The Greatness Of The Kingdom Part III -- By: Alva J. McClain

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 112:447 (Jul 1955)
Article: The Greatness Of The Kingdom Part III
Author: Alva J. McClain


The Greatness Of The Kingdom
Part III

Alva J. McClain

[Editor’s Note: This article is the third in the series by Dr. McClain, President of Grace Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, Indiana, which constituted the W. H. Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectureship, November 9–12, 1954. In expanded form this series will appear as part of a volume in a projected set on Christian theology by Dr. McClain.]

The Mediatorial Kingdom in the Teaching of Christ

I have in mind here, of course, the teaching of our Lord during the historical period covered by the gospel records. In approaching this important body of material, it is possible for men to forget that the stream of history never stands still, not even in the brief time-span of our Lord’s public ministry. His teaching about the kingdom, therefore, cannot be read accurately apart from the background of the constantly changing historical situation. This principle has been rightly stressed in connection with the great expanse of Old Testament history. It is no less important in dealing with the gospel records when the very narrowness of the time increased the swiftness of the current. Hence, we shall do well, not only to heed exactly what the King has said about his kingdom, but also to give careful attention to the time when he said what he did. To neglect this principle will plunge the interpreter into misunderstanding and confusion.

It is hardly necessary to remind you that the Gospels open with the announcement of a kingdom. It is announced by angels (Luke 1:11, 26), anticipated by the Magi (Matt 2:1–6), preached by John the Baptist (Matt 3:1–3), by our Lord himself (Matt 4:17, 23) then by the twelve apostles (Matt 10:1–7), after that by the seventy (Luke 10:1–9). Several strong expressions are used to indicate the proximity of this kingdom. As to its supernatural powers, it had “come upon” men (Luke 11:20). As to its King, it was actually “in the midst of1 men (Luke 17:21). As to its complete

establishment on earth, the kingdom was “at hand,” that is, impending or imminent (Mark 1:15).

It has be...

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