For roughly three short years two thousand years ago, we got a brief glimpse of what the Kingdom of God looks like. When Jesus lived among us, He healed all those who were sick. He partied with the outcasts of the culture and chastised the societal elite. He was at once revolutionary and peaceful. Jesus knew no strangers and loved unconditionally. No wonder such large crowds followed Him; who wouldn’t want the slightest glimpse of Heaven? Who wouldn’t want to experience what life was truly meant to be? Jesus showed us what a life lived for Him, a Kingdom life, was all about. He set the example that all His disciples commit to follow.
Imagine if we could impart these same activities into our world today. Jesus said that His followers would do even greater things than He had done (John 14:12). Did you ever notice that the entirety of Christ’s ministry on earth was spent going out among the people, caring for their needs, serving them, and simply loving them without condition? Contrast this with the way most of us live out the “Christian” life today; we huddle together in safety, comfort, and ultimately, mediocrity.
What happened to us? When did we learn to think of our faith as something to be hoarded, to serve ourselves, and to be mediocre? No part of that looks like Jesus. No part of that resembles His Kingdom. If our mission is to see His Kingdom come on earth, we must begin living like Jesus lived. We must go out into the world bold and unashamed. What if we started serving others with the funds we bring into our local church instead of spending those resources on bigger buildings and larger payrolls? What if we began to touch the hurting instead of simply writing a check?
We’ve gotten things so turned around. Indeed, our mission is completely upside down. We take care of our own comfort and needs first, and serve others with the meager scraps of leftovers from our relatively luxurious lives. Remember what Jesus said? He said if we follow Him we’ll have no place to call home (Luke 9:58). He said our families would despise us (Luke 12:51-53). How many of us experience that in our own lives because of our commitment to God?
The job of the disciple is to build the Kingdom of God on earth by following in the footsteps of our Lord. We were never called to build elaborate buildings and campuses on which we could entertain ourselves. How sad that we spend millions of dollars on building exquisite sanctuaries in which to worship, while millions of people remain homeless. We spend one Saturday a year building a single house with Habitat for Humanity just to show we really care, as if that somehow evens the score. We are building the Kingdom of self, not the Kingdom of God. Let’s get back to modeling Jesus in our world. Let’s go out among the outcasts, serve them, and love them. Let’s be just like Jesus. Let’s build the Kingdom of God.