Posted By Nan

“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.” (John 18:36 The Message)

As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Thursday before the Passover, He prayed for those who believed in Him and would come to believe in Him. He knew that we did not belong to the world, anymore than His Kingdom was an earthly kingdom.

When He was arrested and interrogated He spoke of His Kingdom not being of this world. As He stated in verse 36 above, His kingdom is not of this world. As subjects of His kingdom we are not of this world either.

FAILURE TO WITNESS

So often the church fails to witness to the world of Jesus and His Gospel. The reasons are the belonging to this earthly world of many who profess to speak for the followers of Jesus. Pride, greed, division, grasping for power, lack of character or integrity are all worldly reasons the church does little to truly demonstrate Jesus to the world.

Jesus was a man of character and integrity. He was humble, all embracing and allowed himself to be arrested, tortured, shamed, humiliated, beaten and hung on a cross naked in front of anyone walking into and out of Jerusalem that day.

HUMILITY

If you read the gospels, you will see that Jesus was known for His humility, embracing all who came to Him and allowing Himself to be vulnerable. He was known for His inclusivess.

We need to be like Jesus. We need to be humble, embracing others and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. We need to be known by those we do include not by those we seek to exclude.

JESUS THE RADICAL

Jesus was a radical. That is why He was so hated and there were so many attempts to get rid of Him. He challenged the order of things. He was radical because he challenged the legalism of the Pharisees. He challenged the exclusion of those the leaders considered too sinful. He was known only for condemning the legalism of the spiritual leaders who pulled people away from God instead of towards Him. Even those leaders were included if they sought Jesus.

Jesus was also radical because He spoke of the spiritual world that God belonged to. The Spiritual world Jesus came from. The spiritual world that we have citizenship in when we believe in God.

ACCEPT ALL OTHERS

As followers of Jesus we should be known as ones who accept and welcome all people. We should be known as ones who seek love and unity. That love and unity is not of this world, rather it is the love and unity as expressed in the spirit world we truly belong to. We should be ones who eschew division, antagonism and hostility.

We should be ones who love rather than judge.

THE DISCIPLES WERE CONFUSED AND FEARFUL

This is important to remember today as we remember how those who followed Jesus hid in confusion and fear on the day between Jesus’ death and Jesus’ resurrection. 

The disciples then were confused and frightened. We can wait, understanding their feelings but knowing that tomorrow there is a celebration.

The waiting was a time of humility and vulnerability. The disciples hid together and prayed. Those with a home welcomed others into their midst.

All were equal in their experience that day.

HUMILITY

I love that picture of humility. 

The word humility is often bandied about. It reminds me of the way the word respect is used often with little understanding of what it means and what putting respect into practice looks like. 

Humility is an aspect of respect. Like respect, it is practical. It is seen in how we behave. 

Humility is something that costs us. It involves sometimes choosing to put another person first and sacrificing what we want for the good of another. It is saying that I respect you and today I choose to put you first. I make this choice because I love Jesus and want to be like Him. I know that Jesus humbled Himself for the weak, the poor, the broken, the marginalised, the despised, those without a voice, the oppressed and the refugee among us. That includes all of us.

Jesus always saw the humble as those who earned God’s favour. He humbled Himself by choosing to live among us. We honour Him by choosing to be humble too.

CHOOSING TO LOVE 

Jesus walked among us. He used God’s strength to serve. He didn’t just walk among the wealthy and the rulers. He came among those who were poor and those seen as sinners. He reached out to the marginalised. He chose humility but did not hesitate to speak out when it was needed. He always submitted to God. We see the greatest example of that in the Garden of Gethsemane when He made the choice to do as God willed, not as He may have preferred to do.

OUR TRUE HOME IS THE SPIRIT WORLD

Our path in life is to serve. To be like the vulnerable disciples of the day in between. To be dependent on what God brings to us. To remember that God is spirit and our true home is with God in the Spirit world.

To truly relate to God and serve Him we must embrace the spiritual aspect of our faith in all its frightening uncertainty.

 
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Nan
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