Saturday, September 08, 2012
The Kingdom has Arrived Already
Jesus concludes his sermon in the Nazareth synagogue with the words, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). This verse offers a clue as to the manner of the kingdom’s arrival. The words, “This scripture is fulfilled" is a reference to Isaiah’s prophecy about the kingdom coming to earth. The specific time of its fulfillment is “Today.” Not tomorrow or next year or in two millennia (as some evangelicals believe). A geographic indicator is given: “in your hearing.” Right there in the midst of the synagogue crowd at Nazareth. When we put the pieces together we see that the kingdom arrived with Jesus as he launched his public ministry. The kingdom of God was no longer a future hope only, but a present reality. As missionary strategist Lesslie Newbigin remarked of the kingdom: “It now had a name and a face—-the name and face of the man from Nazareth.” The waiting period was over. God was initiating his work of salvation on earth.