Monday, 27 September 2021
Title: Constitutional Monarch or Sovereign Saviour?
By: Ong Hwee Soo
“Your kingdom come
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.”
The Matthew Gospel is often called ‘The Book of the King’ in view of its kingly theme. Beginning, with the declaration by John the Baptist, Christ’s forerunner, “ the kingdom of God is at hand ” (3:2), Matthew points to the Messianic kingdom. The coming of the kingdom, means bringing into human life the eternal reign of God. It was “at hand” when Jesus began His earthly ministry (4:17), and every significant event throughout Christ’s life was a progressive step towards its final consummation at the end of time.
The Jews during Jesus’ time were waiting for the kingdom, but generally, their concept of the Messianic kingdom was one that would overcome their colonial masters. The Twelve disciples were focused on the kingdom not so much as to honour the king or the victory of the kingdom as their obsession with their place in the kingdom. For them, the kingdom was about position, prominence and personal power. For instance, James and John requested Jesus to designate them “one at your right hand and one at your left hand in your kingdom” (Matthew 20:20-28 and Mark 10:35-45). Subsequently, “when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John” (Mark 10:41) simply because they were equally ambitious.
In the Lord’s Prayer (v9-13) Jesus models for us not what to pray but how to pray. You either pray that God’s kingdom come and that His will be done or you endeavour to ensure your way and your will win the day.
While the Matthew Gospel carries the theme of the kingdom, the whole Bible really is a story of a kingdom at war, that rages on in the arena of our hearts. One kingdom leads you to the King of kings, the other sets you up as king. Many people treat God as a Constitutional Monarch figurehead whereas they remain as the Prime Minister of their lives. True freedom is not found in doing what you want to do or putting yourself in the centre of your cosmos. It is found in the willing submission of our hearts to God’s authority.
If you have not surrendered your life to Jesus, may I encourage you that Christ’s grace is bestowed to you not to let your little dynasty work your way, but to offer you an incomparably better dominion in which He reigns as the Sovereign Saviour. Jesus says, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32)
For believers in Christ, may I remind us that if we are not careful, our church or para-church ministries can easily become our Lilliputian kingdoms. Leaders in God’s domain shepherd the flock whereas leaders in the Lilliputian kingdom lord it over them (I Peter 5:2-3). In God’s kingdom we carry out His mandate, whereas Lilliputians pander their man-made agendas. God’s kingdom leaders concede full control to Christ, the CEO whereas Lilliputians clamour for control.“Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.” (Simon Sinek)
Leaders in the Lord’s realm pivot on people rather than processes. Lilliputian leaders tend to micro-manage because of their microscopic view of their microcosm, instead of having a telescopic view of God’s universal purposes.
In what ways have we become self-sovereign mini-monarchs instead of obeying our Mighty Monarch?
Sovereign Saviour King, helps us Live the Life fully in allegiance to Your Kingdom. Amen.
基于其君王主题，马太福音通常被称为 “君王之书”。以基督的先驱施洗约翰的宣言开始，“ 天国近了”（第3章2节），马太指向弥赛亚王国。国度的降临，意味着将上帝永恒的统治带入人的生命。当耶稣开始祂在地上的事工时，天国已 “近了”（第4章17节），基督一生中每一个重大事件，都是向着它在末日的终局迈进的一步。
耶稣时代的犹太人在等待国度的降临，但一般来说，他们对弥赛亚国度的概念是能够战胜殖民统治者。十二门徒专注于国度，与其说是尊崇君王或国度的得胜，不如说是他们对自己在国度中的地位的热衷。对他们来说，国度关乎地位、声望和个人权力。例如，雅各和约翰要求耶稣指定他们 “在祢的国度中，一个坐在祢的右边，一个坐在祢的左边” （马太福音第20章20-28节和马可福音第10章35-45节）。随后， “那十个人听见了，就向雅各、约翰生气”（马可福音第10章41节），因为他们也有同样的野心。
在主祷文 (9-13节) 中，耶稣为我们示范的不是祈求什么，而是如何祈求。您要么祈求上帝的国度降临，祂的旨意得以实现，要么您努力确保您的方式和您的意愿达成。
如果您还没有把您的生命交给耶稣，容许我鼓励您，基督的恩典已经赐给您，不是让您的小王朝按照您的方式行事，而是为您提供一个无与伦比的更好的治理，让祂作为君王救主统治。耶稣说： “你们这小群，不要怕，因为你们的父乐意把国赐给你们。” （路加福音第12章32节）
至高无上的救赎主，帮助我们充分地活出 忠于祢国度 的生命。阿们。