The Announcement of the King
Matthew 1:18-23 (ESV)
Trust (v. 20-21)
Purpose (v. 21-23)
Quote: “Everything in the Hebrew Worldview militated against the idea that a human being could be God. Jews would not even pronounce “Yahweh” nor spell it. And yet Jesus Christ — by his life, by his claims, and by his resurrection — convinced his closest Jewish followers that he was not just a prophet telling them how to find God, but God himself who had come to find us.”
-Tim Keller, Hidden Christmas
LifeGroup Notes: -
Week 2 - The Announcement of our King
This weekend’s message was about the coming of a King. A King was born into this world to set up and establish an eternal kingdom and reign over it with sovereignty forever. The focus of today’s study will be on how Gods Kingdom was established, how it was misunderstood by the people, and how Jesus sought to clarify their misunderstandings. Keep in mind throughout the study that if the purpose (salvation) is often misunderstood, then the means (Christmas story) for the purpose will be hard to understand either.
As a group, discuss some of the misunderstandings of the coming of a KING. Focus both on the birth of CHRIST and CHRIST’s ministry as an adult? (what did people want/expect in a King)
Is the Kingdom of GOD a “future reality” to be experienced in the coming ages, or a “present reality” to be experi- enced now?
One of the biggest reasons for the kingdom of GOD being misunderstood was that it is truly both “Now and Later”. People have a tough time understanding this infinite truth with a finite mind. People thought that the King was going to come and immediately destroy enemies, restore Israel, and establish a Kingdom of peace and righteousness. If this is the type of King people were looking for, is it any wonder that they misunderstood Jesus, the nature of HIS Kingdom, and the means by which both would be secured? The truth is that the King (Jesus), the Kingdom, and the Kings story (Christmas) have been misunderstood since they were introduced to humanity. This is something that Jesus spent a lot of HIS ministry trying to clarify. He wanted the people to understand that the kingdom was both Now and Later and that the Christmas story is about overcoming all of the natural obstacles that exist to our having relationship with our Creator. To see this let’s examine the following passages.
As a group, read Luke 17:20-21 aloud.
1. What is Jesus’ response to the Pharisees asking him about the Kingdom of GOD coming?
As a group, read Matt. 12:28-29 aloud.
2. How does Jesus describe the Kingdom of GOD in these verses?
The previous verses show us that Jesus was open about the Kingdom of GOD existing as a “present reality”. Jesus’ coming in the Christmas story was the inaugural act of the establishment of the Kingdom of GOD. Jesus is saying, “the Kingdom is here and present because I have come and because I Am present!”
Jesus’ coming into the world to bind the strong man (satan, Mt.12:29) is the “Fulfillment” (or “now”) of the Kingdom of GOD; but the “later” of the Kingdom of GOD is when Jesus returns for HIS people. This will be the “consummation” of the Kingdom of GOD. We are currently living in an age where the Kingdom of GOD has been “fulfilled” but not “consummated”; as we are awaiting the return of our KING!
As a group, read Luke 19:11-27.
3. How does Jesus describe the Kingdom of GOD in verses 11-12?
4. Who is the nobleman in this parable and what journey will he take and to where?
5. How does the parable of the ten minas establish Jesus’ return to consummate the Kingdom of GOD?
Many errors occur in the way that we think about Christmas. One of them is to not think about eternity at all and just settle on the material aspects of our cultural celebrations. Another is to think eternally about Christmas, but only regarding Christ birth (the now) and not to extend our reflection and teaching to the natural conclusion of the Christmas story--the return of our King (the later). Christ came in such as magnificent way as to establish both a present and future kingdom at the same time. Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born into this world of a virgin. He lived a perfect life and died on a cross so that we could have eternal life through HIS sacrifice. This was Him fulfilling the Kingdom of GOD. He made it possible for us to have victory over satan and live a life of obedience and righteousness. But He will return to consummate the Kingdom that He has fulfilled! The question will be, have we been good stewards of that fulfillment?! He is a KING and He has made us servant of HIS Kingdom. We are to tell others about the amazing story of Jesus fulfilling the Kingdom, but we are also to warn them that He is returning to consummate this Kingdom and when this happens, those who don’t know and follow Jesus CHRIST will be banished to eternal punishment.