The Kingdom of God Is At Hand

handThis 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,

reverses values,

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

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29 thoughts on “The Kingdom of God Is At Hand

    1. gracerules Post author

      Karen – So glad you stopped by and that the post has given you something to think about. I love to hear that people care enough to take the time to examine the evidence available to them.

      The football story was my fave too.

      Reply
  1. Pingback: Notes on ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ in the New Testament « Ronald’s Footnotes*

    1. Jeff

      I truly enjoy what the Lord has given you on the kingdom of God. It is my passion to seek the kingdom. Every time I pray for my Father to show me His kingdom He reveals some incredibly awsome things to me. The kingdom of God is like a golf game: It just takes one good shot to make you want to come back and play again.

      Reply
      1. Jeff

        All creation is the spoken word of God and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit you can see parables. Outside in my backyard is an oak tree. The tree is rooted in the earth drawing up the needed nutrients to sustain life, life so abundant that it feeds not only the tree but lichen, moss, and birds, bugs and squirrels feed off of the fruit produced by the tree. As the lifeblood makes it to the top of the tree the leaves soak it in along with the sunshine and create a living miracle called photosynthesis which turns carbon dioxide into oxygen.
        Now, with guidance from the Holy Spirit you can see the parable:
        The tree is a man, deeply rooted in God’s word, filled with the Spirit running through the veins like lifeblood. As the Spirit overflows from the man it produces fruit and flows into all things around him, giving life to every living thing in his path, even for the short time he may be in their company. When the lifeblood of the Holy Spirit reaches the soul of the man turning him to God it creates a miracle, turning the filth of the kingdom of darkness into cleanliness, washing him white as snow. That’s Kingdom. Living in the body of Christ led by the Holy Spirit, bringing peace and joy.

        Reply
  2. Pingback: Kingdom, power and glory « Khanya

  3. Beth Patterson

    Dear Liz–
    I love this post! Your list of what Jesus said the kingdom is like…and then your own ‘exegesis’ of that list was very visceral. You rock, but you already know that!

    Thanks for your heart and your grace…

    Reply
    1. gracerules Post author

      Beth – Thanks for your kind words. I think you rock too:>)

      Did you get a chance to look at the link for the church and the offering plate or the one about the football fans cheering for the “other” team? I thought they were great examples of the Kingdom of God.

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Beth Patterson : What it's like...rather than what it is

  5. Nic Paton

    Hi Grace
    I delight in how you have presented the wide ranging set of images that Jesus message generates.

    One apocrophal idea which might be further explored is from the Gospel of Thomas 3 where Jesus said, “If your leaders say to you, ‘Look, the (Father’s) kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father’s) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.”

    Thanks for your offering, Grace.

    Reply
  6. timvictor

    I quite like “football fans rooting for the opposing team”. It’ll be great to see more “At handess” in the being of Christians and the doing of Church.

    🙂

    Reply
  7. Pingback: CHARIS SHALOM » Synchroblog (Multiple Bloggers Writing at the Same Time) on the Kingdom of God

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