I’ve often mulled around trying to understand how Jesus‘ emphasis of the kingdom is something connected to the message that Paul himself preached, things to do with justification and salvation. Ever since reading Brian McLaren and the emerging movement, my awareness of this chasm has increased. Before, questioning these things did not matter. But now they really do. How could I have neglected such detail.
I’ve heard and read lectures that simply said that simply said that Jesus and Paul spoke about the same thing. Jesus talked about the kingdom of God and so did Paul. One can see Paul being connected to the kingdom message by reading the end of the Acts narrative. Well, that’s a good way of putting it. But actually that doesn’t really answer the question.
But this article by Scot McKnight answers this particular question concerning the Jesus and Paul question. It’s a brilliant article, one I wished I read before writing anything on the subject. McKnight doesn’t just fit Jesus and Paul as saying the same thing but he connects their message by looking at what is the gospel. McKnight states that in order to see or merge the connection of what ?Jesus and Paul taught or preached, one has to start with, “What is Gospel?” Read the article to see how he explains this.
Here’s an excerpt of the end of the article that sums up the findings in a concise manner
My contention, then, is simple: If we begin with kingdom, we have to twist Paul into shape to fit a kingdom vision. If we begin with justification, we have to twist Jesus into shape to fit justification. But if we begin with gospel, and if we understand gospel as Paul does in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, then we will find what unifies Jesus and Paul—that both witness to Jesus as the center of God’s story. The gospel is the core of the Bible, and the gospel is the story of Jesus. (video) Every time we talk about Jesus, we are gospeling. Telling others about Jesus leads to both the kingdom and—but only if we begin with Jesus.