Does the king of a kingdom have anything to do with its priorities? What does it mean for God himself to rule in our world? McKnight explores this idea in part.
McKnight, Scot. Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church. Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Brazos Press, 2014. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 8, “The King of the Kingdom.” pp. 123-141
When confronted with a kingdom it is important to know who the king is. McKnight asks what it means for God to be the king. McKnight asserts this to mean “nothing more and nothing less than God himself ruling” (McKnight 2014, 126, emphasis McKnight’s). Because God is the king, he determines what the kingdom is like. This is reflected in the kingdom of Israel (McKnight 2014). “Jumping all the way now to the first century, we make this claim: What we call Jesus - his titles - determines what the kingdom is like” (McKnight 2014, 128, Emphasis McKnight’s). McKnight goes on to evaluate Jesus as the Son of Man, Son of God, and Messiah.
Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man. McKnight sees this as the representative of humanity (McKnight 2014, 129). He notes that Jesus uses this term generally in the context of his exaltation and second coming (McKnight 2014).
Son of God is a term used of Jesus by his opponents (McKnight 2014, 131), as well as some friends. McKnight takes this to refer to his claims as a Messianic king. The disciples identified Jesus as Messiah (McKnight 2014, 132). McKnight traces the word to an anointing with oil which would be used for a prophet, priest, or king (McKnight 2014, 133). Jesus himself clarifies that the Messiah rules after dying for others, rising and being exalted (Ibid).
McKnight draws three interpretations from the identity of the king. First, “Kingdom mission is determined by who Jesus is” (McKnight 2014, 134).
Second, “Kingdom mission must embrace the full story of King Jesus” (McKnight 2014, 135). All the life of Christ has something to say, informing us about mission.
Finally, “Mission is not the first word” (Ibid). Jesus is the center of all our mission. McKnight continues by describing the historic view of Christology governing our doctrine and life. The great theme is that the real person of Jesus changes his people and enables them to live for him in this world.