Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Missional Jesus 47

Missional Jesus thought it couldn’t be clearer. God’s redemptive plan was at work. Who knew?
Read this text from Luke 17:20-21.
Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, â??The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, â??Here it is,â?? or â??There it is,â?? because the kingdom of God is within you [better: in your midst].â?
The holiness movement that informed Jesus of Herod’s intent to kill him also asked Jesus when the kingdom might come. Missional Jesus responds:
1. Missional Jesus sternly warns of the ineptitude of those who were calculating — using apocalyptic timetables — when the kingdom might come. This is the point of “careful observation.”
2. Missional Jesus says this: don’t listen to those who think they know. Listen to Jesus.
3. Missional Jesus says the kingdom of God is “in your midst.”
Debate: some think this refers to a religious experience or the presence of the Spirit within the heart. Neither of these options is contrary to the Christian faith, but neither are what this text says. He doesn’t say “in you” but “in your midst.” There’s a difference.
What is he saying? The kingdom of God is in your midst, if you have eyes to see and a heart to believe. If you don’t, you’ll miss the presence of God’s redemptive moment. The kingdom is recognized not by its flash but by its humility, it’s inauspicious potent presence.

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posted August 28, 2007 at 7:03 am

“What is he saying? The kingdom of God is in your midst, if you have eyes to see and a heart to believe. If you donâ??t, youâ??ll miss the presence of Godâ??s redemptive moment. The kingdom is recognized [not] by its flash but by its humility, itâ??s inauspicious potent presence.”
So true. I love this. It takes slowing down, noticing the small stuff …

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Scott Watson

posted August 28, 2007 at 7:52 am

Yes, the Dominion of YHWH,was and is powerfully at work “in our midst” but it didn’t look like what the Pharisees thought it would look like,accoring to Jesus that is–in fact what Jesus proclaimed as the dawning of the Dominion of YHWH subverted the vision of Torah intensification movement of the Pharisees,the real grass roots heroes of Palestinian Judaism of the time.
In many ways we have similar dynamics today,we have reactionary impulse in religion as a antidote to anomie in our cultures (not just Christian by the way);but YHWH’s Dominion is at work powerfully in our midst also ,often through strange and unlikely means,to bring healing and salvation to those very places, bringing light and life rather than simply marginalizing, isolating and cursing the darkness of broken,sinful humanity.

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posted August 28, 2007 at 8:38 am

Great last sentence, Scot.

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posted August 28, 2007 at 9:23 am

I hope for Michael Vick’s sake that he is feeling in the midst of God’s kingdom.

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Scott Watson

posted August 28, 2007 at 10:12 am

Michael Vick proclaimed at his new conference that he “found Jesus.”

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Derek Leman

posted August 28, 2007 at 11:06 am

Isn’t the point that they were missing Jesus, who was a walking kingdom of God? The lame walked and the dead rose wherever he was.
Thus, I do not take this as an absolute prohibition of looking for signs of the end of the age, but as a reassessment of what the kingdom means. It does not mean revolution against Rome, but turning to God as king (Wright makes a similar point).
Anyway…agree? Disagree?
Derek Leman

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posted August 28, 2007 at 8:23 pm

Yes, Scot, I too should have said, what a beautiful last sentence.

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posted August 30, 2007 at 6:37 am

Borrowed Breath » Blog Archive » the kingdom

[…] Here’s the link to the post:Â […]

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