Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Gospel of the kingdom 13: Content with Too Small a Thing

Another messianic passage from Isaiah speaks to our shortsightedness regarding Jesus’ good news. In Isaiah 49:6 God the Father says to the Son:

“It is too small a thing that You should be my Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make you a light to the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Sometimes I sit on the hill surrounded by the city in which I live thinking of the gangs, the fatherless homes, the dominance of immorality and I think to myself, “It’s all just too much.” Jesus always whispers back to me words from that Messianic prophecy in Isaiah, “No, it is too small a thing.”

When I think of the challenges of the US—a crumbling justice system, a deteriorating education system, greed, poverty, bigotry, evil is called good and good is called wrong—I think to myself, “Lord, it is too much for us to fix, it is too big of a mess!” Jesus always speaks back to me, “No, my son, it is too small a thing.”

The global AIDS crisis, oppressive dictators holding their people in bondage to poverty, genocide of entire people groups, the religious fanatics holding the world hostage with terror, the ugliness of rampant immorality, destruction of our environment, these things and more on a global scale are only part of what Jesus wants to address in our age through His servants—you and me. If all of this is left up to me to fix it is too much. If it is dependent upon all of us it is still way too much. For King Jesus, however, it is not too much.

We are too often content with too small a thing. We are shortsighted and suffer from small mindedness. The Kingdom of God is bigger than your church, your denomination or your nation. In fact, it is bigger than all the churches, all the denominations and all the missions agencies.

We must understand that Jesus’ incarnation, life, death, resurrection and intimate presence are too important to affect only small places and few peoples. Jesus didn’t suffer and die so you can have a nice church service on Sunday mornings. His sacrifice deserves nothing less than a holistic global change, impacting every nation and every culture. Anything shy of this is selfish, lacking in faith, and insult to the King and His sacrifice.

We should be ashamed of the fact that software business moguls, movie stars, and rock musicians are doing more to overturn poverty, AIDS and injustice than the people of God. You may not have lots of money or fame, but if you have Jesus you have all you need.

We have all it takes to overturn the giants that are oppressing our world and keeping people in darkness. All we have to do is realize God’s heart for the world and step out and bring His transforming kingdom to the lost, oppressed and dying. Our global impact will start small; the kingdom of God always does. It is like a little leaven or a mustard seed. It starts with a single life under the rule of the King, and it grows one life at a time. But if each impacted life impacts another, we can affect the entire planet with His kingdom in this lifetime.

Do you think I am naïve, simplistic and overstating this? Perhaps. But why not try it. What can we lose? There is evidence in history that this sort of transformation can have this deep of an effect. Why shouldn’t such a revival start with a single changed life? Why not start with your life? Become a hero, an agent of God’s incredible kingdom. If truck drivers can have a big impact on our society, how much more someone who loves Jesus with his/her whole life? Isn’t it worth a try?

Changing the world does not start with hundreds of people, it starts with a few. In fact it may start with just one life…yours. Be the change that you want to bring to others.


tony sheng said...

i've been following your blog and have been a huge fan of your book _Organic Church_. All that to say - this is my favorite post of your series... so far....

Thanks for challenging all of us!

Neil Cole said...