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Monday, May 04, 2015

Jesus: Kingdom Focused

Running gives me a lot of time to not only pray but think about spiritual things. As I was running I was thinking about Jesus and how he answered questions that people asked or responded to comments made to him.

 He often did not answer what they wanted to hear. The Lord wasn't into
validating everyones questions and ideas. His focus was God's truth and God's kingdom. Our Lord wasn't into politically correct answers either. For example, one time the disciples were so impressed with the temple. They marveled at it. Jesus could have affirmed the fact that it had taken over 40 years for the temple to be expanded. It was a monumental building: "Its foundational walls were constructed using gigantic stones, the largest found being 45 feet long, 11.5 feet high, and 12 feet thick (13.7 m by 3.5 m by 3.7 m)." (ESV Study Notes)

His answer was the temple would be destroyed and no stone would be left (see Mark 13:1-2). How negative!

Then there is the case of the Syrophoenician woman who came to Jesus asking to heal her daughter who was demon possessed. Jesus told her it was not right take "the children's bread and throw it to dogs." (Matthew 15:21-28). She was non-Jewish and as such Jesus was saying she didn't deserve to be given bread that belonged to children and give it to house pets. How culturally insensitve of Jesus! And yet the woman continued to beg and Jesus not only healed her daughter with his word but commended her faith.

In Luke 13 some come to report to Jesus how Pilate had killed some Galileans while they were doing sacrifices and had mixed their blood with their sacrifices (gruesome!). The insinuation here was that these people killed were more sinful. Jesus answers in a very direct and confrontational way. He tells them that they were not more sinful than anyone and he said, "unless you repent, you will likewise perish." In other words, God's judgment will come to you if you don't repent. Harsh!

Many more examples can be mentioned from the Gospels. Jesus life was centered around the Kingdom of God. He offered the Divine perspective. It is important for us to understand that our lives as Christians ought to be kingdom focused as well. We don't need to be rude but we don't have to be apologetic about the truth of God's Word. Our focus should not be to be politically correct but to present God's truth. Many won't like it but this shouldn't keep us silent. We follow the Lord's footsteps.

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