ReExamination - Eschatology

Image by allthingsfulfilled via Flickr

Olivet Discourse: Has the Kingdom of God Arrived? Matthew, Mark and Luke, all record the Olivet Discourse. However, only one explicitly mention the coming of the kingdom of God. While all gospels speak of the coming kingdom, only Luke connected it with Jesus’ address on the Mount of Olives.

The kingdom is the reign of God in men’s hearts. Luke recorded Jesus’ words that during the Roman conflagration of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the kingdom would be near. “So likewise you, when you see all these things, know that the kingdom of God has drawn near.”

The question we ask is did Jesus speak of the coming of the kingdom in Matthew or Mark or both? The importance of this question centers on the fact that Luke’s account is admittedly a reference to Jesus’ coming in the clouds during Jerusalem’s fall in the first century. Thus, to show a connection between Matthew and Luke demonstrates they both taught the soon arrival of the kingdom.

In order to establish that connection, let us consider a statement Jesus makes elsewhere in Luke concerning his kingdom. When the Pharisees asked when the kingdom would come, Jesus replied that the kingdom does not come with observation, but is within you…” (Luke 17:20-23. That means it is not visible to the physical eye. It is spiritual in nature.

Warning Against Impostors

For this reason, Jesus warned his disciples not to follow those who say “Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’, and thus do not go after them or follow them. This, he called one of the days of the Son of Man. Now several points must be observed. First, since this text refers to the “days” of the Son of Man, we are not speaking of a planet-ending event. In most eschatological paradigms, there is only one last day of the Son of Man.

Secondly, the association of this text with the Son of Man connects the coming of the kingdom with the coming of the Son of Man. Why? It is because Christ comes in his kingdom. Now as we have observed that the kingdom does not come with observation but is within you, it must follow that if Christ comes in his kingdom, he:

  1. Does not come with observation
  2. Comes to be within us

A quick glance at Colossians 1:27, shows that the hope of the gospel was Christ “in you” the hope of glory. That means that the concept of the kingdom/Christ dwelling within you applies to the second coming of Christ. But more on that later.

An important text is Luke 21:24, which says, “For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven ashines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of man will be in His day.”

Olivet Discourse: Has the Kingdom Arrived?

Now Matthew records the same exhortation and admonition. Only he omits the kingdom in the verses, Matt. 24:23-27. By connecting these verses with those of Luke 17:20-23, it then is undeniable that the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew equals the coming of the kingdom in Luke.

Therefore Jesus taught that the kingdom/coming of the Son of Man had drawn in near, that both would be fulfilled before Jerusalem fell. Once one sees that Luke and Matthew speak of the same event, then it is clear that they both refer to 70 A.D. Equally true is that the kingdom of God arrived.

Be Sociable, Share!