Does God understand himself 1
Keyword: Kingdom of God
Literal translation "Kingdom of God". "Kingdom of God" means the area in which God shows himself to be Lord. It is not, as it is often misunderstood, in heaven, but precisely in our world and in our lives. The dawn of the rulership of God is the central concern that Jesus is concerned with in all his work. In doing so, Jesus can build on expectations that were alive in his time in Judaism: It was hoped that God would intervene, which would free the whole world from injustice, suffering and death. In part, the expectation of the "Kingdom of God" was also linked to the hope of the political liberation of the country from the rule of the Romans. However, there is no such political vision of the future for the people of Israel in Jesus.
Rather, his message of the coming kingdom of God encompasses the call to people to review themselves and all of their previous actions and to give up what separates them from God. Jesus gives people completely new standards. They found expression in the rules of life in the Sermon on the Mount (cf. Matthew 5–7), especially in the commandment to love one's enemies (cf. Matthew 5: 43-48). Where people recognize and acknowledge God as Lord and love one another according to his will, that is where the kingdom of God begins.
The deeds of Jesus, his "miracles", are also signs of the beginning of God's reign: the blind see, the paralyzed walk and the lepers get well (cf. Matthew 11: 2-6). But the world should not only be healed physically. It is a very special sign that Jesus turns to those who are on the margins of society, not only the poor, but also those who are guilty. You are given his special attention and love. On the other hand, Jesus sees the rich, satisfied and self-satisfied in extreme danger. When God's rulership comes, they will be judged (cf. Luke 6: 20-26).
The message of the kingdom of God stands in a tension between "already" and "not yet". "God's kingdom" is already visible in Jesus' actions and speech, especially for those who take his words seriously and believe them. But the final consummation has not yet arrived. The kingdom of God is present and future at the same time.
The question of whether and how God's rule will prevail is answered by Jesus with parables that deal with the germination, sprouting and growing of seeds (e.g. cf.Mark 4). They say: the decisive start has been made. Even if he may seem small and powerless in this world: God will finish his work! However, this will not be the result of a process that takes place quietly only within our world. Rather, God will finally enforce his rule even after disasters and crises (cf. Mark 13: 7-20; Matthew 24: 37-44).
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