Scot McKnight is currently doing a series entitled Keys of the Kingdom on his blog, Jesus Creed. The main exploration is why the difference between the kingdom and the church? I have enjoyed this series very much as he has set forth a balanced approach between already/not yet fulfillment of the kingdom, present, near, and far future fulfillments of prophecies concerning the kingdom, and, of course, a view that promulgates the kingdom as a society. It wouldn’t be Jesus Creed without that last point. I would recommend reading the entire series. You can begin here.
The latest post today deals with a passage that many struggle with, Matthew 11:11-15, also referencing Luke 16:16-17. Here is the scripture.
11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, 14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
The imagery of the kingdom coming in like a herd of buffalo sweeping across the nation of Israel just runs contrary to the idea of the kingdom being "put forth" by Jesus, but "rejected" by the Jews. The kingdom was forcefully advancing as Satan was powerless in the presence of Jesus to stop anything that He set His mind to do. I would recommend reading Scot’s latest post and skim the comments beneath as well. Even though Scot has some Preterist views that I disagree with, his views on the kingdom have quite a bit of sympathy with me. Here is the link.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman