THE POLITICS OF JESUS // Mike Akins
Jesus’s whole life was contrary to what people believed it would be. The promised Lord and King who would someday overthrow standing governments came as a child born in the lowliest of ways, raised in an insubstantial family and town. Because Jesus was a prophet who was more lamb than lion in all earthly appearances, many questioned His claim to the throne.
Even in His life here on earth, Christ displays what is to be part of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Within the sermon on the mount, Jesus speaks of the Beatitudes, a picture what the people of His Kingdom will look and act like. Jesus says that they will be poor in spirit, mournful, meek, hungry and thirsty, merciful, pure, peaceful, and persecuted. These are characteristics the Israelites clearly did not expect that the people of a new and powerful kingdom would look like, but intrinsically these are the characteristics that make us human. Our claim to a seat at the King of King and Lord of Lords' throne comes from our realization and revelation of our reliance on Him.
This is where I struggle often. It reminds me of when I played soccer in high school, and we had a two-month conditioning and tryout period. Then, after being selected, I would have to continue at that pace in order to keep my starting role. I had to consistently perform at a high level so I would be seen and sought after and loved. But the Beatitudes that Jesus announced on the mountaintop trump this way of thinking. We can all tend to feel like we need to prove ourselves as spiritually sound and strong to really be a part of this "supernatural" Kingdom, but here we see the opposite. God invites us to bring the "natural" into the equation so that He can then supply the “super." By humbling ourselves and realizing our need for Him, we are invited into so much more than we could ever accomplish on our own!