Monday, February 7, 2011

One more thing

British theologian Alister McGrath has some very helpful things to say about the Kingdom of God. He writes,
"The dominant theme in the preaching of Jesus is the coming of the kingdom of God. This phrase is rare in contemporary Jewish writings, and is widely regarded as one of the most distinctive aspects of the preaching of Jesus. This term, or closely related ideas, occurs some 70 times in the Synoptic Gospels. The use of the word "kingdom in this context is potentially misleading. Although this English word has been used regularly since the sixteenth century to translate the Greek term basileia, the term "kingship" is more appropriate. The term "kingdom" suggests a definite geographical region which is being ruled, whereas the Greek term refers primarily to the act of ruling itself. In New Testament scholarship, the term "the kingly rule of God" has often been used to make this point clear."

I find this to be an extremely helpful statement, especially in light of Jesus' many teaching on the Kingdom, and his statements like, "the Kingdom of God is within you." Clearly he was talking about his leadership in the lives of his people, not some destination or location.

I love the idea that Jesus wants to have an active role in leading my life, i.e. intends to be my King, my leader. Yet it struck me today, as I was listening to more of the conversation about the debacle in Egypt, that none of us is really comfortable with a King, with anyone who can tell us what to do. To be sure, in many cases, the political leaders being replaced today are tyrants, individuals who have used their people for personal aggrandizement. But I think all of us still wrestle with anyone having the right to tell us what to do. We want to reserve that right for ourselves, and even though our own decision making hasn't yielded the best results across the years, we still would rather trust ourselves than anyone else, God included.

So what does the kingly rule of God look like in your life? How are you seeing that reality worked out day by day?



Sherri B. said...

I only trust myself when I know that I have allowed God to speak to me. Then any descision that is made makes total sense to me and I know He has given me His wisdom.

Thanks for the information on kingdom/kingship.

Tana~ said...

It is all a work of God for sure. He is transforming and conforming my life and heart into the image of His son, whom He loves. At the beginning this thought would not of appealed to me, but I love that God sanctify's and as He does I just stand amazed at what He has accomplished in my life. May God's blessing be upon us all.