120 Impose your imperial rule

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This page is part of the Jesus Database series and relates especially to 120 The Lords Prayer

For comments on specific petitions, see:

120 Abba/Father | 120 Your name be holy | 120 Impose your imperial rule | 120 Bread for today | 120 Forgiveness shared | 120 Save us from the time of trial



Several sets of materials from the Jesus Database seem relevant to this petition, which picks up one of the central themes of Jesus' activity:

In addition, of course, there are all the parables and aphorisms that teach about God's "Kingdom/Empire."


Hal Taussig has a brief discussion of Jesus' teaching on the basileia/kingdom in Jesus Before God pp. 20-24. For example:

One of the main ways Jesus identified what emerged when the pretenses of conventional family, wealth, and religion were dropped was what he called the "domain of God." Interestingly enough, the "domain of God" -- like real wisdom -- was present for Jesus in the daily pursuits of life, like the household, the marketplace, and the countryside. In the very same places where family, wealth, and religion claimed privilege, underneath the pretense one could find "God's domain." (p. 20)

Hal notes that between 20% and 25% of the sayings voted red or pink by the Jesus Seminar refer to the kingdom. The core expression, basileia tou theou, is usually translated "kingdom of God." Since the word "basileia" was also the usual Greek term for the Roman empire, it might be better rendered as "empire" or "imperial rule" as the JS translations typically prefer.

In his subsequent discussion, Taussig makes the following observation that seems relevant to the modern significance of this text:

Asking for God's reign as a sage was way of keeping one's learning quest open-ended and on-going. Such a prayer would have been spoken in the delightful and risk-taking self-consciousness that it is through one's own openness to learn that one becomes a part of God's reign. (p. 79)