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By Lesslie Newbigin

Presently earlier than he died in February 1998, Lesslie Newbigin recorded a sequence of 8 15-minute talks, pitched at a well-liked point and entitled "A stroll in the course of the Bible". This quantity collects the 8 talks.

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And so he comes back from the desert, back to his native Galilee and makes this great ringing announcement: 'The time has come. The kingdom of God is at hand. ' 'Well, what is new? Every devout Jew knows that God reigns! It's what he sings in the temple every sabbath. ' 'But where is it? '' 'You don't see it because you are looking the wrong way. You are expecting something different. Turn round, repent and come with me. html[21/04/11 12:58:21 PM] next page > page_53 < previous page page_53 next page > Page 53 Because the truth is that Jesus himself is the presence of the kingdom.

It is the person of Jesus. And to know what God's kingly rule is, one must believe in Jesus and come with him. Well this sets the whole of Galilee tingling with excitement. People follow him, but people are also perplexed: 'What is this kingdom? ' They follow but they question, and they are puzzled. And in the next chapter we will try to show how Jesus taught and manifested the reign of God in his own ministry. html[21/04/11 12:58:22 PM] next page > page_57 < previous page page_57 next page > Page 57 We have arrived at the point where Jesus has come into Galilee announcing that the kingdom of God has come.

Html[21/04/11 12:58:30 PM] next page > page_69 < previous page page_69 next page > Page 69 So Jesus has been crucified, is dead and has been buried. To his contemporaries it must have seemed that this was just one more failed revolution, one more nail in the coffin of Jewish hopes for the kingdom of God. How has it happened that today, among all the world's faith communities, much the largest and still rapidly growing is that community which looks to the cross as the sign of victory? The one way in which it can be explained is the story told in the Bible itself, namely that on the third day the tomb in which Jesus had been laid was empty and that he was rallying his disciples and sending them out as his witnesses into all the world.

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