The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

My Kingdom is not of this world: Bible for November 29, 2006

with 3 comments

In this last Sunday before Advent, our gospel reading switches from Mark to John – perhaps to summarize the point Mark has been working so hard to make clear: Jesus insists that his kingdom is not of this world. Pastor Sharon shared some outstanding insights from Disclosing New Worlds during her sermon last Sunday. I encourage you to read that post – click here.

The nature of the Kingdom of God is an issue of urgent importance. Its implications are huge, and right-now practical.

For instance: Much of the American Christian Right wants U.S. government to give nearly unqualified support to Israel. Here’s why: Most believe in an end-times outlook (popularized by the Left Behind novels) that sees the nation of Israel as the instrument through which Jesus Christ will establish his kingdom on earth.

Is that his plan?

For instance: It’s common in America to hear the phrase “for God and Country.”

Many good people hold service to both to be sacred duty. Many good people have faithfully sacrificed much out of that sense of duty. Churches commonly fly the American flag, and use national holidays like Memorial Day and Independence Day for displays of patriotism.

Would Jesus?

Dare we look squarely at Jesus and ask, on the basis of his example, what loyalties he would display if he walked our streets today? For, is not his church to be like him?

My goodness, given the life-and-death stakes involved, given the life-or-death moments in which Jesus spoke these words: Dare we not?

John 18:33-37

33Pilate went back into the palace and called for Jesus. He said, “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?”

34Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own, or did others tell you this about me?”

35Pilate said, “Do I look like a Jew? Your people and your high priests turned you over to me. What did you do?”

36″My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.”

37Then Pilate said, “So, are you a king or not?”

Jesus answered, “You tell me. Because I am King, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice.”
The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

And then, a view of Jesus Christ after his ascension, as seen in the vision of the Apostle John:

Revelation 1:4b-8
His Eyes Pouring Fire-Blaze
4b-7 All the best to you from The God Who Is, The God Who Was, and The God About to Arrive, and from the Seven Spirits assembled before his throne, and from Jesus Christ—Loyal Witness, Firstborn from the dead, Ruler of all earthly kings.

Glory and strength to Christ, who loves us,
who blood-washed our sins from our lives,
Who made us a Kingdom, Priests for his Father,
forever—and yes, he’s on his way!
Riding the clouds, he’ll be seen by every eye,
those who mocked and killed him will see him,
People from all nations and all times
will tear their clothes in lament.
Oh, Yes.

8The Master declares, “I’m A to Z. I’m The God Who Is, The God Who Was, and The God About to Arrive. I’m the Sovereign-Strong.”

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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3 Responses

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  1. Excellent post Monte! I am impressed & words are magical really. Keep it up & GOD bless you :D

    Thanks for showing interest in this song & here is the translation of that song.
    This prayer is from my heart
    Listen to it
    This is voice of my heart
    Listen to it
    Our friendship remain forever
    We never get separated
    Swear to friendship, swear to friendship
    In this life you find many friends
    But some true friends bring spring in your life
    This is prayer of my heart
    Where ever you go
    You find happiness in your life
    & our friendship remain forever
    Swear to friendship, swear to friendship
    This song is even for you too that we may have long lasting friendship

    jugnoo

    December 2, 2006 at 1:12 am

  2. Great post, Monte! You’ve brought it down to “street level” – and by “brought it down” I mean incarnated it! Many thanks. Lawrence

    Lawrence

    November 24, 2006 at 7:51 pm

  3. Though I’ve been steeped in Anabaptism and other “radical” traditions, which is what you’re talkin’, your words give me the chills. You ask, Dare we not be like him? I ask, Dare we?

    Such a frightening choice in light of these two Scriptures!

    Adela

    November 22, 2006 at 5:36 pm


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