Much of the time when Jesus was on his preaching circuit he was telling people about “The Kingdom of Heaven.” A world of peace, love, joy, compassion, generosity, justice and so on. A world so priceless that people would sell everything to be a part of it. A world as powerful and transformational as a pinch of yeast in a pound of dough. And the good news Jesus preached was that this incredible kingdom – God’s Kingdom – is near, just around the corner, even making it’s presence known in subtle ways right now.
If you look at the stories you can see Jesus not just telling people but showing them what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. Here’s how he did it….
Jesus healed people’s sicknesses, because in the new world there won’t be sickness. He gave sight to the blind, because in the new world our eyes will be opened like never before. He raised people from the dead, because in the new world we’ll be more alive than ever before. Jesus gave extravagantly, and celebrated other people’s generosity. He set people free from whatever captivity or slavery they were in. He lifted up the poor, loved the unlovely, and gave dignity to people whom others couldn’t care less about. He selflessly put others before himself.
Jesus – the man from heaven – brought heaven crashing into earth. Jesus lived as if the new kingdom was already here – and in thousands of small ways he actually did bring heaven into the lives of the people around him.
The idea is for us to do the same – hoping and praying for Jesus’ kingdom to come, and at the same time LIVING as if it’s already here.
I loved this ad the first time I saw it a few years back. I know it’s an ad for apple cider, but every time I watch it I think it’s an amazing image of the time in history where we find ourselves. Winter is still around but we’re living as if the Kingdom of Summer has come – and we’re even helping to bring it in.
What can you do to help bring heaven to earth?
If you want to read some more thoughts on the Kingdom of God, check out Randy Edward’s series of articles at The Well.