The Way DAY 17 - What is the Kingdom of God?

Day 17: What is the Kingdom of God?

Luke 4:38-44

Jesus preached about the kingdom of God.

But what is the kingdom of God?

I’m not exaggerating when I say that people who study the Bible professionally have built careers trying to answer this question. We said yesterday that Jesus is a teacher and his main subject was God’s kingdom (sometimes called “the kingdom of heaven”). We need to pause and talk about it. Go back one chapter in Luke and hear Jesus stress the point: he’s all about the kingdom.

Yesterday I said this: God’s kingdom is any place where God gets what God wants. Wherever people yield to God’s loving leadership, that’s the kingdom. “Kingdom” is a political word but God’s kingdom is not a political force in the world right now, not in the way we think about it. Like we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, heaven is the only place right now where God always gets what God wants.

That doesn’t mean the kingdom is spiritual and disconnected from the real world. It means nobody is forcing people to do things God’s way.

When Jesus says, “God’s kingdom is near,” he means, “I can teach you, unlike anyone else, how to access a life under God’s loving leadership.”

In his book The Divine Conspiracy (which you should read), Dallas Willard says, “So when Jesus directs us to pray, ‘Thy kingdom come,’ he does not mean we should pray for it to come into existence. Rather, we pray for it to take over at all points in the personal, social, and political order where it is now excluded: ‘On earth as it is in heaven.’ With this prayer we are invoking it, as in faith we are acting it, into the real world of our daily existence.”

Agree or Disagree: “To be a disciple of Jesus is, crucially, to be learning from Jesus how to do your job as Jesus himself would do it. New Testament language for this is to do it “in the name” of Jesus.” (Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy)

Lord Jesus Christ, teach me how to live under God’s loving leadership. When I’m resistant to God’s way, coax me. When I’m apathetic, help to me care. Amen.
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