Theology – an upside down Kingdom

The kingdoms of this world are distinctly contrast to the Kingdom of God. While the world desires success, recognition and significance, Jesus modelled a lifestyle of humility and sacrifice for the sake of others. The Kingdom of God represents an upside-down kingdom, one that doesn’t make sense to the world around us.

Jesus teaches us to break social barriers and to serve those who don’t deserve it. Jesus caused major disruption in society and status quo when He spoke to the Samaritan woman, ate with tax collectors, and defended prostitutes. When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He said “Now that I, your Lord, and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13: 14-15). Jesus teaches us to do the same, to treat everyone with dignity and purpose, no matter what their past looks like. In Matthew 22:37, Jesus says “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’.” The outflow of loving God with all your being results in drawing near to the Father’s heart, a love for His people, no matter their past or social status.

But do you believe this for yourself? Do you believe that you can walk into the presence of God without feeling like you need to be perfect? Matthew 27:51 says: “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split.” Jesus paid the price for sin, religiosity, and separation from Christ. We do not need to fix ourselves before entering his presence. He wants you to come with the mess and brokenness, because He is the only one who can truly restore. His presence is not limited to a building or person, His glory and majesty is available to everyone, at all times.
The story of Jesus depicts the ultimate upside-down Kingdom. A King, born into a sinful and imperfect lineage, in an insignificant town, whose life was devoted to the poor and lowly. Jesus set the precedent for how we should live – a life imitating Christ’s humility.

I will leave you with Philippians 2:1-11, which perfectly describes how to live out an upside-down kingdom as modelled by Christ.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

By Chloe Stark