Faith seeking understanding

Kingdom of God at the heart of divine plan

Defining the kingdom of God has always been a "pickle of a problem", writes Ridley College's Michael Bird, and we must be mindful of what our role is in our work for the kingdom.

By Michael Bird

The “kingdom of God” was Jesus’ way of summarising his message. In the Gospel of St Mark, we read: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news” (Mk 1:15). The kingdom of God, intimated in the Old Testament, saturating the Gospels, and even appearing in Paul’s letters, is a central topic in biblical teaching.

Yet the kingdom of God is a nutty problem with layers of complexity one must unravel in order to grasp a workable understanding of its meaning in the Bible, on the lips of Jesus, and in the diverse interpretive schemes it has held within the church across the ages. The question has always been what does “kingdom” mean and, most importantly of all, what does it mean for me?

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The Revd Dr Michael F. Bird is Academic Dean and Lecturer in Theology at Ridley College in Parkville.

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