“As you go, proclaim the good news: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.'” – Matthew 10:7
This morning my discipleship class will be discussing Matthew 10. It’s an interesting and provocative chapter, containing the instructions Jesus gives when he sends his followers out on their first mission.
In a nutshell, Jesus tells his friends to share this one simple message: “The kingdom of heaven has come near!”
Wow! That statement almost sends shivers down my spine! I can imagine the disciples looking around, wondering. It’s near! Do you feel it? Can you sense the fact of something extraordinary? Can I reach out and touch it?
When Jesus talks like this it’s evident that he is referencing something beyond a philosophy or an idea; this is something palpable – something so real that you might bump into it.
Here’s what I’m wondering now, today – two thousand years later and right here in North Carolina: Can people sense the fact that the kingdom is near when we are living our lives as disciples? Is there anything about the way that we live as followers of The Way that leaves this feeling – something palpable – that, “The kingdom of heaven has come near”?
It’s what I want to achieve when I write. It’s what I want to shed, like little shards of light, as I live from day to day. It’s what I want people to sense with a growing understanding when they hang around our community of faith.
Listen to the good news! The kingdom of heaven has come near! (NRSV) Proclaim the message: The kingdom of heaven has come near! (NIV)
– It’s the truth that Rebekah is asking God to speak to people through her words as she prepares the message for the worship services this morning at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church.
It’s the most important message we can offer; it’s the most important good news we can receive – DEREK