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 […]
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, […]
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.
The most important question we will ever ask.
from Bruxy Cavey
Pain – we are all equally subject to it. It is vitally important, therefore, to establish a view of pain and suffering that does justice to God’s character, the witness of scripture and our experience of it. I once heard someone make this comment in relation to our attempts to better understand the problem of […]
The danger of seeking God comes when the picture or conception of God we have formulated is inaccurate. If we have created an image of God built around little more than our own psychological projections, contemporary philosophical assumptions, or religious persuasions, maybe we need to take a step back and reflect on another picture. For instance, […]
Here are two things I’ve come to learn over the past 20 years – 1) Christian discipleship is not about being smart. 2) Two degrees in Christian theology isn’t a one-way ticket to Christlikeness. I realize I may have raised the eyebrows of many of my friends who currently work in Christian academia, but please […]
It was the apostle Paul who first introduced the New Testament idea of people being made new through the life-giving grace of Jesus Christ. In a number of his correspondences, he chose the phrase ‘new creation’ as a way to capture the essence of Christ’s saving vision for the world. However, when people think about […]