Good morning Church,
"The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever." (Rev. 11:15)
Ever ask yourself that question: What is the kingdom of God like? There seems to be a growing desire in the older saints I know (and me too) to "go home and be with Jesus". As the world continues to spiral out of control, this earth is getting less attractive, and our future resting place a much more desirable place to be. When one sees the kingdom advancing by overthrowing the work of the enemy, there is a reminder that this is not our home, for there is a much better place waiting for us.
Today's passage in Luke 13 causes me to desire my future resting place. It comes on the heels of a mighty miracle, where satan is overthrown and a woman is freed from her infirmity - this is the kingdom at it's finest - the enemy is defeated, sickness and suffering gone! Satan binds, but Jesus frees ( Luke 13:16). Jesus' enemies are humiliated, but there is rejoicing for those who embrace Him (Luke 13:17)
This is the context for the question Jesus asks in verse 18: "What is the Kingdom of God like?" Here is His response:
- No more racial conflict (vs. 19): First, it starts out small, but grows, and attracts many birds. This is an Old Testament reference meaning the Kingdom of God is ever growing, and people from many nations are drawn to it. (Birds symbolizes nations in the O.T.) People will be there from every people group on Earth, all focused on Jesus (see Revelation 7:9).
- A transformed people (vs. 21): The illustration of the yeast in the bread, that made the dough "all leavened" demonstrates the power of the kingdom to transform a person completely. One cannot separate the King, His Kingdom and His Word. When yeast is added to the dough, it begins to work and transform that dough into useful bread. This is what happens to a person when Christ is added to a heart. He quietly transforms that person into a useful servant in the kingdom, that nourishes others with life giving bread - the word of God. As yeast does to dough, so Christ does to a person.
- Who will be in the kingdom (saved) (23-25): Those who come through the narrow gate/door, and who come in before it is too late. We know Jesus is the door to the kingdom (see John 10), and now we know that the door won't be open forever. There is an appointed time to be saved, and then it will be too late. There will be lots of Old Testament saints in the Kingdom (v.28)
- Who will not be in the kingdom: those who just kind of hung out with Jesus, ate and drank with Him, but never "entered in through the door" (vs. 26) - He was just an external "add-on", from which one received a few perks - free food and drink. They never let the yeast change their hearts. Jesus did not really know them (v.27) They were still "evil doers". Example: Herod (It's not good when God calls you a "fox")
Friends, if you have entered through the narrow door (Jesus), then you are already in the Kingdom, and can live in victory, since Satan is a defeated foe. You can live in confidence, in relationship with God who invites you to boldly enter His presence. You can echo the words of Paul:
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe" (NIV Hebrews 12:28)
"The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (NIV 2 Timothy 4:18)
Have an Amazing week, living the Kingdom life!