Yesterday we talked about what it means to live in the Kingdom of God and to submit everything we have to Him. Today, I want to give you some historical context to increase your understanding of the world that Jesus was born into.
Israel is the land that the Lord gave to His chosen people, and it’s strategically wedged between the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe. Naturally, this makes it an important cog in the wheel of civilization so that throughout history, every conquering nation has not only passed through, but wanted to seize this piece of earth and its people. It’s understandable, then, that when Jesus came, His fellow Israelites were accustomed to a world of war and violence. For centuries they had been powering up, first against the Assyrians (who were so evil that the conquering Babylonians and Scythians tried to erase their history), then against the Babylonians, and then against the Egyptians. Interestingly, though the Assyrians did the unthinkable in terms of evil, and the Babylonians were determined to wipe their legacy from the face of the earth, the former ended up being just as evil as the latter. You see, left to our own devices, we humans know nothing except to fight for our territory. Unfortunately, when we do this, our fear often causes us to go out of control and we end up committing the same offense we were so vehemently fighting against. This is why every great empire in history has fallen to its own folly.
Friend, Jesus brought a different kind of Kingdom to this earth over 2,000 years ago. Unconventional as it was, He came to obliterate corrupt human power structures and replace them with a dominion of the heart. The revolution He began was not about military might but rather about surrendered lives. In essence, He understood that peace and power begin in the souls of individuals, and that they are an inseparable force bound together by love. Though the world may tempt you with its constant appeals to power up and take control, remember that your citizenship is in the Kingdom of Heaven and that your authority is found in who your God is! Isn’t that great news?