Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How to be Great (or Least) in the Kingdom of God: Uncovering a greatly misunderstood saying of Christ.

Did you know that Jesus frequently spoke of greatness in the Kingdom of Heaven? He said that in God's Kingdom there are some who are great and some who are all the way behind, the least, and He did so in different contexts. This verse below shows one of those instances and it is probably one of the most MISUNDERSTOOD sayings of Christ. But it holds a precious Truth worth unpacking!
 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-19
 Do we then have to do the Jewish commandments?

So many sincere people who pay attention to this verse come out with this conclusion - that Jesus was saying we had to keep teaching the commandments spelled out in the Torah. I'm not just speaking about the 10 commandments or the all important one of loving God and your neighbor. I mean every commandment down to the least of them and the smallest letters and periods and commas. That's why most who read this think they only have two choices - either to say that this verse does not somehow apply to us today or to very well take up the Law.

But both choices are based on a the faulty premise of not understanding what He actually said. Jesus did not lay out two choices, one to obey the law or two to ignore it. He said you either choose to ignore the Law and be called LEAST in the Kingdom or you choose to see it FULFILLED in Him and become Great in His Kingdom! 




You have three choices really:

1) The False Choice that He never offered: Adopt the Law

Adopt it and see if you can honestly uphold it. Remember, your righteousness must surpass the highest standards of this law. Can you do this? Do not forget that if you break the law once, in any point, it really doesn't matter how much time you have not broken that law and nor does it matter how the rest of the laws were uphold by you.

Jesus set the bar impossibly high because it is precisely impossibly high. To attain righteousness, which means to be worthy of God by the strength of your arm, your doing, your work... this is impossible. This is also the ways of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (KOGE). Our father Adam ate the KOGE fruit and it resulted in nothing but futile labor, thorns, curses, unfruitfulness and death. Jesus doesn't want you to suffer like that! He wants you to have Life and Life to the Full, Amen! (John 10:10)

Jesus was showing you that the Law was not meant to be followed but to be shown as being impossible to ever be justified through it. There are so many in the body of Christ today, it is trending, who'll start adopting this Law... Paul rightly said that those who do so "nullify the Grace of God, for if righteousness could be attained through the Law, CHRIST DIED FOR NOTHING." Gal 2:21.

So if you are born of the Spirit, if you have put your faith in this Jesus of Nazareth and now you value the Grace He gives to you freely - do you want to go ahead and cancel that Grace? Do you want to make it of no effect in your life? If you do, I've got the direct path to it... just try to get righteous through the Law, misunderstand everything Jesus was saying in the Matt 5:17-20.

Yeah, this thinking - Paul said - makes the death of Yeshua, nothing. What a statement.

2) The Choice most are happy to do - just forget about it

Most will read this and realize they are least in the Kingdom. Why, because they are not paying attention to the law and are teaching others to do the same. These are they that abolish the Law. And you know, Jesus did NOT kick them out of the Kingdom. He just said they are least. I'm sure you've read this far because you do not want to be the least in the Kingdom. You want the Kingdom and you want to know how to be great in it, which is really, how do I make heavenly Father happier? How do I lift up His Name? How do I show Him to be great and lovely and beautiful?

3) The Choice very Few choose - How to be Great in the Kingdom

Jesus said those who "practice and teach" the Law are called Great in the Kingdom but there was a very important caveat that completely redefines what it means to practice and teach the Law. Just before, He said that He did not come to ABOLISH the Law but to FULFILL or ACCOMPLISH the Law. He did not say you either abolish the Law or Follow. He did not say you either ignore it or keep it!

Now think with me a second. He said you either abolish/cancel/ignore the Law or - the other option - you bring it to completion, fulfill and accomplish it. 

What do you fulfill? You fulfill desires, you fulfill prophecies. These are things that are fulfilled.

This is how you become GREAT in the KINGDOM... you Practice and Teach the Law Fulfilled in Christ.

Every single commandment or mitzvot of the Torah and the Tanakh, of all the Old Testament, has been FULFILLED, COMPLETED and ACCOMPLISHED by YESHUA THE MESSIAH, JESUS CHRIST.

Every one. And when you begin to see it accomplished in Him and show it to others, Jesus says you are Great in the Kingdom! 

***THIS IS WHAT THIS REALLY MEANS***

You need to see the Old Testament (or Tanakh) as the Book that Reveals the all-beautiful glory of Jesus. You need to look back at those seemingly insignificant details and cumbersome and puzzling commandments and see beyond the words' face value and instead learn to discern (this requires spiritual awakening and rebirth, those not born of the Spirit can do this by the way), to discern the Face of Jesus in all of the laws and commandments and rituals and details of the Temple and specifications of the Ark and pots and pitchers and lighting lamps at night and turning them off in the morning.

Why?

Because Jesus has fulfilled each one. We are only just beginning to uncover the depth of the Old Testament in revealing the Utter Riches of the Grace of the New Covenant. We are only beginning. And those who are on that path, Jesus calls great in the Kingdom.

Which path will you choose? All you have to do is ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to read the Bible this way, to reveal to you these secrets... This is one of those prayers your Father LOVES to hear and fulfill. 

Grace and Peace be multiplied to you. #Kingdom101



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