Last week I quoted N.T. Wright talking about how Jesus had to avoid falling into the trap of settling for the type of Messiah that the Jews were expecting. Rather, Jesus’ calling including redefining the Davidic Messiah. This week is a much shorter quote in line with last week’s and it is about the concept of “the kingdom”:
…Jesus spent his whole ministry redefining what the kingdom meant. He refused to give up the symbolic language of the kingdom, but filled it with such new content that, as we have seen, he powerfully subverted Jewish expectations.
Jesus and the Victory of God, 471.
In Jesus we find a Messiah and a Kingdom that were both in continuation with Jewish expectations and radically subversive to those very same expectations!
If this is not enough N.T. Wright for you Daniel Levy is now doing a “Tuesdays with Tom Wright”. See here.
Wright has helped me with a better understanding of the Kingdom than anyone else I know.
I as well.
Haven’t read Wright–just piggy-backing the thought. It is related–I promise. 🙂
I’ve been studying Revelation lately. Doing an review of the various eschatological views made me think of Jesus’ redefinition of the Kingdom for His contemporaries.
I wonder how much redefining will go on with our eschatological views (in every camp) when Jesus returns.
It really isn’t that different. We have prophecy. God communicated enough for everyone to get the general concept that He was coming back to make all things right.
But just like the first century Jews, I’m pretty sure the combination of vagueness in the scripture and our own tendency to try to “nail it down exactly” has caused us to come up with some pretty inadequate ideas of what it will look like.
I have no doubt that our eschatological systems will fall short of the actual events. I think the best we can do is “see through a glass, darkly”. In one sense we can assume a few things. Jesus will come back to reign and rule in a real, material, space-time universe. It will be on a renewed earth. There is be a change of human existence as well as a resurrection of the dead. There is some sort of judgment. It is the end of this age but the beginning of a whole new way of being.
On the other hand we have little idea as regards what this will “look” like. What does a “new heaven and a new earth” look like. When heaven and earth unite how does this change both? What will God’s government look like? I am excited to see it all unfold.
Agreed on all counts! 🙂 Although, I think we are told more of what the new heaven and new earth will look like than is popularly communicated. Buildings, trees, rivers, fish, government (as you mentioned). Seems reminiscent of what we know now, but much, much better and richer!
Just the idea of the absence of the effects of sin is mind-boggling!
True, it is like original creation revamped and expanded.
Thanks for the link, Brian! 🙂
You’re welcome. The more Wright, the better!
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