In part 1, we considered one of the largest associations Yeshua’s hearers would have had with the phrase “kingdom of heaven” or “kingdom of God.” That is the return of a kingship like David’s, a golden age for Israel under the right shepherd blessed by God.
In part 2, we considered the words of Israel’s psalmists and prophets about the great changes in the world when the rule of God overtakes the rule of man. We talked about Israel regathered, a paradise of singing and dancing, agricultural wonders, and God dwelling on earth in Jerusalem.
Now in the third part of our look at ideas about the kingdom of heaven, I want to look to the gospels and examine the many examples of people in Yeshua’s time thinking about and talking about the kingdom. Did people then think more than people do in our generation about the sudden and radical changes in the world that God would bring? Did they expect something drastic to happen? Were they looking for a Messiah? Were they looking for immediate changes to start at an unknown time?
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