Here’s a recent wave of thought on God’s kingdom…
How do you react when you encounter something that you have no framework to process? You hear of an offer that MUST be too good to be true. You meet someone who approaches life in a way that never even crossed your mind. Most of us subconsciously aim to discount this new thing: “If I
can’t deal with it, I’ll discredit it or dismiss it.”
First-century folks were no different. One group of onlookers observed Jesus displaying deeds and power that were downright unnerving to their world-views. They charged that he must be tied into powers of evil (Luke 11:15ff).
After pointing out the obvious flaws in their reasoning, Jesus makes this bold statement:
“But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.”
The finger of God?
The kingdom of God has come?
Something new was here.
God’s breaking-in to our world in a powerful and redeeming way… it had touched down.
You and I live in these days.
British writer Michael Green captures this reality of the early church as a new kind of community…
“They made the grace of God credible by a society of love and mutual care which astonished pagans and was recognized as something entirely new. It lent persuasiveness to the claim that the new age had dawned in those who were giving it flesh. The message of the kingdom became more than an idea. A new human community had sprung up and looked very much like the new order to which the evangelist had pointed. Here love was given daily expression; reconciliation was actually occurring; people were no longer divided into Jews and Gentiles, slave and free, male and female. In this community the weak were protected, the stranger welcomed. People were healed; the poor and dispossessed were cared for and found justice. Almost everything was shared. Joy abounded and ordinary lives were filled with praise.”
So I sit here, thinking…
Live in awareness that our lives declare the news of God’s kingdom—it is here and on the rise.
Live like the early disciples, whose lives made this news credible.