When I was a boy, I always liked the stories of medieval England…Robin Hood and especially, King Arthur and his knights. I liked the idea of a good ruler caring for his people and sending his loyal knights off to fight evil. I liked Robin Hood battling for the poor folks of Sherwood.
When I was 20 I was able to travel to Great Britain and take a tour of the London Tower. It really is a castle. Deep down in the bowels with tons of security rest the crown jewels….jeweled crowns and scepters and all manor of beautiful accouterments that the kings and queens of Great Britain have at their disposal. It was a joy to see those treasures of the kingdom and think about the kings and how they ruled.
We in the United States don’t always have a very good view of kingship. That’s why we got our independence! And certainly there were good kings and bad kings. That is the nature of humanity.
But in Jesus’ day and in his culture, kings were part of the political world. And much of his teaching is about kingdoms. Not any kingdom, but the Kingdom of God.
The second phrase in the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2), after addressing God as Father, is “thy kingdom come”. Some manuscripts add “on earth as it is in heaven”. The petition is for the Kingdom of God, which Jesus illustrated in so many ways, to become a reality on this earth in our lifetimes.
Again this is an extremely revolutionary thought. If you were the king in power, it would be threatening. If you were the recipient of the king’s benevolence, it would be threatening. If you were the religious leaders in cahoots with the political powers of the day, it would be threatening.
But If you were on the outside looking in, if you were the one overcharged taxes, if you were the one who had your land taken…this would come as good news. The Kingdom of God is coming! Get ready! Be prepared!
Jesus is telling us to be revolutionaries who not only look for God’s Kingdom to come now, but start living our lives as subjects of the greatest, most benevolent, lovely, graceful King ever.
Start living today as subjects of the King, so when He brings the Kingdom and sits on the throne in our presence we will know how to act and how to behave and how to live as His subjects forever.