I really enjoyed today’s reading out of Luke 18. This is a passage that many of us will know well, but this season of Advent has helped me to view it from a slightly different perspective. Advent has several different themes and teachings, but the one that keeps echoing in my mind is what it looks like for us to orient our lives in a way that shows that we expect Christ to return. That has been my biggest takeaway thus far. I want to look at everything I do through the lens of Christ’s return. It seems to me that today’s reading is pointing very directly to that theme.
Jesus is giving a pretty clear teaching on what it means to be a part of the Kingdom of God. A citizen of God’s Kingdom looks like a child who is filled with innocence and completely trusts the one responsible for their wellbeing. Luke then contrasts that child with the Rich Young Ruler who is given clear instruction as to how he can become a citizen of this new Kingdom. Where a child would likely trust that Jesus, the caretaker, would have their best interest at heart and submit to His instruction, the Ruler is unable to put aside the concerns of the world and embrace citizenship in God’s Kingdom.
I can’t say that I really blame the Rich Young Ruler. He’s put in a pretty difficult situation. Jesus is asking him to give up everything he owns, which is a lot, and leave his entire life behind. That’s a big thing to ask of someone. But, that’s what it looks like for those of us who are citizens of Heaven. We are supposed to be so concerned with the age that is yet to come, that the concerns of this present age are of no importance to us anymore. If we are living our lives in a way that truly believes and expects that Jesus is on His way back, then nothing else matters. When we adopt this mindset, then we are able to fully submit to the things that God is asking us to do without fear of repercussion.
In what ways do you allow worldly concerns to pull you away from your heavenly citizenship?
What can you do, just for today, to better demonstrate your belief that Jesus will soon return?
(By Cody Poinsett)