This post is part of a synchroblog on The Kingdom of God. Links to other participants can be found at the end of this post.
At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea. (Luke 4:42-44)
As you read through the gospel accounts you will find that the message that Jesus is always teaching, that he instructs his disciples to teach, and that his Apostle to the Gentiles teaches is about the Kingdom of God (also known as the Kingdom of Heaven). In fact, God’s Kingdom is mentioned over 100 times throughout the four gospels and more than 25 times throughout the rest of the New Testament.
So, what was the good news of the Kingdom of God?
First, we find Jesus proclaiming that the good news is that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Now, we might think that means it is something that will arrive in the near future; in fact, some bibles even translate the scripture to say “the kingdom of God is near.” But the original language referred to something that was immediately available, something that one could reach out and touch (something “at hand”). So, it must be noted that Jesus was saying the Kingdom of God had arrived…that was the good news.
Then we find Jesus telling what the Kingdom of God is like. According to Jesus The Kingdom of God is like many things…
a farmer sowing seed,
a man hunting treasure,
a woman kneading dough,
fishermen casting a net,
a man forgiven a debt,
a wedding guest who forgot his jacket,
virgins waiting for a bridegroom,
a landowner being generous.
The kingdom is like a seed, pearl, fish, banquet, vineyard, yeast.
It’s random, hidden, surprising, disruptive and unexpected.
It begins so small that it could go unnoticed.
It’s something you receive, enter, cultivate, seek, lay hold of.
You wait for it, prepare for it and stay ready for it.
It’s something of great value and something you need to discover.
It blows up the status quo,
turns expectations on their head.
It’s a celebration, a party, a feast.
And you’re invited to attend.
It’s a church that gives a fresh meaning to the words “offering plate”, a child drinking clean water for the first time, and football fans cheering for the opposing team.
The Kingdom of God is at hand.
(Note: I hope you take the time to click on the links for the “church” that gives a fresh meaning to the words offering plate, the “child drinking” clean water for the first time, and the “football fans” cheering for the opposing team. I think they are all great examples of the Kingdom of God that is at hand.)
Check out the other participants in this synchroblog.
Susan Barnes (Christian currently attending a Baptist church) of Abooklook on My kingdom goes
Liz Dyer (follower of Jesus Christ) of Grace Rules on The Kingdom of God is at Hand
Timothy Victor (Christian) of Tim Victor’s Musings on The reign of Godde
Ronald van der Bergh (Dutch Reformed) of Ronalds Footnotes on Notes on “the Kingdom of God” in the New Testament
Nic Paton (fundamentalist, charismatic, liberationist, apophatic, heterodox) of soundandsilence on The “Kingdom”: of God?
Beth Patterson (Non churched follower of Christ) of Virtual Tea House on What it’s like rather than what it is
Jeff Goins (Non-denominational Christian) of Pilgrimage of the Heart on The Kingdom of God: Now and Not Yet
Phil Wyman (Non-denominational Christian) of Square No More on Jesus as the Archetype Shaman (Part 2): A Nostalgia for Paradise
Stephen Hayes (Orthodox Christian) of Khanya on Kingdom, power and glory
Bryan Riley (Christ follower) of Charis Shalom on The Kingdom of God
Andrew Hendrikse of Fake expression of the Unknown on The Kingdom of God is…
Ellen Haroutunian of Seeking our Living Orthodoxy on thoughts on the Kingdom