Am I Living With a Kingdom-on-Earth Mentality?

(Friday's post by Keith Senator..sorry guys, I am late posting this.)

John 7:1-24

In our individualistic society, every person attempts to differentiate themselves. Each is interested in their own well being above the next. Couple that with our American society moving towards a more humanistic theology and it raises a ton of issues. This is not a new concept. In fact, in Jesus' time it was just as prevalent. If we look more closely we see it actually started in the Garden of Eden.

To draw a finer bead on it, let's look at John 7:1-24:

Jesus was growing up and his brothers, who did not really believe him, urged him to go to the festival. They urged him to go to the festival because everyone who wants to be a public figure acts in secret.

Jesus' reply, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. 8 You go to the festival. I am not[b] going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?” 12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.

What was Jesus talking about. His time had not yet come?

So Jesus ends up going to the festival. And he teaches.

Jesus Teaches at the Festival

14 Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”

16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed.22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

What Jesus is talking about in contrast to our individualistic humanistic society makes for a great study. Jesus shows how he is only interested in pointing to the father. He indicates something very different. Though many of them believe in the same God. They are not truly connected to the vine. But Jesus came to change that, he came to show the way.

Humanism has as its final goal a kingdom on earth mentality, where the theology of a Christian has a kingdom in heaven mentality. Therefore the entire focus changes. This seems like a very elementary truth that we have all heard our entire lives. But do we really live like Jesus was teaching? Do we really press into God to do his will? Do we see our lives as not our own? Do we consider our very lives expendable for the sake of the Gospel and the glory of the one who saved us? Do we trust in his hand so completely that we do not worry about tomorrow, for we know he is in control?

Jesus knew what was in store for him. He wasn't avoiding the end, he was waiting for the father.

What would the world be like if every Christian understood this concept and lived with a kingdom of heaven mentality?


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