The Upside Down Kingdom

The Word of God is filled with a message we are quick to ignore.  Jesus is broadcasting the secrets to fulfillment and advancement.  We nod like we’ve heard him, but we’re actually ignoring him and missing the point.

We strive to make a name for ourselves.  We try and do what a radio commercial told me I could do the other day:  “Be famous for God!!!!"  We are so dumb sometimes.  Especially me.

The simple principle of the Upside Down Kingdom is this:  the first shall be last, and the last shall be first.

We’ve heard this, said it, repeated it, but few believe it with the actions of their life.  Deep within us we struggle to push ourselves ahead.  When someone else succeeds, there is a stabbing annoyance inside that repeats the demonic phrase, "What about me?"  There is no freedom in striving for self.  Not much success either.

Jesus is not shy about addressing this issue.  In the book of Matthew he is constantly repeating his call to humility.  Jesus gives us instruction not just because we "SHOULD” do stuff, but because He knows the secret to how God has truly designed things.  

It’s like (the late) Steve Jobs trying to teach someone how to use a Mac Book Pro.  He tells them, if you want it to operate properly, you’ve got to press the “ON” button.  The person responds, “That’s good advice, but I’m just going to keep throwing it against the wall, because that’s what everyone else is doing."  Eventually, that person is going to be really mad at Apple Care.

It’s a silly illustration, but we’re silly people.  God designed our world.  He LOVES us, and so He’s left the secrets to the kingdom to anyone who will hear them.  Here is what he says:

MATTHEW 20:25-28

But Jesus called to them [His disciples]to Him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  It shall not be so among you.  But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Forget what you’re doing.  Drop everything.  Read that passage and don’t do anything till it sinks in.  Don’t listen to me, because I mess this up every single day.  For your own freedom, listen to Jesus.  He just gave you the words of liberty.  Liberty is its own reward, but Jesus doesn’t stop there.  Those who find freedom through humility, also inherit his Kingdom.  Upside down, indeed.

What else would we expect from a KING that laid aside his glory, stepped into our squalor, took on all our burdens, and offered us life that only HE deserved.  Come to think of it, I’ll take upside down…any day.

Aaron is the pastor of Spring of Life, a new church in Portland, Oregon. He's the owner of Amplify Creative.