The Kingdom of Heaven on Wheels
Sep 10, 2014 1498
Jesus gave the instructions for the first mission trip in the tenth chapter of Matthew. He said to the twelve disciples:
And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. – vv.7–8
The very first and foremost part of this mission is to announce, wherever they go, that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. It comes before healing the sick. It even comes before raising the dead and casting out demons. In fact, those works are part and parcel of the announcement of the kingdom of God. In doing these works, the disciples demonstrated the nearness of the kingdom of God to the people.
This mission would have been a profound challenge for those twelve ordinary people in first century Judaea. It remains a profound challenge to us today.
As we go through our daily lives, we are called to bring the kingdom of heaven closer to the people who we meet. That’s our mission. We are ambassadors of heaven. Wherever we go we are the outposts of the kingdom of God in this world. We are the kingdom of heaven on wheels.
How do we do this? We bring the kingdom of heaven in contact with those whom we meet by the way we interact with them – by the way that we look at others, by the way that we speak to them, and how we deal with them. The gospel is not just something to be believed; it’s principles are to be lived.
And so you have been called by Jesus Christ to convince people with whom you will interact today that heaven is not far, but near; that love and grace, forgiveness and compassion are all at hand. It’s called the kingdom of heaven. And you bring it wherever you go.
Are you up to the challenge?
Freely you have received, freely give.