Who started the concept of God
Fundamentals of the Kingdom of God message of Jesus
The message of the kingdom of God is the core message of Jesus. This is not presented as a concept, but in parables, situations (e.g. sinful meals) and the miracles of Jesus concretely and tangibly.
Nevertheless, some essential elements, ie "basic features" of the Kingdom of God message can be ascertained.
- The kingdom of God is not a political kingdom, but wants to bring new, previously unimaginable relationships between people and with God to life. So the evil with which the world and people are confronted is disempowered. In addition, the kingdom of God applies to all people of good will and is - according to Jesus - not reserved for the "chosen people" of Israel (see below).
- The message of the kingdom of God (or - as it is called in the Gospel of Matthew - of the rule of God) takes up Old Testament hopes of salvation. In the kingdom of God the evils and suffering of the world, such as diseases, malice, ruthlessness, loneliness and disregard for human dignity are overcome. On the other hand, new standards apply to the relationships between people such as non-violence, love of neighbor and enemy, mercy and reconciliation.
- The kingdom of God is a greatness of this world, albeit still inconspicuous and hidden (cf. mustard seed parable Mt 13, 31f and the parable of leaven Mt 13, 33 and other parables). The Parables overall indicate how Jesus imagines the kingdom of God (cf. Lk 8, 9-10).
- The miracles reported by Jesus also make it clear that the kingdom of God is already present in the beginning, even if it is still to be completed. Healings of the sick overcome concrete suffering; Forgiveness of sins opens up new perspectives and a new relationship with God; With the expulsion of demons, which have been handed down several times, it becomes clear that evil is being overcome and disempowered; Feeding miracles show that Jesus not only wants people's spiritual well-being, but also their physical well-being.
- The kingdom of God has already dawned in Jesus, but not yet completed ("Eschatological reservation"). Eschatology is the doctrine of the ultimate things, including the doctrine of the kingdom of God. “Eschatological reservation” means that the kingdom of God has already begun, but “subject to” its final fulfillment, which is not “of this world”.
- The kingdom of God is ultimately a gift from God. Man alone cannot work out or earn the kingdom of God. (cf. also Mk 10, 17-27, where it is about “wealth and discipleship”). This gift character is also made clear in the parable of the prodigal son or the merciful father (Lk 15: 11-32). Without reproach or demand for performance, the father approaches the returning son on his own initiative and accepts him back into the community without reservation.
- The world is set free for good by God. Fears, suffering and death are ultimately overcome, whereby people and the world find salvation. In the behavior of Jesus it becomes clear that this liberation for the good should already be in this world. At least this is how his signs and healings are to be understood, which indicate that earthly suffering is to be overcome. So the kingdom of God is not simply thought of as life after death.
- The kingdom of God means a transformation and transformation of the world so that justice, peace, freedom and love rule. The demand for “love of one's enemies” must also be seen in this context, so that the kingdom of God itself is open to enemies. All peoples should be united in the kingdom of God.
- "LAW" OF LOVE and the Sermon on the Mount: The kingdom of God is marked by the goodness and mercy of God. The law of love applies (God is love), whereby the human being is more important than the law (cf. Jesus' healings on the Sabbath). The extraordinary of the Kingdom of God message is proclaimed in a special way in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7), also known as the "speech of true righteousness". The Sermon on the Mountain is a collection of Jesus' words that only occurs in Matthew (cf. the field speech in Lk 6, 20-49). In addition to the Beatitudes, which make it clear that the kingdom of heaven (as the kingdom of God is called by Mätthaus) belongs to the merciful, the meek, the mourning ... in a special way, Jesus relativizes the Mosaic Law and surpasses it in terms of love ( up to love of one's enemies), which should become concrete in life and should not only be understood as the fulfillment of the law. One speaks of a "new righteousness" that goes beyond the Mosaic Law (cf. Pericope "Of Retribution", Mt 5, 38-42). Certainly the Sermon on the Mount will be discussed again and again (cf. Bismarck: "One cannot make politics with the Sermon on the Mount"). If this ethos of the Sermon on the Mount were followed (also in the behavior of individuals), the world and the behavior of people towards one another would change. The Sermon on the Mount can actually be understood as an "invitation to discipleship". Jesus himself wants people to have life "in abundance", as it is expressed in the Gospel of John (John 10,10b): "I came that they might have life and have it in abundance."
- ADDRESSEES: Originally Jesus probably addressed his message to the people of Israel. This “gathering movement of the people of Israel” is also expressed, for example, in the calling of the 12 apostles, with which Jesus connects with the 12 tribes of Israel. Soon, however, the message of Jesus opens up and also goes to “addressees” outside of the actual people of Israel.
The invitation to the kingdom of God is addressed to everyone, Jews and "Gentiles", v. a. also to sinners, strangers, “marginalized”, disenfranchised, sick people and “people of good will”. In the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7) something like a program of the kingdom of God is set up. There it becomes clear to whom the kingdom of God is “open” (cf. the Beatitudes Mt 5, 3-11), where those who are poor before God, those who mourn, those who do not use violence, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness etc., promised the kingdom of God (in different formulations). The fact that the message of the Kingdom of God goes to everyone is also evident in the fact that Jesus, with the tax collector Matthew or with Zacchaeus, also addresses obvious “traitors” of the Jewish people. With the chief customs officer Zacchaeus (Lk 19, 1-10) he even invites him to be himself in order to give him the chance to change his life.
With his “sinful meals” he turns against the valid cultic purity regulations. His dealings with the "sinner" are provocative.
- The Meal fellowship of Jesus with his disciples and the “sinners” is a sign and anticipation of the final heavenly wedding supper in the kingdom of God. At the same time, this communion is a sign of the acceptance of the lost and of sinners into the communion of salvation with God. Thus, with Jesus, meal fellowship becomes a sign of the beginning eschatological salvation, of the new fellowship with God and the fellowship of people with one another and thus a sign of the beginning of God's kingdom.
- After it is ultimately established by God himself, it can neither be won by force nor by pious exercises of penance. Jesus rejects violence.
- The kingdom of God demands that Man's decision to repent (cf. Mk 1:15). Repentance can also be refused. Jesus wants to win people over to this kingdom of God without forcing them.
- The decision for Jesus and the kingdom of God means detachment from natural and social ties, ultimately following the cross. This idea becomes clear again and again and is ultimately also shown in the fate of the martyrs.
Concepts of the kingdom of God of other groups at the time of Jesus
- John the Baptist
John expects the rulership of God to come soon. This is initiated by a criminal court, which only enables a new covenant with God. Few can stand before the wrath of God. Time to be saved through repentance and repentance is short.
Jesus originally joins the movement of John the Baptist (baptizing himself). Ultimately, however, he also detaches himself internally from this idea of the Kingdom of God message, which focuses on punishment and judgment. For Jesus love, goodness and mercy of God are the hallmarks of the message of the kingdom of God. All suffering, tears and all agony will end.
Often the scribes are named together with the Pharisees. This is correct in so far as the scribes who can be called the professional theologians mostly belonged to the group of the Pharisees. These in turn were a lay movement in contrast to the Sadducees, who formed the priestly group. Over time, the Pharisees became a scholars' guild, actually scribes. It was her concern to convey strict compliance with the law and to ensure that the laws are strictly observed. The actual temple cult, i.e. visiting the synagogue or the temple with prayer and reading the scriptures, was less important to them
The Pharisees enjoyed great authority among the population, especially among the uneducated, because of their knowledge of the law. Their efforts were entirely religious, not political. In their interpretation of the Old Testament law, literal fulfillment was the highest ideal. The innumerable individual regulations that were passed on in the oral tradition had the same validity for them as the written law. Often they are portrayed as opponents of Jesus without appreciating their (sometimes exaggerated) zeal for religion. The Pharisees want to hasten the longed-for coming of the kingdom of God (an Old Testament motif) through deepened piety and strict observance of the law. For them the kingdom of God is the perfect fulfillment of the Torah (the Law of Moses).
Jesus sees the kingdom of God already realized in his person at the beginning. Ultimately, however, this cannot be achieved through religious and ethical performance. With this, Jesus also breaks away from the Old Testament "do-it-yourself scheme". The demarcation of Jesus from the Pharisaic ideas becomes clear again and again when, for example, he also performs signs on the Sabbath.
The Essenes withdraw from the world and the temple cult. They lived in quasi-monastery-like communities. They want to prepare for the "day of Yahweh" through strict cultic purity regulations, celibacy and poverty. They see themselves as the “holy remnant of Israel” or as “sons of light” who have to differentiate themselves from the “sons of darkness”.
Jesus does not break away from the world. He rejects excessive cultic purity. His idea of the kingdom of God is aimed at all people and not just a “holy remnant”. Cultic purity or even demarcation are completely alien to him. Jesus even provokes through his dealings with outsiders, tax collectors and sinners who, according to Essen's conception, would not have “access” to the kingdom of God. His "feasts for sinners" are almost an anticipation of the kingdom of God.
The Zealot movement began its "terrorist" resistance with the introduction of the Roman property and poll tax in Judea in the year 6 AD. Means independence from the Roman Empire and a rebuilding of the Empire of David (political theocracy). Your Messiah expectation is directed towards a political leader. In order to attain this kingdom of God, they are ready to use violence and terrorist acts. Ultimately, they want to build the kingdom of God through their own deeds. For them, resistance against Rome is even a religious obligation, because the Roman emperor claims the titles of king and lord, which, according to Jewish ideas, are exclusively reserved for God. The Zealots are thus something like underground fighters for the kingdom of God of their imagination. In the years 66 to 70 AD, the Zealots achieved a leading political role and ultimately plunged the people into a hopeless struggle against Rome, which ended with the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus Flavius in 70.
Jesus rejects violence. He even advocates the provocative demand for love of one's enemy (cf. Mt 5, 38-42). In addition, according to his conception, the kingdom of God is bestowed through God's mercy and love and cannot be reached through force. The Kingdom of God message of Jesus does not mean that the former political kingdom (following the example of King David in the 10th century BC) is to be rebuilt, but a radically new relationship between people and God and between people. The “law” of the Jesus' kingdom of God is love, not (political) power. Ultimately, the kingdom of God, as it is represented by Jesus in his message, is not an earthly kingdom at all, but is subject to the "eschatological reservation", i.e. H. Although it has already started at the beginning, it awaits the final realization, which can only take place through God himself (gift of God).
As a theologically conservative group, the Sadducees are against repentance and change. They were mainly recruited from priests. The Sadducees were less popular with the people than the Pharisees, but they dominated the council. They only accepted the written law of Moses, the Pentateuch or the "Torah". Rather, they are interested in maintaining power and vested interests. They cooperated with the Romans.
For Jesus the kingdom of God means a radical conversion towards justice, freedom, peace and non-violence. The kingdom of God affects the relationship between people and God.
This group combined the hope of the great end-historical turning point and the dawn of the "rule of God" with messianic expectations. The so-called “two eons doctrine” is characteristic. The present aeon (which means age) is under the rule of Satan, which manifests itself through injustice, oppression, suffering, sickness and sin. The “coming eon”, which God himself or his anointed one is supposed to bring up, is, on the other hand, an expression of the rule of God, essentially good, potentiated life and happiness. According to the apocalyptic, there is a “judgment” as a cosmic event between the present eon and the future eon, in which the good are rewarded and the bad are punished.
Nowhere is such a pronounced “dualism” (of good and bad, Satan's aeon and God's aeon, etc.) handed down from Jesus. On the contrary. He tries to give an inkling of the kingdom of God right from the start with his signs and wonders and with his behavior. The world is not bad, but shows the beginnings of the kingdom of God. With this, Jesus himself does not allow himself to be abused as “consolation” for people in the hereafter. For Jesus there is definitely a “life before death”.
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