Jesus is having a pointed discussion, yet again, with the Pharisees today. They claim his authority to heal comes from the leader of the demon world. Jesus says that the Pharisees own exorcists claim to be able to cast out demons, even though they have no authority as his, which was granted to Jesus by God. Jesus not only makes clear to the Pharisees who he is, and from whom he has been granted the gifts of healing he has been exercising, but also announces to the world that God's kingdom is among them and available to them.
How can and does this reading from Matthew be relevant to us in our 21st Century lives? Perhaps if we think about what drives us, what is important to us, we can make something out of this lesson. Where do we find our center of being in the world? Do we act out of an understanding of Jesus' teachings or from a more secular and culturally driven perspective?
Jesus calls each of us into this Kingdom he announces today, to assist in the furtherance of its manifestation. Jesus calls each and every one of us to be in the world, working within it, but not to be of this world, not to be a product driven by the changes and chances of culture. Jesus is asking us to be different, to stand apart. He knows how hard this will be for us, but shoves us in this direction nonetheless, for this kingdom of God is what he came to be human among us to announce, open and invite us to live.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.