Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Utopia Man

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand
If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.
Sayings of Yeshua

Jesus was well aware of all the promises of God and their lack of fulfillment.  He knew about the promise to give the Spirit to God’s people so that they would live rightly.  Jesus knew about the promise of health and peace.  Jesus knew about the promise of a king who would rule justly.  Jesus knew about the promise to the poor that they would receive the wealth of the unrighteous. 

Jesus lived these promises and breathed them and fully believed them.  Jesus’ whole ministry was based on these promises.  Every time Jesus spoke of the “kingdom of God” coming, he was speaking about these promises, the coming utopia of God.  Jesus healed because of God’s promises to heal his people. Jesus cast out demons because of the promise to release people from imprisonment.  Jesus prayed for the Spirit to come on his disciples because God promised the Spirit when his kingdom came.  Jesus fed the poor, because God promised that the poor would be fed in the coming kingdom.  To see the promises fulfilled meant the kingdom was coming.34  To see the promises fulfilled is to see God glorified above all.

For this reason, Jesus spoke of the utopia of God as being both now and in the future.  It is still to come, for oppressors still exist, sickness still reigns, famine still ravages.  But the utopia has come already wherever Jesus has worked.35  Every sickness healed, every poor person fed, every prisoner released is a touchstone with God’s utopia.  It seems small compared to the large promise to come, but it is an indication that God hasn’t forgotten His promise.  And that Jesus is the center of fulfillment.36

34. Jesus’ focus on God’s promises being fulfilled is a major theme in his work, and especially seeing himself as the focus of that fulfillment:  Matthew 5:17-18; Luke 4:16-21; Matthew 11:2-6; Luke 22:15-16, 36-37; Matthew 26:52-56; Mark 14:49; Luke 24:44; John 5:45-46.
35. Matthew 12:28; Luke 7:20-22.
36. See note 34.

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