This blog has to do with my “deleted scenes” from my sermon on Jesus as “Lord of the Calendar.” As with the other “deleted scenes” blogs, these points are pretty sparse and isolated. It is best to hear the sermon (download from lbchapel.com) and then read what I didn’t put in…
With that episode about fasting, Jesus introduces the idea of old and new wineskins. That is, that there was an old way of doing things, but that way is not compatible with the new way that Jesus brings. Not only was the old way of law, animal sacrifice, and a separate identity going to be replaced with the better thing, but there was going to be a new way of living for God’s people. The reality is that religious leaders of those times had messed up what God had provided, the Law, so badly that it became corrupt and evil. What God had meant as a good preparation for the coming of Jesus, men had corrupted to being evil and wicked
He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, … (Mk 3:5)
Why???? Isn’t Jesus, “Meek and Mild,” supposed to be even tempered, forgiving to all, patient with all, accepting of all? Hmmmm. Apparently not.
When we say, “God’s Kingdom” or “the Kingdom of God,” what we are talking about is that people, place, where in the past-present-or-future God rules. As we approach Xmas, note that Mary – in her magnificent song of praise – acts a bit of the prophetess by saying, “He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble” (Lk 1:52). Jesus affirms this with an earthly “king,” that is Pilate (Roman governor):
Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, …. But my kingdom is not from the world." Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" John 18:36-38
This idea of God’s kingdom here with us now is stated elsewhere. We see Paul on this theme when he says that even now, God is doing this work: “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,” Colossians 1:13