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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

November 4, 2011 - Missing the Kingdom

By Greg Ebie

We were eating dinner at a Cracker Barrel when, to our complete surprise, our daughter Chrysta walk in. She decided she wanted to come home from college for the weekend and had secretly arranged to pop in out of the blue with her aunt. I sometimes wonder if we would have even recognized her if she had just come in and had a seat at a table like anyone else having dinner that night rather than seeking us out. We might have walked right past her and not noticed, had she wanted to keep her presence there a secret.

I wonder if the way in which Jesus announced the coming of the kingdom of God came as a surprise to people too. What did people expect the “Day of the Lord” and the arrival of God’s kingdom to look like? Jews at the time of Christ were expecting a Messiah who would establish an earthly kingdom, overthrow the Romans and take His place as King over Israel. Jesus didn’t bring in the Kingdom the way people expected.

“Jesus said, ‘How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it?” (Mark 4:30, NLT).

Jesus uses two very interesting parables to specifically describe the kingdom of God. In the first it is likened to a man who sows seed. This man has no idea how the seed grows, but when the grain is ripe he puts a sickle to it and brings in the harvest. The second pictures the Kingdom as a mustard seed that is only a small seed, but then grows into a large tree in which birds can make their home.

Is that really what the kingdom of God is like? Shouldn’t the Kingdom come with a great victory over its enemies and be announced with fanfare and celebration? Does Jesus really understand the Kingdom? I think if anyone understands the kingdom of God, it is Jesus; we are the ones who are still struggling to understand it.

Jesus announced the coming of a Kingdom that people did not recognize, but that does not mean the Kingdom had not come. In the same way Chrysta could have hidden her presence in the restaurant from us, God’s kingdom is among us today just as it was with the disciples then, but the Kingdom is concealed. God’s kingdom is not present as we would expect it to be, thus the reality of the reign of God can be misunderstood or even missed all together.

Jesus told His disciples, “I’m letting you in on the secret of God’s Kingdom” (Mark 4:11, paraphrase). Maybe we need to ask Jesus to show us the mystery of God’s kingdom instead of trying to make it what we think it is supposed to be. I don’t want to be like the religious leaders who completely missed the coming of the Kingdom because it didn’t match their expectations. I want to be ready when the sickle is put to the wheat.

— D. Greg Ebie is senior pastor of Praise Assembly of God in Garrettsville, Ohio, and an author of Daily Bread devotionals.



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