Jesus launched his public ministry, Matthew said, by announcing “the good news of the kingdom” (Matthew 4:23). The “present tense” character of Jesus' message is important for those of us who’ve tended to think of God’s Kingdom solely in future terms. To pray “thy kingdom come” is not just a wispy, wistful dream of an idealized future. It is a claim of our true citizenship here and now, and a way of bowing to God as our true king.
Translators often render the Greek behind “Change your hearts and lives” as “repent,” but the Greek meant “turn around,” not just “regret.” “This is a call not merely for us to feel sorry for our sins or even just to accept forgiveness for them, but to choose a different and wiser course of living.” Can you identify one or two ways belonging to God’s kingdom has reordered your life? Are there parts of life in which the call to reorder brings you hope, not uneasiness?
Jesus didn’t call his first apprentices from his day’s “seminaries.” “They were, in today’s language, small businessmen, working as families not for huge profits but to make enough to live on and have a little left over…. Why did they give it all up to follow a wandering preacher? The same question faces people today…. The answer can only be in Jesus himself, and in the astonishing magnetism of his presence and personality.”** What draws you to follow Jesus and let him reorder your life?
Lord Jesus, you call me to change my heart and life, to reorder my priorities and actions in ways that make my life better. And you call me to “fish” for others who need your hope, too. Amen.