Read “And Finally . . . the Kingdom of God Is Like This . . . .” Note how the author encourages readers to find contemporary metaphors for the Kingdom of God.Write an essay (1,000-1,250 words) on contemporary metaphors for the Kingdom of God. Choose one parable or other metaphor used by Jesus to describe the Kingdom of God. Explain how this metaphor would have made sense to the 1st century audience of Jesus. Note its historical or cultural relevance. Note the meaning and impact of this message on his original audience. Finally, imagine how this same meaning and impact might be communicated in your contemporary context.A successful paper will:Take into account the historical/cultural significance, theological intent, and the impact of the parable or metaphor on the original audience.Explain how the changed metaphor is faithful to the teaching of Jesus on the Kingdom of God while changing the metaphor for your audience.Explain how this updated metaphor communicates to your audience the characteristics of the Messianic Kingdom of God as Jesus taught and modeled it.Demonstrate your understanding of the teaching of Jesus on the kingdom and your ability to communicate that teaching in a contemporary setting.In addition to the Bible and the assigned article, you must use at least two other scholarly sources.Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the GCU Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.You are required to submit this assignment to Turnitin. Please refer to the directions in the Student Success Center.This benchmark assignment assesses the following competencies:BA Christian StudiesDomain 1: Biblical FoundationCompetency 1.2: Demonstrate an understanding of the history, literature, and theology of the New TestamentTHE EXPOSITORY TIMES
Copyright © 2005 SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA, and New Delhi)
And finally … The Kingdom of God is like this …
HE vivid language of the Bible is rich in word
pictures, charting the ways people have found
God, and how God has found them. Prophets,
poets and storytellers described God using terms
from their experience: rock, fortress, strong tower,
the father of disobedient children, the husband of
an unfaithful wife, a shepherd, a mother of a young
Jesus too, used illustrations from everyday experience to describe how God feels about us, and what
God’s kingdom is like.
Some of these biblical images still mean something
to us, some have ceased to be meaningful; for what
use is a strong tower these days? With a leap of
imagination, we can guess that it’s an image of
security, but if we want to say that our relationship
with God makes us feel safe, we would probably put
it another way.
For Jesus, the evidence of God at work, and his
kingdom arriving was all around; in nature, in the
home, on the farm, anywhere. It occurred to me
that we should be ahle to see the Kingdom of God
breaking in around us, and therefore, new metaphors
and images should be possible. Who better to test
the theory than an average Sunday evening church
On several occasions, I have led services that
explored images from modern experience, and each
congregation has produced some very different
As an introduction, we discuss the way the
Bible expresses teaching and experience of God in
colourful poetry and metaphors and we read some
of the images of the Kingdom of God found in the
gospels.The interesting part happens when I give out
paper and pens, and what seems like an exercise in
Under the heading, ‘The Kingdom of God is
like . . . ‘ , people can select an item from a list;
these might include an island, a house, a piece of
furniture, something electrical, or something from
your line of work. They are then invited to spend
a few minutes expanding on their own cameo of
The images of Jesus came from everyday things.
Different, even contradictory lessons can he drawn
from them; the Kingdom is like treasure we have to
discover hy hard work, and also like afishingnet
that comes trawling for us. It’s like a mustard seed
that grows very publicly out of control; but also like
yeast that grows mysteriously and invisibly.
This has been reflected in some of the modern
images put forward; a midwife shared her image of
the kitchen tahle as a place of nurturing a growing
family. It was where bodies were fed, homework
done, and confidences told and heard. A secretary
spoke of a more individual struggle – her frustration
with her new computer. She knew she had to keep
reading the manual, and that it would take a great
deal of exploration and commitment to learning to
get the best from the machine.
Other images came from work. A baker, with
all his up-to-date knowledge of how yeast works,
expanded on the image of the yeast as a fitting way to
describe the growth of the kingdom in his own life. A
music teacher shared the enormous amount of work
in coaching children to work together, but her pride
in a final, harmonious performance.
A pharmacist brought a homely image; the
cupboard in his house which was the central
repository for family treasures such as photo albums
and mementos. It was also where wrapping paper
was kept. His cupboard reminded him that the
kingdom is precious, and a gift.
Images from nature were popular; a student spoke
of her sense of awe when canoeing on a lake at night,
revelling in the tranquillity and trusting her guide
to lead her through the darkness. A teacher talked
about her garden, where hard work had led to a place
of beauty and tranquillity, a treat for eyes and nose,
and a haven for hirds and insects.
The end result, in different churches, has been
a quiet, reflective time, in the context of worship,
where people have had space to consider and
voice their own experience, hear each other, and in
hearing, hear God. Which is probably an image of
the kingdom in itself.
KIM TAME, Oxon
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