A few months ago, I saw the news that one of my professors in graduate school, Dr. Gordon Fee, died at the age of 88. Dr. Fee taught with fervor and intensity, often slipping unconsciously into passionate preaching in the middle of a lecture. He was also an excellent biblical scholar. For many years, he served as the general editor for the acclaimed New International Commentary series. I am very grateful that I had the privilege to learn from him.
The absolutely crucial term for understanding Jesus
My favourite course with Fee was on the life and teachings of Jesus. I sat spellbound in one of the front rows of the lecture hall as he unpacked the message of Jesus from the four Gospels. When Dr. Fee came to Lecture #13, “The Proclamation of the Kingdom”, he announced that this was the most important lecture of the course. For Fee, the kingdom of God was “the absolutely crucial term for understanding Jesus.”
You cannot know anything about Jesus, anything, if you miss the kingdom of God. . . . You are zero on Jesus if you don’t understand this term. I’m sorry to say it that strongly, but this is the great failure of evangelical Christianity. We have had Jesus without the kingdom of God, and therefore have literally done Jesus in.GORDON FEE, “JESUS: EARLY MINISTRY/KINGDOM OF GOD,” LECTURE (1993), REGENT COLLEGE, TAPE SERIES 2235E, PT. 1, REGENT COLLEGE, VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA.