During this season in the Christian calendar, the first disciples were in the midst of a radical journey of realisation.
Today, Jews are waiting for a messiah who will re-build the temple, re-instate the Sanhedrin and become King. That’s what the disciples of Jesus were expecting—until Jesus started reappearing to them after rising from the dead!
Everything the disciples had believed about the Messiah was shaken upside down and turned inside out. Jesus was fulfilling the longed-for prophesies in completely unexpected ways.
Instead of overthrowing Rome, the Kingdom of Jesus would overthrow unseen forces of oppression. His revolution would be one of shalom, not violence. Justice would prevail through acts of love, not force.
It astounds me that, within a generation, the disciples of Jesus had become fully convinced that he was God. They began to live lives of such radical hospitality, equality and acceptance, that it rocked the fabric of society.
Today, we are still working out what it means to live out this eternal Kingdom. This week, I talked to two couples living lives of radical hospitality by welcoming in foster children. Co-founder of the Open Home Foundation, Ewen Laurenson, said its vision is that Christians ‘empty the foster care institutions’ of New Zealand by welcoming these children into our homes. Imagine if we took Jesus’ Kingdom seriously in this one area? It would truly revolutionise our culture and show people who Jesus really is.
Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
Ākona te mahi pai; rapua te whakawā; whakatikaia tā te tangata e tūkinotia ana; whakawākia tā te pani; tohea tā te pouaru.