Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Brief Overview of Biblical History 6 of 7

The People of God with Immanuel. Into this maelstrom of political domination by other nations, which fueled age-old resentments and hostilities, Jesus is born in humble circumstances. His upbringing and day-to-day life as a resident of the Roman Empire are very conventional as he masters his father’s trade, learns Greek, respects his mother, attends synagogue, keeps the Jewish festivals, and the like.

Jesus’ ministry, however, breaks sharply with tradition. His proclamation that “the kingdom of God is among you” (Luke 17:21) breaks upon Jewish society like a tidal wave. People respond to their encounter with the Incarnate Word whether by believing and following him or by resisting and rejecting his message. Jesus’ execution as a common criminal followed by his bodily resurrection introduces a radical change in the way the People of God develop. The work of God now goes forward with a new intimacy under the direction of the Holy Spirit: “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).

The People of God in Mission. Once unleashed on earth, the kingdom of God cannot stand still. It bursts the old wineskins of ethnicity and ritual. Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female are all received freely. A common language, excellent roads, and an era of peace (the Pax Romana) open the doors for the growing community to take the message of the kingdom of God throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.

(From The Life With God Bible)

Related Post with Diagram: A Panoramic View of God's Purpose in History

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