Jesus spoke often of the kingdom. He wanted to prepare all of us for life under the reign of God. Jesus sent his disciples out with a simple message, “The kingdom of God is near you.” This message was to be given to those who accepted them and to those who rejected them. They were simply told to announce the kingdom, not to pass judgment on those who heard their message.
Often the people who most need to hear the message of the kingdom are those who think they are already close to God! This may come as a surprise, but assumed righteousness is an effective mask to real relationship with God. Therefore, disciples must continually choose to accept the kingdom and not think they have already arrived in God’s image. Here are some common obstacles to accepting the kingdom…
· Thinking that working FOR God is the same as knowing God.
· Confusing observation of the world with revelation from God.
· Thinking knowing God’s will is the same as doing God’s will.
· Unwillingness to resist the good to embrace the best.
Jesus does not give all people the same prescription for their spiritual growth. To some (like the scribe who questioned him concerning "who is my neighbor?") he says, “Go and do.” To others, (like Martha who was complaining that she was stuck doing all the cooking while Mary was just sitting down on the job), he says, “Sit and listen.”
Which should we do? Probably BOTH!