by Mary Pearson, D.O.
Recently I have been teaching a Bible study on God’s Kingdom, called the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew and the Kingdom of God in Mark and Luke. This glorious Kingdom, ruled over by Jesus can encompass our hearts, all other aspects of our lives, and our circle of influence. Jesus tells us, “The Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21), and so it is! The King of this Kingdom is Jesus, and while He walked this earth He demonstrated kingly authority in many ways:
*By His authority over sin — Matthew 9:1-8. Some dedicated friends carry a paralytic to Jesus. Jesus’ unexpected words to him are, “Take heart, son, your sins are forgiven.” The teachers of the law are horrified, but Jesus explains He will demonstrate that He has authority to forgive sins by healing the paralytic — and He does! The response of the crowd was to praise God that such authority had been given to men!
*By His authority over disease and disability. In Matthew 8:5-13 a Roman centurion approaches Jesus and asks Him to heal his servant. Jesus heals the paralyzed man (a feat which medical science cannot produce to this day) from a distance. There are many other scenarios like this throughout the gospels, proving Jesus can heal any illness or disease.
*By His authority over death — Matthew 9:18-19, 23-26. Jesus raises a dead girl back to life. Later (Matthew 28) He Himself rises from the dead, proving that He is greater than even death!
How greatly, then, can we rejoice when we serve a king who is victorious over sin, disease, disability and death! We can be confident that Jesus can redeem us, heal us, deliver us and meet our every need. Even when we cannot yet see His hand at work, we can be confident that even our sufferings can be redeemed, and that they will increase our faith. St. Paul said, when discussing the great difficulties his team experienced in Asia, “but this happened so that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God Who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9).
What then can trouble us? When we are sad or in despair we must again turn our hearts over to the King of Heaven, our dear Lord Jesus Christ, and ask Him for refreshment and healing. When we are sinful, we must ask Him to forgive us and change us so we will no longer grieve Him. When we are broken we can ask for His healing touch. Each time we turn over a bit more of our heart, our will, our need to God, we expand the Kingdom of heaven because the Kingdom is within us. As we allow the King to rule in us, we gain courage to change those things around us and to share His Good News with those in need.
The one area Jesus will not force His authority is in our lives. He gives us the choice to serve Him or not. We choose whether we are in the Kingdom of heaven or the Kingdom of the world. +