingdom. He showed us what it means to be ruled by God, to submit to Him, love others, and live in constant fellowship with our Creator. We also catch glimpses of another world, different from ours, in how Jesus walked on water, became transformed on the mountain, and resurrected from the dead.
When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we are asking for God’s rule to come in our own lives. We want God to rule our heart, mind, soul, and strength. We also want to bring His Kingdom to others we come into contact with. We want them to see what life in the Kingdom of God looks like. We want them to want to join us in this Kingdom by the quality of life we live among them.
Any thoughts? It's always good to talk about this stuff!