Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Kingdom of God

God bless the disciples. Sometimes they catch a lot of flack (take poor Thomas, for example), but Jesus really did not make things easy for them.

Take the context of the passage I wrote out in my last post (Matthew 25:14-30). I went back to chapter 24 to see what question they had asked Jesus to prompt his impromptu sermon, and finally found it in 24:3. "Tell us, when will this (the destruction of the Temple) happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?"

Of course by the time we get to the middle of 25, Jesus has answered this question and then some. By this point he's beginning his second parable on the kingdom of God.

It's easy to shake our heads and cluck our tongues at the disciples' misunderstanding of the the kingdom of God. Oh, silly disciples. Just didn't get it. But maybe in some ways they had a lot better handle on it than we do today.

They expected respect. They expected riches. They expected mighty works, justice, authority, glory, power, and the name of the Lord to be honored and renowned.

Granted they expected these things in a very literal, political, worldly sense, but at least they caught the vision of God's majesty and omnipotence. And they seemed to understand that they would be a part of "the kingdom coming."

The passage from Matthew 25 makes it very clear that the kingdom of God takes proactivity from the members of that kingdom. As sons and daughters of God, we are called to claim, maintian, restore and defend the kingdom.

This parable indicates that God has gifted each of us, entrusting us with his wealth and power. And what are we called to do? To use what he has given to multiply his kindom. And it seems like that is a very deliberate, proactive choice we are called to make.

The disciples got it. I think it took the power and revelation of the Holy Spirit to get there, but they got it. The "Twelve Stooges" of the gospels become warriors of God, and so our calling remains to this day. They took every ounce of the gifts the Lord gave them, and because of their willingness to risk foolishness and even their own lives, the Lord multiplied their riches exponentially, all for the sake of bringing God's kingdom to earth.

So what are we doing today? Are we living a safe faith, hoarding and hiding our gifts in fear of getting them dirty or looking foolish? Or are we trusting that the Lord gifts us still and with reason, throwing our lives into that calling. This parable is a sobering reminder of God's perspective.

Father, Almighty God, thank you for entrusting us with your riches. Give us wisdom, courage, and foolishness to be good stewards, bringing honor to your name and your kingdom to earth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Way to stand up for the disciples, Awhn!