The kingdom of God is not about getting. That’s what Jesus is saying. It’s not about getting wealth. It’s not about getting power. It’s not about getting comfort. It’s not about getting fame. And the kingdom of God is not about doing. It’s not what you do so that God will be pleased with you.
The kingdom ultimately is about being.
It’s about being in relationship with God.
And there are two ways that some will teach you to work out the counterculture kingdom ethic of Jesus.
One is absolute nonsense, religious garbage that arouses anger as I travel throughout this land, and I see Muslims, Jews, and Jack Christians who are religious, worshiping places, worshiping people, identifying themselves by their performance, and their power, and their prestige, and their prosperity. This is no holy land! This is a very unholy land! This is among the most unholy lands on the nation of the earth! The idolatry is steep and deep!
It’s just like the days when Jesus went to the temple, and absolutely was filled with fury. There is a righteous anger in the heart of God over those who would pilgrimage here, and cut in line for food, and steal, and cheat, and download porno in their hotel, and flirt with others, and follow ridiculous religious rituals, and then talk about the holy land. It’s not about the holy land. It’s about the holy king, and the holy kingdom, and repentant people by grace being connected to him, and being conformed to him.
The kingdom is not about going somewhere, but about belonging to Someone.
And so for us, it is never a place, it is a person, and the center of our faith is Jesus.
And it doesn’t matter what hill they stood on, they stood there with who?
That’s all that matters, friends. That place is nothing more than dirt, and that man is nothing less than God.
And that’s the big idea of the kingdom ethic. It’s about Jesus. It’s always about Jesus. It’s completely, thoroughly, exclusively, continually, unswervingly, unendingly about Jesus, and he is the king, and it is his kingdom.
And it is not about religious performance so that we could get wealth, and he would bless us, we could get comfort, and our life would be easy, that we would get power, and we would be able to control our own destinies, that we would have fame, and others would speak well of us.
It’s about him.
It’s about his name.
It’s about his fame.
It’s about his reputation.
It’s about his kingdom.
It’s about his ethic.
And those who would read this text like Mahatma Gandhi and say, “I don’t believe Jesus is God. I don’t believe he’s savior. I don’t believe he regenerates the heart. I don’t believe he fills us with the Holy Spirit. I don’t believe he gives us a new kingdom capacity through connection to the Father to live a new life. I just believe these are wonderful, ancient, moral truisms for good life.”
Woe to you if all Jesus is is a teacher.
Woe to you if all he is is another charlatan rabbi, another philosopher.
Woe to you.
It is not only or even mainly about Jesus’ teaching, it is firstly about his person and work.
He’s God come for us, the king has come in humble circumstances to a town that is small. He is come to nowhere to meet with no ones, and to love and to serve, and he knows that ultimately he is going to the cross where he would die for all of these sins, yours and mine included, that he would rise, and that he would go, where?
To the kingdom to prepare a place for us, so that we wouldn’t need to be cursed, that we could be blessed.