“I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:27 (New International Version)
“I tell you the truth, some people standing here will see the kingdom of God before they die.” (New Century Version)
“Some who have taken their stand right here are going to see it happen, see with their own eyes the kingdom of God.” (The Message)
These words of Jesus have proven for many to be a great stumblingblock to belief in God. Our initial response to this definitive statement is that it simply isn’t true.
The window for this to happen closed a long time ago. The disciples in Jesus’ presence on the day these words were spoken did not see the Kingdom come in their lifetime!
At least, not in the way they thought they would.
We’re winding down our Lenten dig into literal, modern-day applications of Jesus’ words. I’ve personally been struck by just how content I have been to settle for figurative interpretations of Jesus’ teachings over the years. I’m struck (as in, over-the-head-with-a-baseball-bat) by the potential for Jesus Himself to come to life through us, when we take Him at His Word and choose to be doers and not hearers only.
And today I am struck by how apparent this truth about the Kingdom is, now that I’m using my supersonic, laser beam, Spirit-enabled Kingdom Vision.
It began for me today with a crown. A Burger King crown.
A Burger King crown and a conversation between two Kingdom subjects.
You can watch it here, but what you need to know is that you’ll need your Kingdom goggles on in order to see it. In this short announcement by the leaders of Youth Specialties, the Kingdom of God is apparent…
- In their forthright approach (no ‘spin’).
- In the way their story is unfolding (not according to their ‘plan’).
- In their sincere surprise at this turn of events.
- In the ways that they are being stretched to fit into God’s plans.
Now, you could very easily watch this clip and miss the Kingdom markers in it. You could focus on the great loss to YS when Tic Long decreases his leadership role (because of course he will be missed). You could focus on the fact that YS has had more than its fair share of change in past several years and you could become embittered over yet another transition in this important ministry to youth leaders. You could sit in the skeptic’s seat and wait to see whether Mark Matlock can pull it off to your satisfaction…
You could, but you wouldn’t be using your Kingdom Vision if you did.
For you and me to see the Kingdom of God with our own eyes, we must be changed. The world around us is still the same, but when we look out at it through our Kingdom Vision, we see the King at work!
We see His hand in situations where others miss Him altogether.
We hear His voice come from people who look nothing like Kingdom subjects to the world.
We feel the air move as He passes through a room, even when His presence isn’t felt by anyone else.
We see beauty where others see only pain.
We see light where others are stumbling into walls.
We see hope where others have simply given up.
If we believe that Jesus meant what He said – that the Kingdom of God is visible HERE and NOW – doesn’t our calling become crystal clear? If you have the Spirit-given ability to see through our limited human vision into the things of God as they unfold, you just can’t keep it to yourself!
There are too many others who need your help to see their way through the messes they’ve made and to pull themselves out of the pits they’ve fallen into.
YOU have the eyes to see!
YOU have the ears to hear!
For the Kingdom’s sake, USE THEM!