The King and His Kingdom

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To speak kingdom is to speak king, the king’s rule, the king’s individuals, the king’s law/ethics and the king’s land. Nicholas Perrin discusses the king of the kingdom in his new book: The Kingdom of God: A Biblical Theology.

In other words, for Mark it is not merely a query of identity (Is Jesus the king or not?), but also a query of modality (If he is, what sort of king is he?) and functionality (If he is, what will he do?).

Perrin thinks to grasp the nature of this king and his rule you have to commence at the baptism. This is profoundly crucial. Also lots of want the king to rule and commence with a sword or, as is the case with as well lots of progressives nowadays, with judgment against injustice. Yes, we’ll get there but to grasp this king we commence as the Gospel of Mark does: at the baptism.

Who is he? Son of God. This implies Psalm two, two Samuel 22:20, Exodus four:22-23 and then Exodus two:10 — and Perrin sees behind Mark 1:11 “undertones of Exodus and Moses” (103). Add some Genesis 22 and Isaiah 42:1.

To summarize, in seeking closely at the divine declaration at Jesus’s baptism, we see short glimpses of David, Moses, and Isaac. As such, the baptism marks the moment exactly where Jesus is becoming publicly announced as the messianic Son, a messianic Son who bears—like the wine at Cana—a distinctive, variegated, and complicated character. Ascribing this sort of complexity to the baptismal voice need to not be dismissed as inherently improbable. When you see somebody flashing a V sign, you accept that a single hand signal can denote 3 diverse issues (revolution, victory, and peace) simultaneously and devoid of contradiction. At Jesus’s baptism, a single sentence spoken from heaven sheds light on Jesus’s vocation by invoking—simultaneously and devoid of contradiction—three diverse story lines: the story of David, the story of Moses, and the story of Isaac. As it turns out, all 3 stories look to be carried forward in the story of Jesus. The 3 stories with each other also look to inform a tale—much like the V sign—of revolution, victory, and peace.

As the New David he is warrior-king, restorer of the tribes, and a sufferer.

As the New Moses he is redeemer and lawgiver.

As the New Isaac he is atonement and heir.

We get off on the incorrect foot unless we make these sort of identity connections. His summary of it all — seven roles for Jesus:

“irst, leaning on the precedent set by David, Jesus presents himself as the ultimate warrior-king, who, although undertaking a style of warfare in no way observed ahead of, would vanquish Israel’s genuine enemy, the Satan. Second, as the final inductee—after David and Solomon—into the order of the priest-king Melchizedek, Jesus comes to us as one particular destined to restore the scattered tribes from exile, so that one particular individuals may perhaps serve their one particular God in one particular spot. Third, once more like David, Jesus experiences considerable suffering his sufferings are not incidental to his messianic vocation but are an vital element of it. Fourth, Mark’s readers study that if up to that point in history Moses had been the redeemer of Israel, establishing the nation as a kingdom of priests, now that title and function fall to Jesus. Fifth, whereas Moses also offered the terms of kingdom life by issuing Torah, it is now Jesus, once more as the new Moses, who not only problems a new law but also embodies it. Sixth, by reenacting the Aqedah of Isaac (with a key twist), Jesus reveals that dying for the sins of his individuals is also portion of his kingly calling. Lastly, as the Isaac-like heir, Jesus reveals that he stands to be heir of the eschatological fruitful vineyard. By extension, all of renewed creation falls to Jesus the king.

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