Again, from Philippians 2…
Paul says that Jesus did not consider equality with God something to grasp or to cling. There’s nothing greater in the universe. And yet, Jesus’ vision and understanding of the his Father’s kingdom allowed him to naturally and confidently release the greatest thing in the universe and plunge himself into humility. He never had to wake up in the morning and tell himself, “Okay, I’m letting go of equality with God and become humble today.” He never thought, “Alright, only two more years and then I’m out of here and back to equality with God.”
It makes me ask several questions. First, “What do I grasp onto in my life?” I can make a list pretty easily — control of my life, reputation, finances, home, computer, cars, entertainment, neatness, education winning an argument, being on time, my identity. And on it goes.
And yet, none of these even come close to “equality with God.”
Next question, “Why, then, do I continually hold onto these small and worthless things when Jesus was so able to easily release equality with God and embrace humble servanthood?” What did Jesus know and see that I can’t get my heart and head around?
Was the unseen kingdom of God so vibrant and real to Jesus by faith that this seen world was almost wraithlike? Is that what Paul means when he says we are to walk by faith and not sight? Is my focus in this visible yet temporal world clouding my faith-vision of the solid, vibrant and rich world of God’s kingdom that surrounds us?
When Deb and I talked about this last night, she said it reminded her of the movie, The Others, starring Nicole Kidman. In that movie, she and her children are haunted by ghosts. The twist in the movie is that she ultimately discovers that she and her children are ghosts and their preoccupation on their wraithlike existence prevents them from seeing the true and real world around them.
Is that what this world is like? Is the kingdom of God surrounding us right now in all of its vibrancy and vitality? If so, then is our perspective that this world is “real,” expressed through our daily worries, anxieties and activities, preventing us from entering and seeing the true reality of God’s kingdom the way Jesus did?
If so, then is this what Jesus actually meant when he said, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again?” Now tie this concept to John’s when he states, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” Is salvation, then, entering into the richness of Jesus’ life in the vibrant unseen realm of God’s kingdom, merging by our faith-vision the realms of the seen and unseen? Hmmm…