Kingdom Come
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Copyright © 2001 Jeanie C. Crain
Last modified: March, 2002

See Back to Galilee (2012)


Thy Kingdom Come

Jesus prayed for God’s kingdom to come upon earth; doing so, he commits fully to Isaiah’s vision, believing himself possessed of the spirit of the Lord God, being anointed by God to bring the good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor… In himself, Jesus enacts the fulfillment of history, identifying himself as the Word of God. To do the will of God, Jesus proclaims that one must commit fully: to love God with all the mind and strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Understand the vision: love God and possess the kingdom now. This generation will see the kingdom of God.  Live in the kingdom!  You have already passed from death to life; to you already has been given the secret of the kingdom of God; all of you who do God’s will are, Jesus, proclaims, my brothers, sisters, and mother.  In short, the kingdom of God unfolds universally within the hearts of humankind! Radical, yes—not to be waited upon but to be achieved and, in fact, presently in the act of being achieved.  Jesus brings together the Hebrew kingdom of God and the Greek eternity of Being and unity in all things.  This vision retains the sharp distinction between God and creation inherited from the Hebrew but blurs the distance between God and man in Greek fashion and, thus, initiates a new way of being in the world. To make his meaning clear, Jesus resorts to parable, speaking powerfully in the language of experience to convey this challenge to deeper living. Bruce Chilton in The Oxford Handbook describes this new direction: “The ethical themes implicit in such parables make sense once one appreciates that Jesus conveys by them a self-disclosing kingdom whose focus is irreducibly future and whose implications are pressingly present. Just as his claim to speak on behalf of that kingdom is perhaps the most obvious root of Christology, so his message gave to the movement that succeeded him a characteristic attitude of expectancy in respect of the future and, consequently, of responsibility within the present.”

See The Commandments.