Jesus the king… sort of…

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Luke 19:11 As (the disciples) were listening to (Jesus teaching), (Jesus) went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.

This is getting toward the end of the gospel of Luke. Jesus and his disciples are on their final journey to Jerusalem where Jesus will meet his fate. What jumps out at me this morning in this verse are the words “they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately”.

As you know the disciples expected Jesus to assume the throne of Israel much like the kings of old had – kings like David and Solomon. This verse suggests they also thought this was going to happen very quickly once they arrived in Jerusalem, which was the capital city. I can imagine their excited anticipation when they finally arrived! But then they saw Jesus apprehended by the authorities and die on a cross. Hopes… dashed.

God had a better plan.

You know the rest of the story. Jesus died but was raised three days later. And now, through Jesus, salvation and eternal life are available to the entire world not just Israel. It’s an outcome far superior to what the disciples had in mind and believers all over the world are grateful.

As this pandemic situation drags on I’m wondering if some elements of this are part of God’s plans. I don’t mean the fact that millions of people are infected with coronavirus and hundreds of thousands dead around the world. That is a categorial catastrophe. But I AM wondering if perhaps this dire situation might help bring people together. It hasn’t thus far, but perhaps it will. When things get bad enough we have no choice but to set aside our differences. Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking.

Lord your ways are not our ways. Give us grace to find where you are at work, even in the darkest of days. Amen.

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