BIBLICAL POINTS TO PONDER
Although I have referred to the concept of "Son of Man" in previous articles, I refer to it again to link it to the concept of "The Kingdom of God" dealt with below. The term "Son of Man" surfaces only once in the Old Testament in Daniel 7:13. Its message in that verse had to do with providing hope for the Jewish people who were suffering badly because of the efforts of the Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes IV, to do away with Judaism and force the Jewish people to embrace Hellenism (Greek religion). In the vision described in Daniel 7, Daniel declares that the time was approaching when the Jewish people referred to and depicted as "the Son of Man"would overcome all foreign powers/enemies and rule the nations of the world forever.
Note well that, in the four Gospels, Jesus refers to Himself (or is referred to) as "the Son of Man," the true people of God, 82 times. The term "Son of Man" surfaces in other NT writings only three times Acts 7:56, and Revelation 1:13 and 14:14. As the true people of God, Jesus walked the way of a Servant-without-limit throughout His ministryand He calls His brothers and sisters to follow Him and reflect His servant lifestyle in all that they think, say, and do. We do well to ponder the amazing truth that at Calvary, although the Servant King Jesus got crucified, Satan got "nailed!"
Another Gospel insight, which William Barclay deals with in detail in one of his books, The Kingdom of God, is the following: When we read through the Gospels carefully, we find that they make use of the word "gospel" only once in Mark 8:35. However, in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the term, "the Kingdom of God" is used 103 times. The concept of the Kingdom of God was a central focus of Jesus' teachings. Jesus spent much of His time speaking about the Kingdom of God, and all of His life living it out. He did not suggest that God's Kingdom had to do with a land, an area of territory, or a part of the world. He related it to His dominion over people's hearts, minds, and lives. He related it to gathering people into a divine community in which they would seek to embrace and reflect His divine teachings and servant lifestyle in all that they think, do, and say! Indeed, food for thought with profound implications for the life of God's people!
BOOKS TO READ
William Barclay was a Scottish biblical scholar who served for many years as a Professor of Divinity and Biblical Studies at Glasgow University. He was regarded as a distinguished theologian-teacher of international repute, a gifted preacher, broadcaster, and journalist, and wrote a wide range of bestselling religious books. I have 12 of his books in my library, and plan to buy a few more.
If you wish to begin reading some of his writings, I suggest the following three books: The King and the Kingdom, The Master's Men, and The Men, the Meaning, the Message of the New Testament Books. These publications, which are available online, contain profound insights in easy-to-understand language that focus on the radical Kingdom that Jesus demonstrated and established throughout His ministry.
Rev. Dr. Harry Wendt / Co-Founder