Passion Week Devo - Where was the kingdom? [Thursday]

Jesus spent a lot of time talking about the kingdom. The kingdom he was talking about was not one to rival the Roman government. It was bigger than that.

In John 18:36, “Jesus answered, ‘My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.’”

Jesus told stories about the kingdom and compared it to many things like seed planted by a farmer, yeast, a hidden pearl, a fishing net, a wedding feast, and more. 

The people of his time were looking for an external kingdom, but he was offering an internal perspective shift - an alternative way of approaching the times.

Maybe we need that too.

Maybe the devotional question for today should be, “Where IS the kingdom”?

Thursday of Passion week is the day we remember Jesus’ final meal with his disciples. This is the one where he washed their feet and where we get our tradition of communion from.

On a visit to Israel a few years ago we were invited to a Jewish home for Shabbat dinner. We were so surprised when the dinner included the spiritual leader of the family blessing some bread and passing it around and blessing the cup and sharing that as well. We didn’t know that tradition was common for Jewish people long before Jesus did it and is still a part of Shabbat in Jewish homes today.

The Jesus difference is that in the new kingdom, the bread and cup are there as remembrances of Jesus’ body and blood.  

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 says, “For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, ‘This is my body, which is given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.’ For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.”

Our question for today is “Where is the kingdom?” The answer is that the kingdom is wherever the King is reigning!

Let’s go back to the part of this dinner where Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. Can you even imagine? That would be like going to a fancy U.S. Government banquet and having the president come out of the kitchen with a tray of food to serve everyone. And actually, even more distinctive than that.

The kingdom is where serving others is more important than being served.

Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

When we take time to remember Jesus we realize the kingdom is there.

When we have an internal paradigm shift that moves our focus to what is eternal, the kingdom is there.

Activate: Participate in the kingdom way today and look for a way you can serve someone else, preferably without them even knowing it was you. And, If possible, remember Jesus' sacrifice by sharing in communion today.

Prayer: Jesus, we thank you for bringing the kingdom to earth. May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Want more: Read the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-10. Look for the many ways the kingdom can be seen. Can you think of someone who has embodied each part?


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