Jesus and the Kingdom of God.

The Mission of the Seventy-Two. Luke 10: 1-20. Jesus has a group of evangelists, 72, which he sends forward, ahead of him to preach, heal and prepare the way for him. This mission anticipates the mission to the Gentiles since 70-72 was the number of Gentile nations. (7 and multiples of 7 is an important number to God: every 7 years slaves would be freed, land would lie fallow; there are 7 superuniverses, every 49 +1 year everyone would come back to the land they had originally owned. All debts would be forgiven.) The evangelists and the Twelve repeatedly call Jesus “Lord” for both the Father and Jesus, so readers of the Gospel are lead to recognize Jesus’ divinity and therefore the fittingness of praying also to him. Like the Twelve sent out earlier, the evangelists are not to take extra sandals or coats, money, food, a walking stick. They are not to greet anyone along the way. They should be in a hurry to come to a town where they can stop and spread the Gospel. When they enter a house, they should say, “Peace to this house.” “Shalom” is a traditional Hebrew greeting, but it is also the blessing that accompanies the birth of the Messiah. Shalom will be Jesus’ greeting after his resurrection. The peace that the disciples and the evangelists extend is thus a blessing associated with the “kingdom of God” that comes in Jesus.

Luke 10: 7-8. The evangelists, like the Twelve, are to stay in one house and eat the food provided because “the laborer deserves his wages.” Staying in the house that extends a welcome to the evangelists serves as a base of operations while they stay in the town preaching the kingdom of God and healing the sick. If they receive no welcome, they go on to the next town, shaking the dust from their sandals. When they do stay in a house and eat the food provided, they will use Jesus’ table politics; they will eat anything set before them; they will eat with Gentiles and Jews, sinners and the sick, believers and unbelievers.

Luke 10: 9-12. The activities carried out by the evangelists, Jesus informs them, is to care for the sick and to proclaim that the kingdom of God is at hand. This is precisely the combination of word and deed seen in Jesus’ own ministry. This same combination will also be seen in the Church’s mission later (Acts 8: 7, 12), even down to the present time. The kingdom ushered in by Jesus, through his word and mighty deeds, is extended through the mission of those he sends out. If a town rejects the mission, the evangelists are to shake the dust from their sandals in a gesture of repudiation and warning that the kingdom of God is at hand and you had better heed the signs. On that coming day of judgment that town will fare far worse than Sodom, that proverbial place of wickedness and perversion of hospitality. (Sodom is not proverbial. It was a real city and it was destroyed, along with Gomorrah, because of their perversions. The Bible says God destroyed the cities by raining fire and brimstone on them. Zecharia Sitchin, an expert Sumerian tablets, wrote that the Anannaki, were ETs who came here and created humans as a slave race. After the Flood, they had a change of heart and helped Humans create the Sumerian civilization. The people of Sumer looked upon them as gods. During a family war, two young Anunnaki found buried atomic bombs and used them on the two cities. Sitchen said there is green glass under the foundations of the cities, an indication that high heat has been applied to sand.)

Luke 10: 13-15. Jesus singles out three towns like Sodom associated with his ministry in and near Galilee. He pronounces a WOE on the first two: Chorazin and Bethsaida. Jesus laments that these towns have not repented in response to his ministry. He compares them to Tyre and Sidon, cities from which people had come to listen to Jesus. Therefore, the judgment on those ancient enemies of Israel will be less severe than for Chorazin and Bethsaida. This comparison anticipates the situation in Acts, where there will be resistance to the Gospel among Jews, but reception of the Gospel among many Gentiles. A third city in a similar situation is Capernaum. Although the people there were amazed by his miracles and tried to prevent him from leaving, they too must not have repented and shown true faith in Jesus. At the judgment, the town will thus not be exalted to heaven, but will go down to the netherworld. ( Netherworld is Hebrew she’ol, hades in the Greek OT and NT and Hell in English and in the New Jerusalem Bible). Speaking of the Netherworld, gravity, according to the UB, comes from the nether side of Paradise. I wonder how Einstein’s equations for gravity are impacted by this idea. No wonder they can’t reconcile quantum mechanics with relativity. Well, I don’t know anything either, so to continue:

The Kingdom of God. David’s kingdom was considered to be that “of the Lord’s kingship.” Thus as son of David, but even more as Son of God, Jesus the king ushers in the kingdom of God. During the Galilean ministry, Jesus and his Apostles begin claiming the good news of God’s kingdom. However, most of the teaching about God’s kingdom appears on the journey to Jerusalem–which culminates in his being proclaimed king. There are more than twenty references to the kingdom in this central section. Proclaiming God’s kingdom now becomes an urgent priority. With Jesus’ coming, the kingdom is “at hand” in the midst of the people. However, one must also seek it and pray for its coming in fullness. As the kingdom of God advances, Satan’s kingdom is in retreat. Jesus also uses parables to explain the kingdom. He describes the great banquet that will take place in the kingdom, to which the poor and the sick are invited. He gives the conditions for entering the kingdom, indicating that it reverses worldly values. He promises the kingdom to his followers. Though it may seem weak when compared to the kingdoms of the world, such as the mighty Roman Empire, the kingdom of God transcends earthly armies. Paradoxically, Luke’s story ends in Rome, with Paul, “with complete assurance and without hindrance” proclaiming the “kingdom of God.” Daniel’s prophecy is thus being brought to fulfillment: The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed” (Dan 2:44).

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