John the Baptist knew Jesus his whole life but still questioned whether Jesus really was the Messiah the Jews had been waiting for. How could he be so dense?! It may be that his expectations were at odds with reality. All Jewish sects expected the Messiah to be powerful. Whether it was starting an army or gathering a movement of some kind, he would at least come in power! Right?
Pontius Pilate thought he had power of Jesus’ life or death, but Jesus said that Pilate wasn’t seeing the bigger picture. It was GOD who gave Pilate the power over Jesus. Pilate was seeing part of what was going on, but he wasn’t seeing everything. Just like when Jesus was arrested and Peter struck one of those arresting Him; he wasn’t seeing the fact that Jesus could have put a pretty quick end to his arrest (say, by calling down a legion of angels). What both Peter and Pilate were seeing was true, but it wasn’t EVERYTHING that was true. They were missing key aspects of the situation
There are two kinds of religions: those that teach there is only one substance and those that teach there are two substances. The Christian scriptures teach that there are two components to the world: the spiritual and the physical. And to capture the whole picture of what’s happening in life, one must take both components into account. There is wisdom that the world doesn’t see; things going on “behind the curtain” so to speak that, if they understood that aspect of reality, they would act differently. For example, scripture teaches that those who crucified Jesus wouldn’t have done so if they had the wisdom to see what they weren’t seeing about the situation.
That gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “the world is going to hell in a handbasket”!
Scripture is clear that this world, the physical world, is under the rule of Satan (gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “the world’s going to hell in a handbasket!”). This can be discouraging if one doesn’t see the whole picture. Evil only has dominion over the physical world right now, it has no authority in the spiritual world. Christians are a part of the latter; they aren’t to love the world in the sense that they aren’t to love the things that have been corrupted. Jesus wants His people to remain in the world but not to be corrupted by it.
What about governments? Jesus didn’t change the government; he was concerned about people/individuals. He didn’t encourage disciples to change these things by changing laws or activism or getting involved in government. Jesus individually showed people God’s loves, always individually. So Christians are under a government in the world, but, more importantly, they are under a new government ushered in by Christ. His new kingdom is a heavenly kingdom, a spiritual one and not a physical one.
So the question is, how do Christians live in and respond to the world they live in but aren’t a part of spiritually? It’s God who puts governments and rulers in power, right? Does this mean President Joe Biden is in power because God gave him that power? If we disagree with the way our government is doing things, what should the Christian response be?
If we are in a world of hurt, wouldn’t it be wise to ask what world that hurt is coming from and what is going on in the bigger picture that might change the way we see that situation?
1 Corinthians 15:39-49
2 Kings 6:16-20
2 Kings 19:34-35
1 Corinthians 2:6-8
1 John 2:15
1 John 5:19
1 Corinthians 11:24-25
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