One of the things the ministry of Jesus accomplished was to declare and make available access to the Kingdom of God for all humans. In the garden of Gethsemane there was a scene played out that had been done for many years as part of traditional Jewish weddings. An engagement party or betrothal dinner was held between the two families, where a marriage contract was sealed with a cup of wine.
The Father of the bride and the groom would push a cup back and forth across the table as they negotiated the dowry and other tenants of the marriage contract. Can you imagine the anticipation of the bride and groom as they watch their fathers make the deal. Do you think there was much anticipation by sleeping disciples of Jesus day? Should we blame the average sleeping pew sitter of our day? But until an agreement was reach this cup would pass back and forth with every offer and counter offer. So I ask you what was Jesus really asking when He wanted the cup to pass.
Matthew 26:39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Matthew 26:42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
The questions left to us are who should received the benefits of that negotiated contract between God our Father, Jesus and His Bride? As we carry out our duties as Daughters and Sons of God who are we making aware of this Kingdom that now resides on the inside of humans? Who else is eligible to use the benefits of God’s family that was made available by our Brother’s death, burial and resurrection? There is a truth for the answers to these questions and finding that truth in scripture has a lot to do with our perspective as we search scripture.
Our human ego wants to worship a big God because who wants to worship a little defeated god. A lot of human interpretation of God through scripture has more to do with how the interpreter feels about their person and little to do with the truth about God and His will. We often hear “if God is on my side, who can be against me and defeat me”. Jesus was careful to make sure His ego was not the motivation of His heart when he said “Your will be done” to His Father.
We naturally want to feel justified about our decisions. Choosing to become a disciple of Christ is one of those decisions. One way to feel justified is to perceive membership in God’s Kingdom as exclusive. So if other people do not want in, or are not willing to accept pay the price for entrance (10 commandments in Moses day, 613 laws in Jesus day), who cares if they get in. We are in and that is all that counts. Like the Prodigal Son story of the son who stayed behind, considered all that was left belonged to him because His brother took his portion.
Galatians 3:27-29 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Genesis 22:15-18 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
When the thrust of our scriptural interpretation goes from inclusive to exclusive I think we have somehow missed the big picture from God’s point of view. The human ego and materialistic perspective has at its core a primary value of survival but God being eternal values love for others and sacrifice. The Kingdom of God is invisible and the people who are truly of that kingdom are ambassadors using creative ways as co-creators to establish and demonstrate the values of God’s Kingdom.
Mark 9:42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea
We are the seed, the inheritance, the descendants of Abraham and we now possess the gates of those that consider themselves enemies of God. We have been given the keys to open those gates, with the authority to set fee those that are in bondage, and we can reconcile anyone estranged in their thinking from God back home to our Father. If we are successful enemies of God are transformed into our brothers and sisters. However if we remain blind or misuse our authority generations of mankind will remain in their belief that they not a part of God’s family or that someone else is God’s favorite.
As we use our spiritual authority to expand our Father’s family and Kingdom we build conclusive and overwhelming evidence that God wants to include all of mankind. It will take a demonstration and a preponderance of evidence to change the mindset of this materialistic world. You and I must present evidence that includes all of mankind. If we pre-judge and exclude any then we are missing the heart of our Father. Earthly fathers have favorites. God our Father so loves the whole world and nothing can separate any us from His love.
Rev 5:9-10 …For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”