Kingdom or No?

crown2A friend asked me:

As a Lukan scholar who teaches 1 Corinthians, how do you reconcile Luke 1:33 (“and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”) with 1 Corinthians 15:24 (“Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.”)?

Does Jesus keep his kingdom forever, or does he hand it over to the Father, who then destroys it and all other authorities?

But I don’t think that there’s really a problem. In Luke’s gospel, the angel was reassuring Mary that earthly kingdoms will no longer be a problem, God’s Chosen One will take all over, and power will never again revert to Rome or Herod or anyone else. Paul, on the other hand, is writing to ex-pagan folks living in a Roman colony, addressing the question of what God’s overall management will look like, and telling them that all power-by-dominance will come to an end in favour of power-characterised-by-submission.

You could say: His kingship is a kingship that will end all kingship. Forever.

Or a similar paradox about the situation in the New Creation order: When God brings time to an end and the world to end, then, for the first time, we will have all the time in the world.

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