God’s kingdom

When does the kingdom come?

I understand the kingdom to be God’s activity in the world, and so I think God’s kingdom came with creation. God reigns as king over all (Ps 97:1). However God’s kingship was rejected in the fall and the ongoing sinfulness of humanity ever since. God re-established his kingship with the people of Israel (Is 43:15) and installed human kings (or ‘regents’) to act as leaders of God’s kingdom on God’s behalf (1 Samuel 10:1). However God always had a better kingship planned. Daniel (7:13-14) looks forward to a better eternal kingdom with a king reigning with all power and authority. Continue reading “God’s kingdom” »

Following Jesus based on Mark 8:22–10:52

There are two main categories of Jesus’ disciples:

  1. those from the 1st century who physically followed Jesus during his earthly ministry; and
  2. all other Christians.

Within the first category, we might distinguish between the 12 disciples specifically called by Jesus to be leaders of other disciples (Mark 3:13). However there is very little in Mark’s gospel to suggest any further distinctions.

All would-be disciples, whether physical followers or not, must meet 2 requirements, according to Mark’s gospel: give up their old lives; and follow Jesus (8:34). (1)

Jesus’ teaching on discipleship used broad inclusive language (See uses of ‘whoever’ e.g. 8:34f.; 9:35, 37, 41, 42). (2) The early church in Acts considered all those who confessed Jesus as the Messiah to be a disciple (Acts 11:26), so we can consider the words disciple and Christian (‘follower of Jesus’) as synonymous.

Some further observations on discipleship from Mark’s gospel: Continue reading “Following Jesus based on Mark 8:22–10:52” »

Judges 3

Main point:

God is following through with his promised consequences for disobedience from Deuteronomy (e.g. Ch 28-33). However he is also following through with his covenant promises originally made to Abraham, and so God continues to graciously raise up deliverers to save his people when they cry out for help. The main character and hero of the story is God.

Continue reading “Judges 3” »

The title ‘Son of God’ in Mark’s gospel

The title and concept of ‘Son of God’ can have different meanings depending on the context – it can refer to exalted men (Gen. 6:2), angels (Job 1:6), all of Israel (Ex 4:22-23), or a unique descendant of David who would reign forever as God’s king (2 Sam. 7:12-14). In intertestamental times, the title came to anticipate a messianic eschatological redeemer of God (1).

Continue reading “The title ‘Son of God’ in Mark’s gospel” »