Exegesis Luke 18:35-43 As [Jesus] approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. Hearing a crowd passing by, he inquired what was happening. “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by,” they told him.So he called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then those in front told him to keep quiet, but …
The Kingdom of God has not come to its full reality. Revelation 20-21 describes the Kingdom of God in its fullness. Jesus returns and sets everything to rights. There is new Creation with a new Heaven (where God’s presence dwells eternally) and a new Earth (His very good creation). The sin of our first parents damaged the connection between God’s presence and His creation. In those two chapters, God finishes the reclamation project started in Genesis and reclaims His people as His own. His people are then put in charge of this New Creation to enjoy His works eternally and steward His New Creation. But that is the “not yet.”
The great British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge once said that "The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact." The human condition of war is evidence of that. War involves pain. War involves sacrifice. War involves death. While war is identifiable, the pain, sacrifice, and death are the results of the kingdom of the enemy. That is what is resisted.
So far, in this series, we have looked at the Kingdom of God from many different angles. In this edition, I want to take a look at a steam of Parables in Matthew 13 that speaks directly to the nature of the Kingdom of God
My kids are grown now. Both have moved out of the house and are living lives that are independent of their parents. I am exceedingly proud of my kids and what they have accomplished in their lives. But in that pride is a bit of sorrow. I miss picking up my daughter and her beeping my nose, saying, with a laugh, “Boopies, I got you first!” I miss having deep conversations with my then four-year-old son. “Daddy, what ‘cuz the world to go in circles around the sun?” Yes, they had their times of disobedience, and they needed to be corrected from time to time. However, those memories have faded into the past. Mostly what remains are memories of happy, joyous times with my children.
Though the Old Testament, the Law, Torah enabled the people of Israel to have identification as a nation, know the character of YHWH, and have a moral/ceremonial/legal code of conduct, it could not offer complete salvation until the person and work of Jesus and the arrival of the new law, the Holy Spirit.
Until recently, I had never read any of Henri Nouwen’s work. I have a feeling that my choice of starting with The Return of the Prodigal Son was an excellent place to start. Nouwen’s reflections on not just the parable Jesus told in Luke 15, but also reflections on the famous painting by Rembrandt. Tying in these two elements, I was deeply challenged by Nouwen to reflect on the three main characters in the story: the younger son, the elder son, and the father.
For this series on the Kingdom of God, we have seen how the Kingdom of God is something that is both now and future, that we live in the Kingdom by following Jesus’ words in the Beatitudes, that the gospel is not just when we die we go to Heaven but is centered on the work of Jesus, and that we can approach the throne of the King in prayer. This installment, I want to focus on the fact that there is only one King
Pilate ends the discussion with the famous question from John 18:38 – “Veritas, quid verum?” Pilate then, literally, walked away from the Truth.
Now that we have established these facts about the Kingdom, we need to talk about something important. That is approaching the King (God) in the Kingdom of God. For this, we need to start in Genesis 1 and 2. For a lot of my writing, I tend to go back to Genesis 1 and 2 to establish a baseline. This is humanity’s intended purpose and place in God’s Kingdom. It is who we are meant to be.
Video of the sermon I posted a few weeks ago on Colossians 3:1-17
Let me ask you a question. What do you understand the gospel to be? Some might answer like this: "Accept Jesus as your Savior, and when you die, you will go to Heaven." Or "Put your faith in Jesus, and your sins will be forgiven." Or "Follow Jesus, and you will find meaning and purpose for your life." All of these answers are right – but they are only partially correct. These statements are parts of the gospel, but they are not the entirety of the gospel.
In the first installment, I discussed what the Kingdom of God (KoG) is. The KoG is something we look forward to in full in the future. It is also something we live in now in the present. We wait for the fulfillment, but we live in the present Kingdom through the power of the Holy Spirit. The question then becomes, how do we live in the KoG.
Here is a video devotional I made for our CMA chapter during the COVID-19 pandemic. My prayer is that these words can give you comfort during this stressful time.
Are you living in the Third Day - the Resurrection Day, or are you living in Saturday - a day of hopelessness?
Here is the fourth and final in a series of devotional videos I am providing to my church during Holy Week.
Here is the third in a series of devotional videos I am providing to my church during Holy Week.
Here is the second in a series of devotional videos I am providing to my church during Holy Week.
Here is the first in a series of devotional videos I am providing to my church during Holy Week.
Welcome to the first in a series looking at the Kingdom of God (KoG). Through this series, I will be writing about how the KoG impacts our lives now as well as how we have something spectacular to look forward to in the future. To start this series, I want to look at how Jesus and the Bible talk about the KoG.