The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Jesus & the kingdom of God

It was his passion because it is God's passion

Central to Jesus’ message and activity was the kingdom of God. Almost 40 years ago, John Reumann, a Lutheran scholar and professor, wrote:

“Ask any hundred New Testament scholars around the world, Protestant, Catholic, or non-Christian, what the central message of Jesus of Nazareth was, and the vast majority of them—perhaps every single expert—would agree that his message centered in the Kingdom of God” (Jesus in the Church’s Gospels, Fortress Press, 1968).

Since then the consensus of scholarship has not changed. The kingdom of God was Jesus’ passion—passion in the sense of what he was passionate about. And because Jesus is for Christians the decisive revelation of God, Jesus’ passion discloses, reveals, God’s passion. Jesus’ passion is God’s passion: the kingdom of God.

What did Jesus mean when he used this phrase?

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February issue


Embracing diversity