This week we’re talking about what defines the “kingdom of God” or the “kingdom of heaven” and exploring what that might mean for our lives. When Jesus talks about it, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Some of his words are very difficult, and have to be reckoned with. Take these words in Matthew 18:
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.”
The story unfolds with a servant forgiven much, then being unforgiving and harsh with one who owes him just a little. Then Jesus says:
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
I’m not entirely sure about all the deeper meanings that may be present in this parable describing the kingdom. But one thing is very clear: in the kingdom, there is mercy and forgiveness. Both forgiveness of our sins from God and forgiveness of one another for wrongs we’ve done. In fact, God seems so serious about it that he calls us wicked if we’re unforgiving.
I know God loves us more than we can imagine. That is where we should focus and rest. But we’d be making a big mistake if we think we can just sit in unforgiveness and let is fester and be totally fine. Today, let us forgive those who have wronged us. Let us show them mercy. It is the way of the kingdom. It may be very hard, but the promise of the kingdom is that it’s worth it, both now and in eternity.
Grace and Peace,
“Radical togetherness is needed like never before. If Jesus’ people can’t do it, then who can? I’m grateful for John penning a great vision for awakening the soul of our country in a way that is beyond partisan politics. Both republicans and democrats promise the abundant life, but “all fall short of the glory of God”. The American Awakening is a call for Jesus’ people of all varieties to find a life that is truly life. Read and join the adventure!”
— David M. Bailey, Founder & Director, Arrabon