I’m in a Bible study of the Gospel of Mark now, using materials written by theologian Tim Keller. In the first chapter of Mark, we are challenged to consider what we learn about the Kingdom of God by reading what Jesus is doing.
Jesus is healing those who come to him, wowing people with his theological authority, and calling young men who promptly drop family and career to follow him. There are a lot of things we can ponder about the nature of this kingdom, but there’s one thing certain: it is a kingdom, not a democracy. Jesus is in charge. Those of us in his kingdom accept his lordship, or struggle trying.
I don’t know about you, but I have trouble handing Jesus every minute of my day, for all of my days. I want to keep some control, have my own time, my down time, or whatever. This part of being in the kingdom doesn’t seem to come naturally.
Maybe, because I live in a democracy, I am not used to submitting to a king. Could that be the problem?
Keller contends that we are made to need and want a king. Deep down, we want to give King Jesus joyful and loyal obedience. But our fallen natures are messing things up. We can’t do it without his help.
Our democracy, writes Keller, is actually a response to man’s fallen condition. Earthly kings can be despots. Our founding fathers set up our republic as an alternative to despotism with checks and balances that assume that everyone is fallen and we need protection from each other. Democracy is not what we were made for.
Every morning I need to pray that I will make Jesus king over every minute of my day, and that he will help me do it.