What was it that was so important for Jesus to come to earth to tell us? He left GLORY for us! What was/is His message?
5 The wise prevail through [His] great power, and those who have knowledge [of Him] muster their strength [in Him]. 6 Surely you need guidance to wage war [against our flesh and Satan and his army], and victory is won through many advisors [or, the Great Advisor, the Holy Spirit; we also have many advisors in the Bible].
As soon as Jesus was baptized and had spent time in the desert, He began His ministry. His sermon was simple, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near [or, is at hand].” Matthew 4:17. I believe that Jesus was referring to Himself. He IS the kingdom of heaven! Wherever He is, there the kingdom is. I base this conclusion on Luke 17:20-22:
20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” 22 Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
The Pharisees–and, therefore, the people–were looking for the Messiah to bring liberation to the nation of Israel, but in an outward form, much like Moses and Joshua did. In fact, “Jesus” is a form of the name, Joshua, which means, “Savior.” It is “Yeshua.” Jesus set them straight on the matter. He said that they would not be able to observe it physically; that being said, since Christ Himself is the kingdom of God, they WERE observing it physically, but they didn’t recognize it. John tells us in John 1:10-11 that “He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. 11 He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.”
In verse 22, I believe that Jesus is making reference to His being with them. There must have been a sense of specialness around Jesus, an air of holiness. Indeed, once He was crucified, everything changed! Basically, Jesus made it possible for Him, via the Holy Spirit, to take up residence in our hearts and lives, thus bringing the kingdom of God with Him. Those who have Christ have the kingdom of God WITHIN them! But, since the Pharisees were looking for a different kind of Messiah, they missed Yeshua Ha-Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah). Would that they had repented and come to Jesus!
Tomorrow, we look at the first part of Jesus’ sermon: “Repent.” A strange topic for Christmas Day? I think not! The Shepherds came humbly, and so did the Magi. We do, too.
May we recognize and accept that the kingdom of God is within us. We look forward to the joining of the kingdom within us with the kingdom of Christ where He reigns (Revelation 11:15).
Abba, thank You for such a great plan to come and live in each of us. WOW! May we never get over the awesomeness and specialness of having You in us to walk with us and to counsel us as we navigate through the physical world. Keep us aware of Your presence; keep us aware that this world as we know it is NOT PERMANENT. You WILL come again and restore everything to its original state (Matthew 19:28). Until then, our hope is in You, Jesus. Amen.