This sermon is part of the sermon series "The Heart of Christ". See series.
In the stories of Jesus' ministry, he's giving us a preview of the kingdom of God. What would it look like on this broken planet full of broken bodies, broken hearts, and broken lives if the Creator were to fully reign and re-create? Jesus gives us a preview of that.
Jesus' ministry is a preview of God's kingdom.
There's a day when Jesus is teaching in Capernaum, and the house is full. Outside, there are four guys who have heard that Jesus has done some healings, so they decide to bring their paralyzed buddy to Jesus. The problem is that they can't even get into the house where Jesus is. These guys end up climbing up the stairs on the outside of the house and clawing a hole in the roof. Inside, Jesus is teaching, and all of a sudden, bits of dust and clay start falling, then there's a shaft of light, then he sees this paralyzed man being lowered into the house to him.
Jesus looks at the guy and says, "Your sins are forgiven." There are some religious leaders in the group inside the house who belong to a sect called the Pharisees, and they think to themselves: "You have the authority to forgive? Who do you think you are? God??" Jesus responds, "'But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins'—he then said to the paralytic—'Rise, pick up your bed and go home.'" And the man gets up and walks.
Jesus is giving a preview. Do you want to know what the kingdom of God is like? Jesus gives us a snapshot, a trailer. Sins are forgiven; dancing is restored. This is what will happen when the Creator of the world works his re-creation.
But understand that at the time when Jesus talks about the kingdom of God, there are other kingdoms in existence. If you lived in Israel, you were under ...
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