Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven was near.” When the 1st century Jews heard those words certain expectations came to mind; namely the inauguration of a kingdom that was consistent with their own hopes and dreams. When Jesus didn’t fulfill those dreams they threw the king out.
Isn’t this still true today? When we become a Christian don’t we expect God to pour out His blessings on us in ways that are consistent with our own hopes and dreams, and to pour out His wrath on those who we now see as unrighteous? The problem with such thoughts is our hopes and dreams are too often inconsistent with what Jesus said he would do, and we find we have set ourselves up for disappointment in Him.
Jesus did indeed inaugurated the Kingdom of Heaven, but He has his own agenda. Jesus’ agenda is the restoration and judgment of men and women is to be based on how they respond to his message, and not our dreams. Our task is to understand in what ways we can bring our lives into alignment with Jesus’ agenda and message. The phrase, “Thy will be done,” should ever be on our lips.
In response to Satan’s temptation to turn stones into bread Jesus said, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Jesus knows there is more to a person than physical needs; there is the spiritual too.
One of our responsibilities is to recognize the mysteries and yearnings of our life. The Greek philosopher agreed for he said, “Man, know thyself first.” Once a person knows the mysteries and yearnings of their life, what then? I would say it is their responsibility to yield to the ruler-ship of Him to whom life was conquered by – Jesus.
The 139th Psalm begins, “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar,” (1-2). Now look how that Psalm ends, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” (23-24). The Psalmist asked God to search him. Make that the first, supreme, and essential business of your life to acquaint yourself with Jesus, and so be at His peace, and so find the meaning of life.
John the Baptist questioned Jesus’ request to be baptized, for Jesus did not need to repent or to be forgiven. Jesus replied to John, “Thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” In this statement we see Jesus’ vision, his mission, what was on his mind, and his ultimate goal for which he set his face to do; to fulfill righteousness.
Augustine said, “God has so fashioned the human heart that it never can find rest until it rests in Him.” Augustine saw in his statement that it is possible for men and women to become adjusted to God, for men and women are made in God’s image and thus are made for such an adjustment. Jesus, God/Man, by fulfilling all righteousness was and is able to make the righteous adjustment in all men and women possible.
We are not made for houses, cars, credit cards, and bank accounts, but for God and God alone. God has it in His mind for those who bear God’s own image, which is every one of us, to be adjusted to God’s righteousness. Jesus came to make such an adjustment. The question is: Will you allow him to make it?