January 30, 2022
“Then Jesus told him, ‘Put your sword back in its place because all who take up the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot call on my Father...”
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“Then Jesus told him, ‘Put your sword back in its place because all who take up the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and He will provide Me at once with more than 12 legions of angels? How then, would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?’” Matthew 26:52-54
It is challenging for us to understand Kingdom economy. Even our most spiritual moments are filtered through the lens of our experience in this world. The disciples had spent three years hearing Jesus teach. But the years prior were spent listening to various rabbis effuse on how Messiah would look, what He would do, and how the Jewish people would benefit by Messiah’s coming.
Even down to the moment of Jesus’ arrest, Peter still thought He was starting a political coup. The disciples even argued and lobbied for cabinet positions in the coming kingdom. They didn’t have dreams of world evangelism or global reconciliation. They definitely weren’t looking for martyrdom. They simply wanted an eternal power shift that let them be bosses for a change.
The disciples looked forward to an earthly kingdom, while Jesus was concerned with the Heavenly one. So, how do you gauge your kingdom allegiance?
Those who set up earthly kingdoms would barter their souls for dominion in this world. They don’t humble themselves before the Lord. They consider Him an intellectual equal, at best. They lack the faith to live sacrificially because giving up possession & power would diminish their kingdom. In the words of Adrian Rogers, “the only ‘god’ they serve is the one they see looking back in the mirror.”
People living for the heavenly Kingdom conduct their lives in such a way that it would be utter foolishness were there no resurrection from the dead. They are not swayed by anything earthly and would be willing to give up everything for the cause of the Messiah. Their hope lies not in the perishable earth but in the incorruptible eternal Kingdom of heaven.
Question: do you allow the joy of your salvation to transcend the “here & now” and to live for the hope of the “there & then”?