Jesus starts his ministry with a Kingdom proclamation: Jesus is the new king in town bringing a message of hope, a new order which is good news particularly for those oppressed/suffering/bound up. It makes sense for us to look for this Kingdom breaking in wherever people are down-trodden and in difficulty (remember that bias to the poor from last year).
A new king comes with authority: verses 32 and 36 are examples of this. Demons are uncomfortable when Jesus shows up because they are part of the old regime, and as with any regime change the former oppressors are surely to be dealt with. Yet Jesus pays attention foremost to the person, not the demon (who is simply told to 'Shut Up' and to depart). In the new Kingdom the person is affirmed and set free.
The Kingdom proclamation turns to action and healing breaks out (v40). Yet this is not just for one place, but elsewhere too - Jesus must take the message and demonstrate his Kingdom all around. That 'taking the message and demonstration' continues with us. As a Christian, we are a Christ-in person, someone in Christ, in other words in His authority. That means we can act in His authority, e.g. speak healing in the name of Jesus.
Do we get that? And act on it? Hence the key question this week:
[IN] Do we let Jesus' Kingdom fill our thinking and vision?
Our 'seeking to serve' is explicitly going out with this Kingdom message and demonstration. A key strategy area 'Community Impact' is fuelled by this. 3 ways we work this out are:
- demonstrate Kingdom values, e.g. by bringing a community together at a special event
- support joint initiatives that help set people free (such as Foodbank, CAP)
- look for where we can develop relationships, e.g. our work with the hostels, people at 2x2, Messy Ch etc.
With Jesus as the new King, His Kingdom is any place/thing/person where things to start to line up with His grace and purposes - with God breaking in to change things.