A strange king is likely to have a strange kingdom, and the kingdom of Jesus is no exception. One glimpse of Jesus’ kingdom reveals a crazy diversity of peoples feasting, worshiping and struggling together.
Jesus gave a more nuanced image of the kingdom during his farewell conversation with the disciples. “I am the vine and you are the branches.” Now we see an image of a multilateral community, one in which each member is interwoven with the other. Within this community there is much “abiding”; Jesus abides in the disciples and the disciples abide in him. There is also a constant “pruning” by God to pare away those traits and qualities that interfere with kingdom building and to strengthen traits that ensure the health of the community. The result, perhaps, is a sense that the kingdom of Christ is marked by a deep mutual love and an ongoing push to ever greater love.