Jun 13, 2020
“As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’” (Matthew 10:7, NRSV)
“The Kingdom of Heaven/God has come near,” would have been a radical thing for Jesus and the Disciples to say. When the disciples entered a village and said “the Kingdom of God has come near”. It would have been heard as something like “the revolution has come!” “We’re going to overthrow the Romans”. The Jewish people were looking forward to a new King like David who would make Israel great and independent again.
We miss the impact because “The Kingdom of God/Heaven” has become church talk or jargon. We also know that Jesus’ version of the Kingdom was not about political parties or armies but was about healing, new life, wholeness and above all on compassion. The world was a broken place and full of broken people.
To meet this need, Jesus healed and taught but he also did something else. He created the church to be a vehicle of his compassion and healing. He made us to be shepherds for the sheep and workers for the harvest. He empowered and commissioned us to heal and he sent us out to proclaim the Good news and bring his healing. Those first disciples may have been thinking in terms of power and armies when Jesus first told them about the Kingdom, but they discovered that Jesus was the power of compassion and healing. It must have been incredibly exciting!
We are in a world that needs direction and healing and Jesus still commissions and empowers us to be workers in the harvest, to bring compassion and healing and wholeness. This is a revolution. The Kingdom of Heaven has come near.
God when we look at our world, fill us with the same compassion which Jesus has, and fill us with the same excitement the disciples must have had. Filled with that excitement, cause us to go and proclaim the Kingdom, with the healing and compassionate power and authority which Jesus has given us. In His Name we pray. Amen.
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