Kingdom of God Notes

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The Kingdom of God (KOG)

  • The KOG is the central theme of Jesus’ teachings, in which he refers to the Kingdom in all four gospels.

What would the Kingdom of God have meant in Jesus’ time?

  • When Jesus spoke of the KOG, this term would have been familiar to his listeners because his audience was Jewish and the idea of a KOG is found in the Old Testament.

  • The actual phrase of Kog does not appear in the Old Testament however, but the concept of the Kingdom is expressed by the Hebrew word Malkuth which refers to the idea of the authority of a king rather than his territory.

  • In the Old Testament, God is recognised as king and has having authority and power over all e.g. Psalm 145

  • Many Jews look forward to a future Kingdom and this was often described in terms similar to the great Kingdom at the time of David, which was known as the Golden Age of Israel. Instead of David as king, the Jews believed that a new ruler would come who would be a descendant of David and would be called the Messiah (the anointed one). The Messiah was believed to be God’s chosen one and it was expected that he would be a warrior who would lead Israel to victory over her enemies.

  • The formation of this Earthly Kingdom would demonstrate God’s authority over all nations.

  • Another Jewish tradition saw the future Kingdom in supernatural terms, brought about by the direct intervention by God. The idea possibly arose because some Jews believed that it was very unlikely that an Earthly Kingdom would be formed because the Jews had been conquered by several empires.

  • By the time of Jesus, the people believed that God would rid the land of Romans and under the Messiah, establish his Kingdom on Earth.

The nature of KOG:

  • It is mentioned 35 times in Luke’s Gospel and refers to the ways in which God acts and intervenes in human history to establish his rule.

  • It is a complex concept for it is not literally a Kingdom, but a state of being, arising from God’s saving activity in the world which happens through the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus.

    • It is through Jesus that the Kingdom will be established

    • Marshall: “Luke associates the Kingdom not only with preaching, but also with the mighty works of Jesus which are signs of the activity of God”

  • From the beginning of his gospel, Luke portrays Christ as the King and ruler of the kingdom that shall last forever “He will be great and be called the Son of the Most High” (1:32)

  • Jesus highlighted the point that even the least in the KOG was greater than the greatest person; it is not because of any personal qualities, but because he who is in the Kingdom belongs to the time of fulfillment.

  • Jesus warned of the need for judgement and repentance, and he placed great emphasis on the saving nature of


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