Presentation on theme: "A Dream What is your personal dream? Dreams for the world: How do you want to improve the world? How could you accomplish those goals and what sort of."— Presentation transcript:
A Dream What is your personal dream? Dreams for the world: How do you want to improve the world? How could you accomplish those goals and what sort of difficulties you would face? E.g. end poverty.
THE KINGDOM Of GOD
The Dream of Jesus: the KoG All religions/people reflect a human need to hope for a future that is in some way better than the present. –The Dream varies depending on what the believers ground their hopes in. Jesus, too, had a strong vision of an ideal future, and he dedicated his life to making that future a reality. –Jesus referred to his vision as the KINGDOM OF GOD. His teachings and his stories revealed his understanding of the Kingdom. His miracles were expressions of the fact that God was inaugurating the Kingdom through himself.
The word kingdom can get in the way of our understanding what Jesus meant when he preached about the KoG. –For us, the KoG can imply a place or a region.
Many people thought that God’s Reign, or Kingdom, meant that the Jews, led by a military or political messiah, would triumph militarily and re- establish the ancient kingdom of Israel, as in the glorious era of King David. The kingdom that Jesus proclaimed and lived was entirely different from what so many people expected. It was kingdom of love, not of political rule or power.
Jesus’ mission To proclaim the KoG- to preach it as a reality that was coming but also to live the kingdom in the present. Jesus knew that people would never catch on to the goodness and glory of God’s kingdom unless they experienced it for themselves. –So Jesus dedicated himself to living the Kingdom in the midst of the people, not just talking about it.
Signs of the Kingdom Every page of the gospels shows God’s love and God’s Kingdom being manifested in Jesus’ actions. Healing and life-restoring miracles –Jesus cured sick people- leprosy, hemorrhage, blindness, epilepsy Nature miracles –The loaves and fish and calmed a fierce storm Inclusion of outsiders –Ate with sinners, foreigners, women, the unclean, the insane, the poor, the sick, and those considered “lowlife.” Love of enemies –Luke 6: He forgave those who persecuted him and those who put him to death. The confronting of hypocrisy and religious legalism –Jesus could not stand hypocrisy and injustice –In one occasion, a Pharisee confronted Jesus about healing on the Sabbath –Jesus loved the Law, but he could not bear to see it abused as a way to control people and put them down.
The least are the greatest in the Kingdom of God as Jesus lived it and taught it, the usual values and priorities of the world are turned upside down. Those who have less really have more The poor are truly the rich. A person who wants to lead must first become a servant. Those who want to gain their life must first lose it. The beatitudes represent the values and the lifestyle that characterize those who live in God’s Kingdom
So, what is the K. o. G.? Traditional Jewish Understanding of the KoG Following Torah leads to the kingdom of God Jews are to be the light to all gentiles The Law is a joy, not a chore, to live Matthew’s understanding of the KoG Following Torah and showing compassion leads to the kingdom Those who are meek, who suffer, who mourn will inherit the kingdom of God see Mt. 5:1-12
So, what is the K. o. G.?: The Kindom of God for us today What we want for our selves Prestige & popularity Wealth To rule the world Security/safety for us and our loved ones Fun 24/7 Nice stuff Complete control over our lives and other’s lives Please others What God wants us to be poor in spirit those who mourn Meek Hunger and thirst for righteousness Merciful pure in heart Peacemakers persecuted because of righteousness No to fear insult
Answer the reflection questions – see your lecture notes
Is What God wants really what’s no fun? Does God want us to be a bunch of poor, sad, dull, depressed pansies? So does this mean that if we are strong we should become weak? That if we are happy we should be sad? That we should be persecuted? Is What God wants really what’s no fun? Does God want us to be a bunch of poor, sad, dull, depressed pansies? So does this mean that if we are strong we should become weak? That if we are happy we should be sad? That we should be persecuted? Jesus shows us that what God really wants for and from us is… to be humble To love God by loving the people around us For us to not count the personal cost of doing the right thing when it can get us into trouble For us to need God and seek God out
Is Crucifixion the destiny of every Christian? (not in the literal sense) What do you think and why?
How do we interpret Matthew today? Let’s look at the sermon on the mount. Let’s look at the sermon on the mount. The Beatitudes teach us that Jesus says that those who mourn, are meek and persecuted for the faith, in short – all those who suffer – will inherit the kingdom. The Beatitudes teach us that Jesus says that those who mourn, are meek and persecuted for the faith, in short – all those who suffer – will inherit the kingdom. Remember that the gospels were written at difficult times for Christians – the poor and the meek and the oppressed were the original followers. Remember that the gospels were written at difficult times for Christians – the poor and the meek and the oppressed were the original followers. So what is Jesus telling them to do? So what is Jesus telling them to do?