Jesus left the meeting place and went to Simon’s home. When Jesus got there, he was told that Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with a high fever. So Jesus went over to her and ordered the fever to go away. Right then she was able to get up and serve them a meal.

After the sun had set, people with all kinds of diseases were brought to Jesus. He put his hands on each one of them and healed them. Demons went out of many people and shouted, “You are the Son of God!” But Jesus ordered the demons not to speak because they knew he was the Messiah.

The next morning Jesus went out to a place where he could be alone, and crowds came looking for him. When they found him, they tried to stop him from leaving. But Jesus said, “People in other towns must hear the good news about God’s kingdom. That’s why I was sent.” So he kept on preaching in the Jewish meeting places in Judea. (Luke 4:38–44)

Jesus brought good news to the people of Israel. It was so wonderful, in fact, that huge crowds came looking for him so they could hear it. Healing the sick and casting out demons were illustrations, living parables, about God’s kingdom. Jesus brought the human race relief from its blindness, and from its oppression beneath the heavy boot of the evil one. Jesus rescued us from the kingdom of Satan just as God had rescued the Israelites from the kingdom of the Pharaoh.

The kingdom of God is about freedom, rather than slavery. It is about joy rather than sadness. It is about wealth rather than poverty. It is about health rather than sickness. But if we imagine that the kingdom of God is about a physical kingdom, physical wealth, physical health, physical freedom, then we are missing what Jesus means by the kingdom of God. We are allowing ourselves to become distracted by those things that won’t endure, instead of embracing the things that will endure forever. The kingdom is about our reconciliation, a treasure in heaven, and everlasting life. The reality of eternity begins today because the king of the kingdom lives in us and walks with us every day. We are his ambassadors, citizens, walking the road toward our home in the kingdom and inviting everyone we see join us on our pilgrimage.

And as we embrace God’s kingdom, the kingdoms of the world will inevitably change as well. We make the world a better place, we change physical reality, as we help people find the way to the true king and his kingdom.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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