23 Feb The Kingdom Starts with Jesus
As a freshman in college, I will never forget the first time that a student at the state university talked about their Christian faith in class. In the midst of class discussion, they referenced the fact that they believed what the Bible said about a particular social issue we were debating.
Immediately, a woman in the class said, “Keep your religion to yourself!”
In Western culture, faith is seen as something internal and private that should not be external and public. Culture would say that if you find some benefit to having a personal faith, that is fine; just don’t share it with anyone else.
The God of the Bible, however, does not agree. The God of the Bible expects to be Lord over all, and so He shows up both internally by changing people and externally by performing miracles.
Miracles are God’s way of refusing to be ignored and pushed to the side. A miracle is when the King shows up and the Kingdom shows off in the world. The Bible records roughly three dozen miracles that Jesus performed. Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding in John 2:1–12. We read of the event in John 2:11, “What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him” When we drive on the road, we follow signs that point us to a destination. Miracles are signs that God puts up to point us to Jesus so that we would believe in Him.
Many people want a miracle. Who doesn’t want to see a dead person raised to life, a deaf person hear a first song, or a blind person squint as new eyes adjust to the light of the sun for the first time? These kinds of miracles are recorded in the Scriptures and reported by God’s people throughout history.
As wonderful as miracles are, however, we must remember their purpose. They are not ends in themselves; they are signs pointing us to Jesus’ Kingdom. In Jesus’ Kingdom, the dead will live, the blind will see, the deaf will hear, the mute will sing, the sick will be healed, and the lame will run and laugh. For the Christian, this life on earth is as close to hell as you will be. The King and Kingdom are coming, so keep following the signs that point toward Jesus and keep walking toward His Kingdom.
What are you most looking forward to in God’s Kingdom?