We live in a weird tension, don’t we? Trying to live as members of the Kingdom of God while on earth is strange. We have this dual nature that longs to be overwhelmed by the glory of our Father, but we’re so easily distracted by things as simple as monetary gain or military might. This is the same tension that Jesus is speaking into in Luke 13:1-9. I would encourage you to take a minute to read it, but Jesus is basically saying that unless these people repent and adopt Jesus’ message of peace, they will be destroyed much like the Galileans that Pilate had just killed. It’s easy to confuse Jesus’ teachings here as being about destruction that will come in hell after death, but that is not the case. Jesus is saying that if these people did not turn from their violent ways, then they would perish physically.
The issue wasn’t simply that people were being violent and focusing on political might. The issue was that Jesus’ audience was spending their energy pursuing things that had nothing to do with the Kingdom of God. They were wasting their time while allowing themselves to be distracted by things that were temporal and meaningless. They were neglecting their true citizenship and focusing on earthly citizenship. These are the things that we are encouraged to consider as we discuss what it means to live a life that anticipates the return of Christ.
-What things are we spending energy on that pull us away from our heavenly citizenship?
-What can you do to reshape those distractions into things that can be used for God’s glory?
(By Cody Poinsett)