continued to progress through his time in Jerusalem he had so much to teach. It
was the culmination in many ways of Jesus’ three years of master’s classes on
God’s Kingdom. As mentioned already, the Pharisees’ spent much of their time
trying to figure out how to trip Jesus up in his answers. One area they did
this several times was around Heavenly authority. In Matthew 22 they asked
about paying taxes to Caesar and about marriage at the resurrection. They were
focused on cultural wars of their days…things that would get Jesus planted
firmly on the left or right of the day in order to put him at odds with some
powerful group. We often do the same thing. We get trapped in this dichotomy
that we have to be on one side or the other. Yet Jesus being Jesus chose a third
way, he refused to get engaged in the cultural wars and instead reminded
everyone that where we really need to be focused was on the eternal. There is
an eternal worldview that we need to develop so that we are not embroiled in choosing
sides for the here and now, but instead connect directly with God and what God
finds most important, something which tends to be much more valuable,
compassionate, and sustaining. This does not mean that we are not engaged in social
justice work, simply that it is not based on a political worldview, but a
identify yourself as democrat or republican before you identify yourself as a Christian?
orient yourself on various topics based on what the news and media says or what
the Bible says?
vilify one side and champion the other instead of staying consistent to an
eternal world view?
Are you able
to see the third way of Christ, moving past the left or right and focusing on a
wider, more generous kingdom then we often think possible?
God of the
eternal, the big and wide Kingdom of Heaven, God of what was, is, and is to
come. Keep us from getting lost in the mundane, getting sucked into arguments
of self-interest, or creating national religions to replace the universal faith
in a universal God. As we contemplate the sacrifice made by Christ on that
first Good Friday, keep us focused on his grace filled actions and the Kingdom
that was open to us on that day. The kingdom that surpasses all of the cultures
and kingdoms of this world. Amen.
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