God’s Kingdom. I love to think about it. Anne’s accident has stirred this new interest in me. Most of the time… I feel like a child – lost in a snowy forest… crunch, crunch, crunching through the snow – searching and hoping. But when I read my bible – and I mean really sit and read and think about what I’m reading – it’s like I see a warm, welcoming cabin but with all the curtains drawn – and I get excited and curious – and then a small corner of the curtain opens – and there’s a figure… motioning for me to peek. And I do.
Have you ever thought of what the Jews expected of their “Messiah?” One of the first words Mary hears from the angel about her son, “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end” (emphasis mine). Her son would grow up and become a King. The word, king, represented something to Mary – and to all the Jews. Ruler, power, freedom from tyranny. They all hoped for it. Many still do.
Nathanael, one of the twelve, when he first meets Jesus, says to Him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” He expected Jesus to overthrow the Roman government and make Israel the most powerful nation on earth. All of the disciples expected this.
John 2-4 are fascinating chapters because these events happened before Jesus officially asked any of his disciples to be “disciples.” He hadn’t asked them to leave their nets, or homes or other jobs. A few men – we know of 5 for sure- just traveled with Jesus and watched. And John, being one of those 5 – gave us details that none of the other gospel writers did… like Jesus’ first miracle (John 2:1-12). It was AMAZINGLY… ordinary. He made wine from water to save the host from embarrassment, and nobody saw the miracle except Jesus’ ragged companions and the servants. …Doesn’t sound very king-like to me.
Then John takes us to Jerusalem for the Passover (John 2:12-22). Jesus seems to act like a mad-man, making a whip out of chords, driving all the animals from the temple and overturning tables. Money was literally scattered everywhere. Why? Even the Jews asked Him why; “Give us a miracle to show us you have the authority to do this,” they cried. And he speaks spiritually; “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it in three days.” The Jews take him literally, and they scoff, “It has taken 46 years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in 3 days?”
Why did he make such a public spectacle in the temple? I’ll tell you why – He. is. the. King. He’s not aiming to be King of just the land of Israel. That’s way too small for Him. His is a spiritual Kingdom – one that has no end, no limits. He comes into His place, and we watch as He overturns the spiritual leadership of the day.
John writes that later his disciples remembered what He had said and they believed. Later refers to… after the crucifixion, after the three agonizing days of despair, after the ressurection and after the ascension to when the Spirit came – and gave understanding. When we believe, His Spirit comes down and gives us understanding and makes our heart a temple – and Jesus comes in… and becomes King, overturning and scattering. Why? The answer lies in John’s next paragraph…
Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man (John 2:23-25).
He knows what is in me. It’s not always pretty. But He came anyway, while we were still sinners, and destroyed the old temple – and built a new one in three days. Jesus is building His Kingdom…
one lowly sinner,
one weak vessel, and
one sacrifice at a time.
6 thoughts on “What I saw in the window today”
I love the imagery (being an artist, I LOVE “pictures” of ANY kind—and isn’t it cool He speaks in languages that get my/our attention?).
I also love the image of Him being The Potter. I was rereading a modern parable recently that used this image….asking the women in the (retreat) group to choose a vase/pitcher they LIKED, and to break-it-on-purpose. It was hard for many to do. Especially the perfectionists, or those raised by perfectionists, or those raised by people who saved everything…in short, not as easy as it first sounded. And the myriad of emotions in each of the women after they’d broken it, the untapped emotions and things hiddeitn deep within that they didn’t even realize was there…..and the amazing transformations inside as they pieced the vases/pitchers back together again…..their growing love for the “cracks”. It was particularly vibrant and vital for one gal who had a piece so crushed it couldn’t be glued in….leaving a gaping hole. Her initial dispair was HUGE…until she heard Him whisper: That’s so My Light can shine thru.
I see His light shinging brightly thru the many things in your world that often FEEL broken. Indeed, isn’t it awesome that we have the Master Potter at the wheel?!
Lifting you up continually…..
Great story, Lu! Thank you :-)
Kathryn, another wonderful blog. In a few weeks I am starting a short series on the first four chapters of John. I love them, too, so I think you will have to write them for me. I LOVE your insights. With continuing love and prayers, Paul (and Sharon of course)
Oh my! I don’t deserve such high praise. Nevertheless, your words are incredibly encouraging! Thank you:-) And I soooo look forward to your series on John 1-4!!!!!
Wow, Kathryn. I needed to read this this morning. Thank you for reminding us of truth and sharing what God is teaching you. I am so thankful for how God’s word is continuous and perfectly connecting–when we read His word we are reminded of more of His truth. We read Hebrews 7 this week in Bible study. Jesus is the Son of God, the most High Priest of all others and the Most High God. He is King. Hebrews 7: 25 “Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
For this reason, we can boldly approach the throne. How much more should I treasure my relationship with Christ, who makes it possible for me to approach the Most High God. He is King. And He calls us ‘friend’.
I love Hebrews! King and friend… only Jesus can do that. Thanks Erin!!