Summary: We continue to look at the life of Jesus, as he was no ordinary man. This series is based on The Story by Randy Frazee and Max Lucado.
No Ordinary Man
The Story -24
April 3, 2011
Their entire world consisted of just one island and they measured wealth in sea shells. They had never struck a match, heard an engine roar, or been told about gravity. They believed the entire world was the what they saw. And that all of humanity lived on one island. And all people were just like themselves, but everything changed in the summer of 1930.
That’s when two men from Australia, searching for gold, explored their island. Michael Leahy and Michael Dwyer were searching the Pacific Islands for gold. They inadvertently introduced these natives to the world, and the world to them.
These New Guinea natives had never seen skin so white or bodies so clothed. They saw soap bubbles for the first time as the two men bathed in the river, the natives thought the bubbles were a skin disease. The natives thought the lanterns the men had were containers with pieces of the moon in them. When Michael Dwyer took out his dentures, the natives ran screaming into the jungle. They had never seen anything like this, it was beyond their small island.
Could we also be accused of a similar response? Do we also suffer from “tiny islanditis?” Where we think everything that exists is just what we can see. Our world, albeit huge, 4 billion residents, beautiful sunsets, and all, and yet we think this is all there is, nothing more. What would happen if someone from the outside came and walked on our island, and said, this is but a tiny dot in the Pacific of what is reality. That’s what Jesus did.
He came like an invader from the outside, an outsider, a foreigner, with peculiar behavior and unusual deeds. And He came speaking a language people never heard. Discussing principles people found difficult to embrace.
He talked about a commonwealth, a dominion, an existence, where one of His favorite words was — Kingdom. He began His ministry with these words, “the time has come, the kingdom of God is near, repent and believe the good news.” With these words Jesus not only began His ministry, but He began introducing us to His favorite topic.
60 times in the gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke; Jesus either talks about the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God. For Jesus, the kingdom occupies center stage. The same cannot be said about our teaching. We don’t talk kingdoms much, do we? We don’t like to think about an absolute rule, a monarchy, instead we’re all about democracy. We’re all about everyone having a vote, putting people into office, and taking people out of office.
And this idea of someone giving a life long assignment of absolute rule over every detail of our lives, we find this a bit unnerving. But we should find it biblical.
From beginning to end, the Bible speaks of a king who created the world. We found glimpses of God’s kingdom in the OT. Remember king Nebuchadnezzar, the pagan king of Babylon. He encountered God and confessed, “Blessed is the Most High, praise and honor to Him who lives forever. For His dominion is an everlasting dominion and His kingdom endures from generation to generation” (Daniel 4:34).
The OT prophets envisioned a time when God would establish a new rule on earth. God said, “38They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them singleness of heart and action, What a great sentence. And He goes on . . . so that they will always honor me for their own good and the good of their children after them (Jeremiah 32:38-39).
And the prophets often spoke about the coming of a king, a Messiah, the Anointed One.
Zechariah said, “your king is coming to you, he is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey.” And so the Jews set their hope on the coming of a king. And their hopes were realized in the coming of a Nazarene carpenter who entered the world and said, the time has come, the kingdom of God is near, repent and believe the good news.
So, what on earth is God up to? God us up to a kingdom, He’s creating a kingdom. That’s why chapter 24 in the Story is marked by the appearance of the word kingdom. Look at this passage with me, Mark 4:3-9 —
Jesus said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.
6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.