I am taking MS 2XF3: Exile: A Motif for Postmodern Ministry. For the past week, I have been working on a paper relating the theology of exile themes found in the New Testament. It is a short paper. Five pages long. Though, the process seemed much longer than that.
I’ve been thinking about what’s Kingdom of God mean. John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2) and Jesus (Matthew 4:17) both said, “repent, for the Kingdom of God (Heaven) is near“. I figured this is important.
What’s Kingdom of God? I was and still a bit confuse. What does it look like? Is it here?
I was reading one of the books required for the paper. The Kingdom of God speaks clearly to the Jews in the First Century because they are longing for God to come and deliver them. One of the meaning is the forgiveness of sins. (In this case, the sins are specifically the ones the Israelites committed that cause God to punish them).
No wonder why I am having such a hard time understanding what Kingdom of God is. I am looking at it from the eyes of 2009. The context is totally different and it makes very little sense.
This is why the context is important. It is all about the context.
Until I understand what it means in the eyes of the First century Jew, my grasp of the meaning of Kingdom of God will lack depth.
Note: I have more to write. The course takes me across through the fall of the temple, the exile period, the second period and the intertestament period. It sounds very technical but it is all very good stuff. It is so awesome how the Old Testament and the New Testament interwine one another. One book. One story weaved by God in actively seeking and rescuing His people.
Very cool stuff.