What area of character is God working on at the moment?
Spend five minutes in silence listening to God and then share the results. Perhaps give a few verses from a Psalm as a seed before the silence begins.
Ask the group to define the ‘Kingdom of God’.
The Kingdom of God is anywhere where God is acknowledged as King and where his laws are obeyed. Since the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, it is being ushered in gradually. The Kingdom involves a visible demonstration of radical love and justice, activated by the power of the Holy Spirit. It comprises pockets of people on earth where God’s reign is acknowledged and therefore expressed through their lifestyles. These pockets, or ‘colonies of heaven’, are expanding and will eventually cover the globe.
Is God’s kingdom more about ruling or territory?
The Greek word used in the New Testament for Kingdom is basilea. The meaning carried by this word is primarily that of ‘rule’ and ‘reign’ rather than territory. The Kingdom of God can be defined as ‘the rule of God’.
Split into three groups. Give each group one set of the verses below.
On the basis of these verses, is the kingdom something that is here now or is it something we are waiting for?
Try to put yourself in the shoes of the disciples and other Jews of the first century.
- What did they understand when Jesus talked about ‘the Kingdom of God’?
- What was their context?
- Jesus was referred to as the Son of David, what did that mean to them?
David was the high watermark for the Jewish people and so Jesus was often called the ‘Son of David.’ They would be hoping to return to a time of prosperity and power like that of David’s reign.
Think about this for a minute or two and then talk about it to the person next to you.
How would you feel if you were living in a nation that had once been very great, but now was cruelly occupied? Imagine, in addition, that you and all the people around you felt that your nation and people were uniquely chosen as God’s special people on earth. Would you pray that God would send a saviour, a ‘messiah’? Wouldn’t you expect that Messiah to defeat the occupying army? What would that Messiah look like and how did Jesus differ?
Picture the excitement that swept through the countryside when Jesus appeared, preaching the Kingdom and doing signs and wonders! Everyone would have felt that the day of liberation was at hand. But confusion and anger followed when they realised that he was not interested in warfare and insurrection. He taught against it (Matthew 5: 43-48) and even spoke well of a Roman soldier (Matthew 8: 5-13).
Do you think we understand the Kingdom of God today? Is it a common subject for clear teaching amongst believers? How would somebody who had a clear understanding of the Kingdom of God live? How can you best extend God’s kingdom in your life and the life of those around you? Discuss this for a few minutes.
What forms does the Kingdom of God take on campus?
Pray that God would extend His Kingdom in your university. Break down strongholds and pray promises over the campus.