Matthew 11:12 “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and forceful people lay hold of it.”
(a) Forceful entry?
The NIV translation links this difficult saying with Luke 16:16 “The law and the prophets were in force until John; since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is urged to enter it.” But it is not at all certain that both sayings are teaching the same thing.…
Jesus ‘spoke about the kingdom of God’ throughout his post-resurrection ministry, Acts 1:3. The kingdom is the ‘good news’ which Philip proclaimed to the Samaritans, Acts 8:12.
God’s rule originates in past eternity, as the words ‘appointed’, ‘plan’, ‘purpose’, ‘ordained’, ‘predestined’, and ‘foreknowledge’ suggest. (Ac 2:23; 4:28; 3:20; 20:27; 21:14; 13:48-49 )
It extends to the control of nations, Acts 17:26-27; and to the providential support of all human life, Acts 14:17; 17:25-26. But it is especially apparent in God’s provision of salvation; for it is God who calls men, Acts 2:39; adds to the church, Acts 2:47; turns men from wickedness, Acts 3:26; grants repentance and forgiveness, Acts 5:31; 13:48.…
Many Christians feel a tension between the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels and that of Paul in his Epistles. The central theme of Jesus, it would appear, was ‘the kingdom of God’, and the main focus of Paul was ‘justification by faith’. These themes are so different that any attempt to reconcile them seems futile. We then allow Jesus and Paul to be set up in opposition to one another, and end taking sides in favour of one or the other.…
(This was part of a series on the Kingdom of God.)
Text: Mt 27
The theme of God’s kingdom is prominent in Matthew’s Gospel:-
1:1 – ‘the son of David’
2:2 – “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?”
3 – John and Jesus announce, ‘The kingdom of heaven has drawn near.’
5 – The kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor in spirit and to those who are persecuted.
6 – ‘Your kingdom come…Seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness.’…
Mk 1:15 – Mark introduces the public ministry of Jesus with his proclamation that, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel”.
Mk 4 relates the teaching of Jesus in which the mystery of the kingdom is explained to his disicples, but conveyed to others in dark parables, Mk 4:11. The kingdom is likened to seed which is sown, shoots up, and grows quietly, Mk 4:26. Mk 4:30 stresses the contrast between the insignificant beginning and the immense growth of the kingdom of God.…
For emerging church people, Jesus’ message of kingdom tends to be all about what God is doing here and now. It is about peace, justice, and compassion. The gospel is an invitation to participate with God in this mission.
Participating in God’s kingdom is not about change in status (unsaved to saved), or about affirming certain doctrines. It is about following the example of Jesus as the best way to live.
The problem with this understanding of the kingdom is not in what in affirms but in what it denies or marginalises. …