Thy Kingdom Come — But Why Not Now?
Quick question. Why would God come at this particular time in history, in Bethlehem during the reign of Caesar Augustus, in the person of Jesus, during the taking of a census? Why not during the Middle Ages? Or during the Great Depression? Or in the midst of the atrocities of WWII? Why Not Now?
Now and Not Yet. As Jesus walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he said It’s time! The kingdom of God is near! The God who would not show his face to Moses has shown his face to his people in and as Jesus. The kingdom has come, according to the text, including this from Luke 17:21 And the coming of the kingdom is still future according to Mark 13:32 This is all very puzzling. It confused the Pharisees and Scribes. Baffled Christ’s disciples. It’s dizzying to me.
During the latter half of the twentieth century, scholars came to a consensus about Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom of God. They agreed, and I think they were right, that it has both a present aspect, and a future aspect . The now piece is the kingdom is spiritualized - it occurs in peoples’ hearts, bringing life from death, peace from war, prosperity from adversity, and bounty from famine. Whereas the future, eschatological kingdom, will come with outward glory and be fully consummated at some future unknown date, a total reclamation of His good creation damaged by human folly, sin, and death. While still dizzying I pray: ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, whether I understand it or not’ Amen…#pkes