A common and unifying theme in all of the gospels is the Kingdom of God. Actually, this is the most unifying theme throughout all of scripture, but I’m just going to focus on the gospels. This theme has four parts to it. They include: Kingdom created, Kingdom fallen, Kingdom reclaimed, and Kingdom fulfilled. In the New Testament, the Kingdom of God is radically new. Jesus does all his work with this theme in mind. Most of all, he showed it by proclaiming the gospel to the poor and oppressed. It is important to this theme that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that he is the manifestation of the Kingdom.
An important aspect of the Kingdom of God as a theme in the gospels is the idea of paradox. There are a lot of these throughout the gospels. For example, you have to die to live, you have to lose your life to find it, and God is one, yet three. These ideas seem to contradict, but are essential to understanding the Kingdom of God. Jesus himself presents a paradox. He is both the mystery of the kingdom, and the revealing of it. He was both the sower and the seed.
After Jesus’ resurrection, the Kingdom continues to work. It is a spiritual kingdom, but it has an affect on the ways of the world. It becomes a present reality and also a future hope. It is at work in the world is right now at work in the world, and its also coming soon and God will make sin and evil be gone forever.
In the gospels, we are called to respond to the Kingdom of God by repenting and believing. We are in the time of the “now” and also the “not yet”. We should live to be ready for Christ’s return, and also be aware of what he is doing right now in the world.