Kingdom of God
Luke 17:20,21 -
And when he was asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Christianity came from the Jews; the Jews had the scriptures with them yet they were unable to know the Messiah they were waiting for since ages had already come in their midst. All the Jews knew they were waiting for 2 very important persons to come, 1st who would be a greater Prophet than Moses who would spiritually free them and the 2nd person who was a king greater than David born from the generations of David. This king they expected to free them from bondages and bring back the Jewish kingdom. They did not imagine that both these identities would be within 1 person a Prophet King. There was one time when they did think Jesus was that Prophet King that was when Jesus came into Jerusalem after brining back Lazarus back to life.
Jesus had bought many dead back to life and among them many were bought back to life after a period passed since their died, but what about Lazarus caused people to flock behind Jesus that they came with palms to greet Him and they put their coats on the road He passed, the highest honour given to any being. This I understood as I was helping my daughter with her school project.
Lazarus after his death was mummified according to Egyptian customs which many of the Jews followed as tradition since they dwelled in Egypt. They did that also with the other regimes; they fussed the customs of people of those places where they dwelled into Judaism. When one studies Egyptians mummification process, one realizes how great a miracle Jesus did thus understand why the Jews were so shocked that they flocked to greet Him with palms.
In Egyptian mummification process they first drain the blood from the body and let the little blood that remains within to dry, this takes about 2 to 3 days. Then they remove all the internal organs out leaving for the heart because it is the organs that decay first. These include the eyes, intestines, liver, kidney and all other internal organs. They would not only remove all the internal organs but also remove the brain however they would keep the heart since they assumed the person would need it in its life after death.
When Jesus bought Lazarus to life He had literally regenerated all his internal organs. It was this miracle that shocked the people and caused the hardened Jews to accept Him as that Messianic Prophet.
We need to also note at that time Jesus had healed Bartimaeus a bling Roman who was a Roman rebel and was made blind by the Roman regime had got Jesus into the wanted list therefore there was a warrant issued for Him. But when Jesus entered Jerusalem He came seated on the colt of the ass while the mother ass was walking besides it. This odd scene made them to remember the prophecy of Zachariah that the King would come riding in a ass and its colt, this cause them to shout 'Hosanna' which means 'be prosperous', they had acknowledged Him as Messiah - Prophet and King. This angered the Pharisees further and it also gave them another point to kill Him because the people acknowledge Jesus as their future king, this is why the Pharisees took advantage and put their plan to kill Jesus also into action immediately.
The Jewish people saw and believed and acknowledged but their acknowledgement was temporary. In today's message Jesus says the Kingdom of God comes not with visual signs but says it is within us. People confuse Kingdom of God with the coming of the Lord (the Son) in His glory. Kingdom of God is where His rule abides, that means when we abide in the Lord that is abide in His Word this causes Him to be seated on the Throne of our hearts (our will) thus His Kingdom reigns in us.
In today's message the Lord is telling us not to be like the worldly people, like the Jews who waited for signs to know the coming of the Kingdom of God. They will be waiting and waiting and will be victims of the judgment of God before they see the Kingdom of God. Let us bring the Kingdom of God within us so that we do not fall victim to the judgment of God.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You are God and are capable of doing mighty wonders but You refrain because You desire a willing, contrite heart that is circumcised. You want us to willingly welcome You into our hearts (inner-man) and seat You on its throne making your Will our will. Lord we pray we do not run after signs and wonders but be sensitive to the little things of your Kingdom so that we bring your Kingdom into our lives and not fear your judgment...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.
3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.
4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,
7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
11 Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
17 The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.
18 For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.
19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.
|The Word of God was given free to us, therefore we should also share it freely with others.
(All rights are with God)