Friday, February 22, 2008

The Kingdom of God

I've been preaching on the parables that Jesus gave in Matthew 13. In most of the parables Jesus begins by saying, "The kingdom of God is like..." All of these parables are here to explain how the kingdom of God is supposed to operate.

Jesus started out his ministry by proclaiming, "The Kingdom of God is near!" Ever wonder what he meant by that?

Take the Jew of that day. Back in the day there were prophets who would proclaim the word of God. They were the advisors to the King. They helped determine military strategy. Sometimes they were unpopular becasue they would tell the people when they were turning thier backs on God. Some were celebrated and others were hated. In the end though, God spoke through these prophets.

A problem arose though. After Nehemiah built the wall of Jerusalem the prophets were no more and God in effect went silent. All the grand miracles that God had performed went silent. All the advice for military battles was gone.

This silence from God lasted 400 years. Imagine that. Our nation is only a little over 200 years old. For the people in Jesus day God had essentially quit speaking directly to them a long, long, long time ago. The prophecies, the incredible events, God intervening on thier behalf, was just a mere history lesson.

Then, out of the blue, this guy from Galilee, not even Jerusalem, starts proclaiming the kingdom of God is near. He goes around the countryside performing these incredible miracles. People start noticing that he fits the description the prophets of old talked about. Could it be God was moving again?

Not only that Jesus gets up in a synagoge one day, reads one of the scriptures about the Messiah, and says I'm what this prophet is talking about. For some people this was to good to be true. God has been silent for 400 years and all of a sudden this guy comes along and says God's back?

Some believed though. Some understood. Some placed their faith in him.

Then this Jesus died and all his claims with him. Has God realy spoken again?

Then Jesus rose from the dead and ushered in a new Kingdom of God. A kingdom that includes you!

So I have a question for you. How do you see the Kingdom of God in your life? Jesus didn't die to be silent.


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