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Jesus is Still King

I love, love, love N.T. Wright. He is one of my favorite scholars and teachers about Jesus. If you don’t know Wright’s work, start with Surprised By Hope.

Wright is a British New Testament, former Bishop of Durham (second in command in the Church of England), and is currently the Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary’s College in the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Yep, he’s a smarty.

Survival of the last week has required a daily reminder that Jesus is king. For that reason, I have returned to one of my favorite books, How Jesus Became King. Here are some of the best parts.

“The gospels are, and were written to be, fresh tellings of the story of Jesus designed to be the charter of the community of Jesus’s first followers and those who, through their witness, then and subsequently, have joined in and have learned to hear, see, and know Jesus in word and sacrament.”

“The gospels offer us not so much a different kind of human, but a different kind of God: a God who, having made humans in his own image, will most naturally express himself in and as that image-bearing creature; a God who, having made Israel to share and bear the pain and horror of the world, will most naturally express himself in and as that pain-bearing, horror-facing creature. This is perhaps the most difficult thing for us to keep in mind, though the gospels are inviting us to do so on every page.”

“To speak of Jesus’s divinity without speaking of his kingdom coming on earth as in heaven is to take a large step toward the detached spirituality—almost a form of Gnosticism—that the first two centuries of the church firmly rejected. Only recently did the awful realization dawn on me that a certain stance was not only possible, but actually occurring: people were affirming the divinity of Jesus—which I also fully and gladly affirm—and then using it as a shelter behind which to hide from the radical story the gospels were telling about what this embodied God was actually up to.”  

“Jesus himself is the new Temple at the heart of the new creation, against that day when the whole earth shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea. And so this Temple, like the wilderness tabernacle, is a temple on the move, as Jesus’s people go out, in the energy of the Spirit, to be the dwelling of God in each place, to anticipate that eventual promise by their common and cross-shaped life and work.”

The throne is still occupied – Jesus still reigns.

Chris Lawson

Founder of MyBigJesus.com, husband to Merri, father to Adam, Ellie, and Zachary, and executive pastor @reynoldachurch. Lives to make Jesus famous. He enjoys watching the Atlanta Braves and UNC basketball, as well as demeaning and insulting whatever sports teams you root for. He knows a disturbing amount about television and movies.

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