For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
As I celebrate Christmas 2014, I reflect on Jesus and his wonderful kingdom. Look once again at this famous passage from Isaiah: “the government will be on his shoulders.” That is heavy. The government of Jesus is so unlike any earthly government we have now.
Jesus Experienced Humanness
Jesus came to earth as a baby. Just like all of us, he pooped his diapers and made messes. He cried a lot. The song Away in a Manger says “no crying he made” but Jesus was human, just like us. He cried as a baby, he wept as an adult.
As Jesus grew up, he experienced the same learning process we all go through. He made mistakes, he probably experienced bullying and abuse. I wrote what I saw prophetically about his early experiences of rejection that led to his compassion with the miraculous feeding of the fish and loaves to the crowds. Jesus also grew in wisdom. He was divine, but he learned things on earth.
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
God, through Jesus, experienced human life on earth. This is a great mystery of compassion and love.
Jesus Showed Us the Heavenly Kingdom
As a young adult carrying out his ministry to the crowds, Jesus spoke often of the Father’s kingdom. He compared it to a treasure of greatest price hidden in a field, and a great wedding feast to which many are invited but few come.
Jesus’ disciples tried to grasp this heavenly kingdom and bring it to earth. They wanted Jesus to rise up and fight the Roman empire oppressing the Jews. But Jesus rebuked his disciples for trying to bring rule through fire. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He carried the government of heaven on his shoulders, and he taught his followers how to find the kingdom inside. The way of the kingdom meant the great suffering of the cross, not the riches of earthly power.
Sadly, many churches today forget this principle. They try to take the power and glories of government for themselves. They proclaim that the United States should become a theocracy, and all morality must be legislated. They create violence as they have law enforcement jail women for miscarriages. They are so far from the compassion of Jesus, who stopped the bleeding of a woman whom her society deemed unclean.
As I celebrate Christmas 2014, I deny the riches and power of this earth, I take up my cross, and I celebrate the heavenly kingdom which Jesus showed us.
Jesus Will Reign on the Earthly Kingdom
Jesus came the first time to earth and died on the cross to bridge the divide between our sin and God’s grace. He taught us about the joys of the heavenly kingdom.
But Jesus will return again someday to reign over the earth. He will hold the government on his shoulders in a wonderful millenial kingdom. The poor and the oppressed will find their day of deliverance and justice in this kingdom.
As I celebrate Christmas 2014, I celebrate Jesus’ return someday to rule over an earthly kingdom of peace and righteousness. A kingdom where everybody loves each other and practices sacrifice for their neighbor. A kingdom ruled by the Prince of Peace.
On Christmas 2014, I look forward to a kingdom ruled by Jesus’ social justice. A kingdom of holy justice.