The Courageous Gospel: Resources for Teachers, Students, and Preachers of the Fourth Gospel

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By using this passage, Jesus not only inferred that the temple authorities were dishonest thieves, but also that God was about to judge the temple and destroy it. Not exactly a way to win friends and influence people among the Jerusalem priesthood. Jesus was not the only Jew in his day to criticize the Temple.

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Many of the common folk despised its heavy taxation and financial corruptness, while the Essenes from Qumran wrote it off completely as spiritually bankrupt. Moreover, he explicitly undermined the authority of the entrenched temple hierarchy. A prophetic rabble-rouser in Galilee could be ignored; one who defamed the temple itself needed to be dispatched quickly. The problem for the authorities, however, was the widespread popularity of Jesus.

Now if they could only get the Romans to crucify Jesus. Rather, it was the logical conclusion to his proclamation of the kingdom of God — a kingdom in which forgiveness comes from Jesus directly, without the mediation of temple, priest, or sacrifice. Instead, in the coming kingdom of God:. See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; and he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.

Revelation In this final post I want to review what we have learned by summarizing my answers succinctly. The kingdom or reign of God is here when God is exercising his authority, whether in heaven or on earth. Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God in words basic statements of fact, explanations, parables and in works healings, exorcisms, nature miracles, other symbolic gestures. What Jesus said, he did. This not only illustrated the truth of his proclamation, but it also drew the people to him.

Contrary to popular perceptions, the kingdom of God is not primarily in heaven or in our hearts. Rather, the reign of God touches all dimensions of reality. Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God as something present in his ministry and also as something that was still to come in greater fullness and glory. Thus, the kingdom is not either present or future, but both present and future.

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Thus it is rather like an engaged couple, a pregnant mother, or a finished but not quite yet graduated doctoral student. According to Jesus, the reign of God will not come through a Jewish revolt against Rome. Though he agreed with his Jewish contemporaries who looked forward to the coming of an anointed deliverer, Jesus conceived of the work of the Messiah in radically unexpected terms. Throughout his ministry, Jesus consistently upset many of the religious and political leaders of the day. His proclamation of the kingdom through words and works made him a marked man, both because he contradicted many of the core values of his opponents and because he undermined their popular impact.

He became a clear and present danger, not just to the Pharisees in Galilee, but also to the priestly hierarchy in Jerusalem, and even to the Temple, the core institution of Judaism, and therefore to the fragile peace of Judea. Thus, he threatened the social order so essential to Roman domination. The leaders in Jerusalem, both Jewish and Roman, sought to crucify Jesus, both to get him out of their way and to warn others not to follow in his footsteps.

If Jesus came to inaugurate the reign of God on earth, if he proclaimed this message in words and works, and if, in the end, this message led him to the cross, then how do we who believe in Jesus follow him today? Let me offer a few brief suggestions. We should seek to live each moment in the reality of the kingdom of God. This call is still valid today.

We live in the world as salt and light. Like Jesus, both our words and our works should proclaim the reality of the kingdom. And we live out this reign each day by loving our enemies, healing the sick, confronting evil, feeding the hungry, forgiving those who wrong us, and living as a active member of the community of Jesus. We take up our cross and follow Jesus each day. We who live in the community of Jesus must seek, not to dominate others, but to serve them.

We live, not for our own glory, but for God, to whom belongs the kingdom, and the glory, and the power. The message of Jesus would have been long forgotten as wishful thinking by one among many failed messianic pretenders. We who put our trust in Jesus today have access to same power that raised Jesus from dead — the Holy Spirit who dwells in and among us Ephesians Someday the kingdom of God will come in full power; the mustard seed will be fully grown, and the victory of God will be complete.

In that day, God will wipe away every tear and his dwelling will be here among us Revelation Then we will join the heavenly chorus in singing,. The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.

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They shall drink and stagger and go out of their minds because of the sword that I am sending among them. The Lord is my Shepherd is perhaps the most beloved of all Psalms. God hears the persistent prayers of Elijah and raises the boy from the dead. We should seek to live each moment in the reality of the kingdom of God. I just found out about Anne Dutton, the Puritan, this morning. The New Parish.

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What is Advent? An Introduction to Advent What is Pentecost? Why Does It Matter? What Language Did Jesus Speak? Why Did Jesus Have to Die? Why Don't We Pray for Business? What Was the Message of Jesus? Mark D. Roberts and Patheos. What is the Kingdom of God?

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Where is the Kingdom of God? When is the Kingdom of God Coming? How is the Kingdom of God Coming? Summary What Was the Message of Jesus? Introduction Just about everybody wants Jesus on their side, or so it seems. Need I say more? But how does Jesus proclaim the kingdom of God?