Saturday, February 11
I am writing to you guys now, after I took a 6 hour class with Sir Anthony Buzzard on the Kingdom of God as the Gospel. Therefore, I can’t help but write about the Kingdom today. One thing that has really shed light for me is that the gospel of the Kingdom is throughout the whole Bible. It is not just a New Testament idea. In fact, the gospel was even preached to Abraham from God (Gal 3:8). It is evident that the gospel of the Kingdom was important to Jesus as he preached about the Kingdom his whole ministry (Matt 4:17). I knew that Jesus did not come up with the idea of the Kingdom on his own, but I was not aware of how prevalent it was in the Old Testament. The Kingdom is found all throughout the Old and New Testament. In our reading today in Isaiah, there indeed is scripture on the coming Kingdom.
Isaiah 24:23 is prophecy about the Kingdom. The talk about the moon and the sun is similar to the passage in Matthew 24:29 when it talks about signs of the second coming. Then actually in the Kingdom, the LORD along with Jesus will reign. There is some dispute as to whether this verse is referring to God reigning on Mount Zion or Jesus. In my opinion, it does not matter too much. What matters is that God through Jesus will reign.
Isaiah 25:6-12 is then a beautiful passage on the Kingdom. One of my favorite verses in the whole Bible is Revelation 21:4. Isaiah 25:8 is very similar to that verse in Revelation. In the Kingdom, there will be no more death or tears. What a comfort that is. This idea helped comfort me through the loss of my grandpa. I was devastated to lose him as he was my biggest role model in my life. I greatly looked up to him. He inspired (and continues to inspire) me to pursue pastoral ministry like him. We all experience similar losses to this. Let Isaiah 25:8 and Revelation 21:4 be a comfort to you.
The Kingdom should be the focus of our lives. It was surely the focus of our Savior Jesus Christ. Most people perceive the gospel to be the death and resurrection of Christ. That is only a part of it. Christ didn’t even speak of his death and resurrection until Matthew 16:21. That is about two thirds of his way through his ministry. What was Jesus preaching before then? That answer is found in Matthew 4:17, the Kingdom.
(photo credit: http://www.spiritradio.ie/word-for-advent-isaiah-258/)