January 29th - Luke 16- John 15
Happy Sunday to you fellow New Testament readers!
Today we finished John 15. I feel I picked the appropriate mug for my latte while reading John since this Gospel is known as the “Love” Gospel based on John 3:16.
So what stood out to you in this week in the reading?
For me, I pondered what the thief said while on the cross.
Like I posted last week, I have been noticing all the references to “the Kingdom of God” being near and “the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (Matthew 16:28).
Kingdom, Kingdom, Kingdom- it’s all about the kingdom of Jesus!!
So, when I pondered what the thief said, I thought, “Wow! He really understood who Jesus was!”
This past Tuesday we read Luke 23. Remember the exchange the two thieves had while hanging on the cross? One was teasing, yet the other had a godly ‘fear of the Lord’. The latter ended the exchange by saying, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (vs.42).
Wow! He really got it!!! His understanding and faith that Jesus was ruler of a heavenly kingdom was a perfect example for us to follow. When we put our faith in Jesus, we enter into his kingdom, his reign, that is going on NOW. We are to be obedient to our new ruler, as we read today in John 14:23. We are no longer slaves to this world, but slaves to Jesus (Romans 6:22). We are either in one kingdom or the other; two kingdoms, two different rulers (Matt. 6:24).
The thief proclaimed his belief in the kingdom of Jesus (as we all should according to Matt. 10:32) and we know he was rewarded for that faith by the response Jesus gave to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43.
The Kingdom of Jesus is now! When I started to think like this, that is, his kingdom is now, not some future event, I had to smile when I read (with new understanding) the sign that Pilate posted:
“THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS”
Do you know that each one of the Gospel writers included that written sign in their account of the crucifixion? John also adds that the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek (19:20).
The writers all wanted to be perfectly clear-Jesus is the King! This is not a future event. It is now! We, like the thief have been invited into that kingdom by what Christ did on that cross. That's exciting!!
I can’t wait to hear Jesus say to me, well done my faithful servant! Now come here, daughter, and join me in paradise!!