This is Big

MV614 025-LR

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.”

Mark 9:1

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!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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18 Responses to This is Big

  1. dwmartens says:

    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, REJOICE!

  2. Brother Don, this gave me chills! It is so good to see that the Holy Spirit is truly moving and speaking to those who are willing to listen! I say this because when a person starts to feel like they are all alone in certain thoughts and spiritual ideas, it is just like the Loving Father that He IS, to send His Holy Spirit and open our eyes to the truth! Sometimes, we are afflicted with the same nature that Elijah had when despite so many victories, he still hid himself in the deserts and bemoaned his plight and it was only until the Lord rebuked Him, strongly that he, Elijah, realized he was not alone! See 1Kings 19:18 “Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
    Of course then the Lord told Elijah to anoint a successor to follow, who would be Elisha!
    I thank the Lord first that we are NOT under that law, but under His grace and that all I have to do is repent of those thoughts and move FORWARD in Christ. But, I can also thank you for hearing from the Holy Spirit and obeying!!
    Your message was so true. Our Father’s Kingdom, our inheritance is a spiritual kingdom not made with human hands. Why would anyone want less than the best when it is so free. What our Heavenly Father wants more than anything is intimacy with His creation. He wants to “walk with us daily in the garden” just as He did with Adam in the Garden of Eden! That love is REAL but so hard to imagine in the light of this world and that is why we have to think on things higher and positive, in other words, the spiritual and not the natural!
    Anyway, again, God bless you so much brother! I look forward to more!

  3. mzpresser says:

    Jesus is alive and well in the hearts of his followers!!! Amen!

  4. Zestwriter says:

    Yes ..your article is so true, thanks

  5. paulfg says:

    “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.”

    I like the present moment a lot – with Him. It guides my future and shapes my past.

  6. trotter387 says:

    Interesting Don, Peter made the error because as the opening statements in Acts indicate the Apostles and disciples were expecting Jesus to restore the Kingdom therefore his death and suffering were difficult to understand.

    They had read the law and prophets and not understood Daniel’s prophesy about the Messiahs presence, his death and resurrection. So Peter was using his care and concern for a man he had come to rely upon to make these comments.

    However in the Our Father prayer we are taught to ask that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Your point about there isn’t an earthly kingdom prompts so many questions: the first is Gods purpose for the earth to be filled with righteous Humans has that changed? and what would be the purpose of intervening in human affairs if everyone righteous is going to inherit a heavenly throne?

    The king was present in the first century and demonstrated that a perfect creature would sacrifice or pay the price for imperfect people. Hence he said the kingdom ‘was in their midst’. Today the kingdom is with us and before us as Daniel 12 indicates because we approach the final part of the days of Satanic influence.

    Peters reaction and Marks record give us confidence that God’s will is taking place and nothing can stop the divine purpose.

    • Don Merritt says:

      What a great comment, and also great questions!

      “the first is Gods purpose for the earth to be filled with righteous Humans has that changed?” No way! His purpose hasn’t changed at all Maybe the real question would be more like “When are we going to change?

      “and what would be the purpose of intervening in human affairs if everyone righteous is going to inherit a heavenly throne?” Isn’t it interesting to consider in the answer to questions like this, the fact that the heavenly kingdom is here on earth? no, that heavenly kingdom won’t be an earthly (political) kingdom, but it is here now in us. Yet for all of these centuries, we, His people the church, seem more interested in arguing, pointing fingers and dividing than we are in building His Kingdom as He called us to do. So, when are we going to stop fooling round and answer our calling – yes, that’s the question!

      Of course, I must admit that where ever I speak of Christian unity, I’m laughed out of the room by Christians who say it can’t be done, but if it can’t be done, why are we called to do it?

      • trotter387 says:

        Interesting response and thought provoking.

        One of the key reasons for Christians not agreeing is that so many treat what we believe as a negotiated understanding and seek to rationalise the truth to suit themselves.

        The kingdom is the starting point for all of us because the promised Kingdom in the hands of the resurrected Jesus is the salvation for humanity. Its benefits as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15 reconcile us to God.

        Once all things are reconciled Jesus hands back the human family as a united part of the universal family.

        Can we experience the benefits today? Yes because of the ‘Kingdom of the Son of His (Gods) Love’ the Christian Congregation established at Pentecost. So why are Christians as divided as Islam? because the teachers have left the healthful word.

        So Peter said be kind to yourself Lord – it demonstrates that even those most devoted to our faith have to continue checking and testing who and what we are.

  7. musicbymelissa says:

    This reminds me so much of Paul’s words in Romans 8. We are heirs of this kingdom, here and now, with the power of the Holy Spirit willing to work amazing things in our lives. And at the same time, we are waiting for when God’s Heavenly Kingdom is revealed. Two aspects – On earth as it is in Heaven, as Jesus taught us to pray, right? “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done”. What you’ve detailed so well is exactly what Jesus told the pharisees in Luke 17:20-21. (and I’ve got to say, it’s neat to see you touch on this also, God brought this to light for me here: Thanks, Don! Good words!

  8. Pingback: This is Big | A disciple's study

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