The Israelitic-Messianic Kingdom


The intro to a blogpost I shared eleven months ago…

No evidence, however, is more conclusive than Jesus’ own postresurrection teachings. For forty days he appeared to his disciples, “speaking about the kingdom of God” (Acts 1: 3). Surely the apostles would have had many questions after such in-depth teaching, yet the singular question that gets recorded is “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (v. 6). If Jesus was introducing a nonethnic, spiritualized kingdom, it seems he was a fairly obtuse teacher. Again, if it cannot be said clearly in forty days, then it probably ought not to be said. But Jesus did say it, and he confirmed it by saying, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority” (v. 7). The Israelitic-messianic kingdom would come, and its timing was “fixed,” or “set” (Gk. tithēmi), by the Father. Before that day, though, the disciples would receive power from the Holy Spirit to be “witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (v. 8).

Therefore it is this hope in the Israelitic, messianic kingdom which the early church consistently proclaimed (Acts 8: 12; 14: 22; 20: 25; 28: 31)— that is, the “same hope” (24: 15, NIV) as the unbelieving Jews (cf. 26: 7), only the church sought to attain it by faith in an atonemental interpretation of Jesus’ death (cf. Rom. 9: 30— 10: 4; Gal. 3: 21– 29; Phil. 3: 8– 8– 11). Thus Paul clearly maintains Jewish preeminence in the administration of “the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Rom. 2: 5). – John P. Harrigan, The Gospel of Christ Crucified: A Theology of Suffering before Glory

Source: The Prophets Speaks Comfort to God’s People