Last Sunday, I shared with you that Jesus’ amazing Sermon on the Mount spoke volumes to both the Disciples (the saved) and the crowds (the seekers). It still does!
His sermon introduced a radical shift in thought and spirit from the kingdoms of the world and of hell.
Simultaneously, He preached a word of hope and encouragement and invitation to the broken and hurt and neglected who crowded the mountain to hear him. What a radical shift! The very people the world calls “trash” are loved and welcomed by God in their brokenness to begin life in the one Kingdom that can heal their brokenness rather than add to it!
Equally, those who have been lifted up by salvation in the Savior are called to ALWAYS seek to go as low or lower than the crowd around them—to be humble and meek and mild and empathetic to those who are mourning—even as salvation lifts them into growing wholeness!
Breathtaking! The Saved have a tendency to want to run away from the mess they were in before salvation—and to even get uppity in their salvation—while the Savior calls them to lower themselves to write in the dirt or wash the feet of others. The Kingdom of God turns our desire to look and act better than others on its ear! We may be better than we once were, but we are NEVER better than the most broken and neglected person on earth!
Breathtaking! The lost and broken—with nothing more than a crushed spirit crying out for a Father’s love—are met where they are with a love that will take them into Heaven’s reality! They may never be wealthy or healthy by worldly standards, but in Jesus, they (we!) are blessed beyond measure!!
Both the broken seeker and the saved disciple find the Kingdom of God in the same place—bowed down, humble, and with a willingness to admit that we will NEVER be anything apart from God!!!
So everyone needs their reality, their worldview, turned upside down in order to enter and thrive in the Kingdom of Heaven. For those who have nothing and seek everything in Jesus, the turn isn’t so hard to make. BUT, for the saved—especially in a wealthy nation like the USA, that shift can be jarring and even offensive to their (our!) religious sensibilities.
God healed me! He rescued me out of drugs and poverty! He has lifted me up! Why would He want me to humble myself and hang out with those kinds of people again, rather than just enjoying a nice middle-upper class church experience? BECAUSE the Kingdom of God turns EVERYONE’S sensibilities around!
Its how you got saved in the first place, after all. He humbled Himself to meet you at the bar rail; to call you by name when you were ashamed of it; to lift you out of spiritual poverty—hoping that you would never forget what you were saved from!
The Kingdom of God turns EVERYONE’S world up-side-down—until we are DOWN-SIDE UP!!!