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The Kingdom of the Son - Part1
The Mindset of Jesus Christ the Son
The Trajectory of Judaism:
For many of us that have become Christians, whether by the miraculous or by some Tent Evangelist or just simply walking to the front of a Church meeting giving our life to Jesus, or being born in a Christian home, many of us have never given the depth of thought as to how this message of salvation came to us, we just picked up from there and proceeded to live a good Christian life as by the tradition of our Church culture that we have learned over the years. This naivety, this innocence has robbed us from not fully seeing, entering and inheriting the Kingdom of the Son.
"Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand". The hallmarks of the message of Jesus Christ is that it is a Gospel which means, its "good news" and it was this very reason that the Son of God was sent by God the Father to bring this good news. It was the good news of the Kingdom that Jesus brought to men in the Jewish community. Nobody else could be entrusted with this information and representation, not even Angels. For its only the Son that is an exact representation of the Father. The Book of Hebrews records the statement by God the Father, "For to which of the Angels have I said, You are my son?" In the Old Testament however Angels were used to bring messages from God to mankind and when these Angels would interact with man, their reaction was laced with fear and trepidation because the messenger and the message were one, it was as if God were standing before them. Only because the concept of God in the understanding of the Jewish mind is that GOD IS HOLY. (2 Kings 19:22; Ps 89:18; Isa1:4; Jer 50:29; Hos 11:29) These scripture references that God is the Holy One of Israel. In Isaiah alone there are 29 times that reference God as "THE HOLY ONE".
The Hebrew word for Holy is "Qadosh", which has its root meaning as being different, separate, set apart from everything else, they are contrasted not alike, not equal. The priest, the temple, the sabbath is holy and therefore not available to everybody or for everyday mundane use. This position does however position a God of exclusivity, which can have certain consequences. These are some of the consequences that fed their theological mindset;
1. The Approachability of GOD - this creates a gulf between God and man but more than that, God is so unapproachable that to be in a close proximity to Him would kill you. There are records of men in the bible when after they had an encounter with God concluded they would surely die. Jacob after he had wrestled with the Angel of the Lord said, "I have seen God face to face and yet my life is preserved..." Gen 32:30. Gideon even concluded, "O Lord God for now I have seen the Lord face to face, to which God assured him with comforting words, Peace be to you, do not fear, you shall not die. This essential and vast difference between God and man is called the Transcendence of God, which has increasingly intensified over the years. So the holiness of God gave rise to Gods approachability. This was always the mindset of the Jewish orthodox.
2. The Unpredictability of GOD - In the OT, God is seen as King, far more than Father. In the ancient world the Monarchy was an absolute, with absolute power, answerable to no one whosoever. This idea gives rise to the notion that in the presence of God, man has no rights whatsoever, and there is no reason why man should understand, or see any reason in the acts of God as they affect either himself or the world. This absolute power is shown to us in Jeremiah 18:1-10 in the story of the Potter and the clay. The clay has no choice of its own when it is in the hands of the Potter. In other words man has no choice in the hand of a King God, neither does he have the capacity to know His ways. Job 38 & 39 are a list of questions that God presents to Job, which He is unable to answer. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?...Have you entered into the spirit of the sea?...Have the gates of death been revealed to you?...Can you send forth lightening and so on? To which Job has no answers. Though wondrous and awesome, these questions offer little or no comfort to an agonizing man that just lost everything and is searching for answers, it is cold and arrogant.
3. The Incompatibility of GOD - This concept of the Holiness of God further breaks down the relationship with all men but specifically the sinner. Even though the OT describes God as patient, kind, loving and merciful by those that have glimpsed into Him, He nonetheless harbors a tremendous mercilessness towards the sinner and is committed to their destruction. Ps. 104:35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth and the let the wicked be no more. Isa 1: 28 Rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed. Isa 13:9 The day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the earth a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. The Holy God is set on the destruction of the sinner. Judaism stressed the holiness of God. That holiness stretched a great gulf between God and man, it surrounded God with a certain sublime unpredictability without any responsibility to men, it tended to make men think of God as a sworn enemy of the sinner. (The Mind of Jesus,William Barclay, 1960, page 109).
4. The Monarchical Selectivity of GOD - Another dominant mindset of the Jewish people of the OT, is that God can only be a Father to the King of Israel. That means God would place a King over His chosen people and by being the Father to the King He would inevitability be the God over the Nation. His relationship as Father was exclusively to only the King and his Family line. The Nation under the rule of that King was Gods people, but not His sons. Ps 89 records Gods Covenant with David. Ps 89:26-27, He shall cry unto Me, Thou art my Father, my God the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn higher than the Kings of all the earth. 1 Chronicles 22: 8-12 God is making a covenant with David regarding his son Solomon, verse 10 records these words...He shall build a house for my name and he shall be My son and I shall be his Father and I will establish the throne of his Kingdom over Israel forever. 2 Sam 7:12-17 is Nathan's prophecy over the House of Solomon which echoes the sentiment of Solomon being his son and He being a Father to Solomon. So Jesus Christ comes from the line of the Tribe of Judah of which David was King. The promise that was given to David and all his lineage was that the Scepter will not depart from the Throne of David. This is why Peter would summon the testimony of King David in Acts 2 to verify the legitimacy that Jesus Christ was both Lord and King. Ps 2 records for us the establishing and inauguration of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son as King by God Himself which is the bedrock scripture to use to understand the Gospel of the Kingdom.
The Gospel of the Kingdom first came to the Jews under the rule of the Roman Empire in A.D 26 by the Herald John the Baptizer and then the voice of the Heavenly Father by Jesus Christ and it had to confront all of these mindsets that have become part of the psyche of the Jews in particular the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the religious leaders of the day. It was of great significance that it was the anointed and appointed King Son of God that brings the good news of the Kingdom. It was the first time ever in the History of the human race that a King wanted to share His power and authority through the passage of (spiritual) adoption as sons in the Royal Family of God, of the heavens and the earth. The reason why the Son of God was sent to this generation was because we who would come into the Kingdom through the Gospel of Salvation would need to overcome these very same mindsets and ideologies in order to see the Father of the Kingdom, through the lens of Sonship. The mission of Jesus was primarily to the House of Israel. The mission of Paul was to confront the mindset and philosophy of the Gentiles that had a predominantly Roman and Greek religious philosophy. The work of God the Father in preparation of Paul had to be conclusive in removing the Semitic and religious paradigms that had crystallized and oxidized his view of God as Saul of Tarsus, before he could be sent as the Apostle Paul to the Gentile nations, all over Asia Minor. We who have come to accept the Gospel of salvation did so through the renewed mindset of Paul's Judaism and Paul's Gentile theology of the Kingdom.
We have uncovered the mindset of the Jews and how the Gospel of the Kingdom would have to overthrow these arguments and strongholds to present a value of life that superseded their present situation and removed the yoke of slavery . The fact that the Gospel of the Kingdom was growing among the everyday people of sinners, tax collectors, harlots and drunkards is evidence that this group were the ones that were neglected and ostracized by their Religious Community. Jesus said, "I have come to seek and save those that are lost". This is seen in the parable of the Wedding Feast in Matt 22:4, when the invitation was given to the religious elite of the day who rejected the invitation, the Lord of the Feast gives instructions to his servants to go to every alley and highway and bring in those that are of no reputation to come to the Feast and each was given a Wedding Garment and a seat at the Feast table. To this day it is still more difficult for a rich religious man to allow the Gospel of the Kingdom to enter him, because his mind would not allow the truth to enter in and moreover he will prevent others from hearing this message too. He becomes a stumbling block to prevent those who want to enter. Jesus takes a very strong position with those who do this and attributes his actions as that of Satan himself.
This Gospel of the Kingdom had to also make its way into the Roman and Greek world. What were the ideas of God that the Kingdom message encountered there? Would the message of this God be "good news" to those Gentiles too. What were the Greek and Roman ideas about God? I will address the mindsets of the Romans and Greeks in Part 2 of the same series, make sure to read this as a continuous unfolding revelation to formulate a complete picture of the Gospel of the Kingdom of the Son
Colossians 1:13 For He delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son...
Grace and Peace