Your Spiritual Practice

The last few hours of Jesus’ life give us some tantalizing glimpses into how Jesus understood God’s Kingdom. The context is Jesus’ final teaching in the Upper Room before his death. Jesus promises that when he goes, the disciples will receive the Holy Spirit. Then he speaks in words that the disciples find easier to understand than much of Jesus’ other teachings. You can sense the relief in the disciples that Jesus’ teaching is clearer for once.

Two aspects of God’s Rule in our lives stand out in this passage. The first is that in the Rule of Christ power is shared. Notice how Jesus tells the disciples that he will not have to ask God for things on their behalf. Rather, they can pray directly in Jesus’ name. There is no need for a go-between, or for them to use only certain pre-approved channels. They have the power to pray, the authority of Jesus’ name, and direct access to God. This is very different from human empires.

The second aspect of God’s Rule in our lives that is revealed here is that it is not a guarantee of a trouble-free life. Jesus states that we will experience trials and sorrows, but in the Reign of Christ we have the resources we need, and the presence of the Holy Spirit to carry us through them and overcome them, even as Jesus has overcome the world. As Jesus promises, our peace is not found in our circumstances, but in our relationship with Him.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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