Monday, October 03, 2011


Only the broken can know the unending joy that comes from being re-formed again into something beautiful. Only the hopeless can experience the astounding relief that comes from being rescued at the last moment. Only the poor can understand what it feels like to receive that undeserved gift of mercy, or food, or rent. Only the losers appreciate the fact that they have been given a trophy that they know they could ever earn on their own.

This is the Kingdom of God. It is scandalously inclusive. It runs against the grain of fairness and tramples on our sense of equality.

Jesus came announcing the Good News that the Kingdom of God was wide open. Anyone could enter it on the spot. However, there were a few conditions. His Sermon on the Mount outlined the requirements for seeing and entering the Kingdom of God. “Blessed are the poor. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are those who mourn.” He said.

As John Fischer points out, when it comes to the Kingdom of God - “Proud people don't get in. Rich people don't get in. Successful people don't get in. Self-righteous people don't get in. Happy people don't get in. Competent people don't get in. And it's more than just getting in. People like this don't even see it. They don't know what it is. They can't. They are blinded by their own sufficiency.”

This is why Jesus proclaimed that it was not for those who are well that he came, but for those who are sick. It was not for the righteous that he came, but for the sinners who were desperate for salvation and had no way of measuring up without a Messiah who was full of mercy. (see Luke 5:31-32)

I love the account in the Gospel of John (chapter 9) where Jesus heals a man born blind. The entire chapter chronicles a kangaroo court where the Pharisees attempt to get at the bottom of this miracle (which Jesus decided to perform on the Sabbath, of course). Throughout the chapter there is a fascinating juxtaposition of the physical blindness the beggar experienced and the spiritual blindness of the Pharisees. At the end of the chapter, Jesus says, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”(John 9:39) Hearing this, some of the Pharisees asked him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains. (John 9:40-41)

See? Those who know that they are blind receive sight. Those who pretend that they can see are without hope because if they would simply admit that they were in need of Jesus, he would reach out and heal them.



Phoenixgirl said...

While I love that no one who is considered a loser is excluded, there is still the idea that the rich, prideful, happy, etc. ARE excluded. I understand it's their lack of need for Jesus that makes them excluded, but who is excluding them? I don't believe that God is that picky; it's humans who are. If God loves the sinner, then He loves the sinner who loves money, sex, etc. Different sides of the same coin, is how I see it.

Keith Giles said...

I agree, God loves them. But there are a lot of verses that suggest that the rich have a hard time getting into (or seeing) the Kingdom. Jesus says, in fact, that with man it is impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom, but with God all things are possible.

beth foster said...

Thanks,Keith. A topic familiar to me; however spoke to me fresh tonight. Keeps me humble that I always need Jesus & am not to try to become self-sufficient again.

NoahM said...

Luke 7:47 "... whoever has been forgiven little loves little."