The most common questions about God in contemporary society center less on whether or not God exists and more on what kind of God exists. And, by way of extension, what kind of world did God chose to create? This question forms the basis of director George Nolfi’s film, The Adjustment Bureau. The storyline of […]
Image – Story – Soundtrack –> this is how our culture communicates. We, on the other hand, have versitis. We’ve memorized the verses of the Bible, but not the story. Yet, the Bible is a story – a redemptive story for all. God invites us into His story. We would rather argue over a verse. Image What’s […]
My theological journey has less to do with changes made to specific theological categories, though many such changes have occurred, and more to do with the posture, mood and style in which I engage in the theological task. In the past, my approach to theology and biblical studies could have been characterized as a strict, […]
God’s promised future world is something we wait for and work for. It is a dream we hope for and live for – right now. Anchored in the kingdom Jesus inaugurated and demonstrated throughout his public ministry, death and resurrection, we’re called to echo the future and full realties of God’s promised ‘kingdom come’ in the ‘kingdom now.’ In […]
Healing, Miracles and the Launching of the Kingdom of God in Jesus
Matthew makes it clear that Jesus’ ministry centered on proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and the demonstration of that kingdom through the healing of various diseases (Matthew 4:23). We see an immediate connection between the in-breaking of the kingdom of God in the person of Jesus with the proclamation of the good news and healing.
Ron Kydd concurs that, “In Jesus, God was launching a revolution aimed at the total transformation of human experience,” and healings were a part of the program. (1)
Through healing, Jesus gave his audience a glimpse of what the fullness of the kingdom of God will look like. They were signs, or pointers, to the future kingdom finding expression in the here and now. “The exercise of this power was evidence that the longed-for kingdom of God had already come upon his hearers.” (2)
God’s will for the earth was breaking into the world through Jesus. The kingdom had been inaugurated and healings were a sign of its arrival. Yet, while the time of ultimate fulfillment lay in the future, when everyone will experience the fullness of the kingdom, God’s reign was now being seen in its early stages.
In this light, the miraculous takes on a whole new meaning. It is something that should be anticipated, even today, as evidence of the in-breaking of the kingdom of God.
However, as a partial in-breaking, the reality is that not everyone, in every situation, will experience its effects. Signs are often sporadic in nature; incomplete pictures that point us toward the future, when the fullness of God’s kingdom will be realized. In that day, God’s reign will be made complete and the world, along with everyone in it, will be made whole (Rev. 21).
1. Ron Kydd. Healing Through the Centuries: Models for Understanding. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1998. 3.
2. James D.G. Dunn. Jesus and the Spirit. London: SCM, 1975. 47.
Following Jesus centers on his story becoming our story.
Since relaunching my blog in October 2014, I’ve made a number of significant changes that I’ve been very happy with. The overall format, style and level of interaction have been some of the best features of the new theme. Basically, everything is new! However, one of the things that I’ve carried over from the old […]
I was horrified, angry and sad when I heard about the recent events in Paris, France and the merciless killing of eight staff at the satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, along with two police officers, a maintenance worker and a visitor. I still find it difficult to believe how people can justify killing innocent people in […]
Burning Questions is a new six-part DVD series produced by Talon Productions and Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, and is hosted by Dr. Andy Bannister, the Director for RZIM Canada. In this very informative and thorough series, Dr. Bannister takes us on a journey to three countries and asks representatives from the major world religions, as […]
In this short video clip, Jon Tyson asks a number of questions about local church discipleship –
1 | Are we creating disciples to fit into and reflect the image of our local congregational brand or the image of Jesus? There can be a huge difference.
2 | Are people in the church being discipled more by consumerism, and if so, what does this look like?
Jon brings to our attention a number of significant concerns related to local church discipleship initiatives that we all must pay careful attention to.
If we are all being discipled by something, whether it be the culture of consumerism or the image of a particular congregational brand, we need to isolate these various other sources that compete for our attention and once again re-center our focus on creating disciples exclusively in the image of Jesus.
What are your thoughts? Ideas?