In the last post on Mark, “Peter Gets it Wrong.” we saw some interesting things. We saw Peter get it wrong, after being so right on the money only a short time earlier. Remember how he was the first to state out loud who Jesus was: The Messiah, the Son of the living God? Then, as Jesus predicts his own death and resurrection, Peter takes Jesus aside to straighten Him out; no Lord, you mustn’t die… and how Jesus rebukes Peter for his lack of understanding. And then, you might recall how Jesus taught that we must not be concerned with things that are merely of the earthly life, and with earthly views, but rather how we must learn to set all of that aside to follow Him. Yes, we saw many things!
There was one more thing that Jesus told them on that occasion, one more thing that would tie everything else together, a wonderful thing…
And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”
On the Kingdom Tour, Jesus has been teaching that the Kingdom was at hand, and all along the way, he has been doing and saying things that illustrate what the Kingdom would be like, and I have pointed those out to you as we’ve gone along the way. Things like how He was preaching righteousness, healing the sick and lame, driving out demons, forgiving sins, and even is raising someone from the dead. The Kingdom would be like that, for it would remove the penalty for sin through forgiveness, and ultimately it would restore Mankind to the relationship with God that had been lost when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. Those afflictions like sickness, blindness and the loss of limbs were consequences of that rebellion, as was oppression by evil spirits and even death itself.
It is one thing to say that this Kingdom was at hand, but it was quite another to say that some of you here will see its coming with power.
As we know, He told them the truth, for after His death and resurrection from the dead, the Kingdom came with power at Pentecost, and that Kingdom is here even now. But!! That Kingdom is not of this world. It is manifested on this earth in the church, which is supposed to be a place of healing, love and grace. Of course, we still get sick and die physically, for we are still in this world. Yet we must also remember that we are not of this world, for we are citizens of a heavenly Kingdom. We must not forget that just as Jesus rose bodily from the grave, so will we, for we have received the gift of eternal life and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Finally, we must also keep in mind that the day will come when everything of this world will come to an end.
As it worked out, most of the Jews rejected this whole thing, for they were looking for a different king and a different Kingdom. Amazingly, a great number of Christians today are making the same mistake, looking for an earthly Kingdom that is still to come: There is no earthly Kingdom to come, there is eternity to come.
So many arguments come from this, so many tangled interpretations in which the presupposition is more important than the Scriptures, robbing so many of the awesome harmony of the Scriptures and creating so much confusion and discord. And the saddest thing of all? So many miss the amazing power of what we have within us right now.
When the Kingdom came with power on that Pentecost so long ago, the world we live in opposed it with everything they could muster. The religious authorities twisted and connived to discredit it, the culture opposed it economically and socially, the civil authorities banned it and persecuted it, demons attacked it, and in the background, Satan himself was pulling the strings… yet they were overcome by the power of weakness and meekness, and so the battle continues today. It is so very different from at first, and yet so very much the same, just as Scriptures predicted.
What will be the outcome of this conflict? Victory, glory and eternity with Christ!