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This Present Kingdom

Matthew 4:23 (NKJV)
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

OBSERVATION
In chapter 5, Jesus sums up the “gospel of the kingdom.” Although I’m sure He defined it as such, I don’t know if the people were able to hear it. I’m sure they had ideas about the “kingdom;” an overthrow of the oppression of the Romans and a return to self rule, the emergence of the “messiah” and establishing Israel as a world power, even just the freedom from the restrictive religious rituals and regulations. I don’t know what they heard, but we do know what they were hearing – “Ive come to fulfill the law and the prophets” (5:17), “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:19), and seeing – people were being physically healed and spiritually delivered.

APPLICATION
It hard for me to keep the “gospel of the kingdom” straight. It becomes so much enterprise and activity that doesn’t often look or sound like the kingdom Jesus was talking about. Building His kingdom degenerates into building my kingdom. It’s faulty to even think that I can “build” His kingdom. In fact, all I can do is recognize it and respond to it. I’m invited to partner with Him in it, but He is not dependent upon me to grow it or enlarge it. What’s interesting is that Jesus talked about the kingdom in the present – it is not something that is coming that we have to wait for. It’s here. It’s real. It’s functioning. I guess that is the good news – no more waiting, no more qualifying, only living and participating, and inviting others to be included in it.

PRAYER
Lord, help me to keep the right perspective on Your Kingdom. Help me to keep things straight. I want to participate in your kingdom, not build my own.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 29, 2010 11:10 AM.

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