Matthew 19: Kingdom Counsel (6)
Pray Psalm 110.1-3.
The LORD said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.
Rule in the midst of Your enemies!
Your people shall be volunteers
In the day of Your power;
In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning,
You have the dew of Your youth.
Sing Psalm 110.1-3.
(Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
“Sit by Me at My right hand,” the Lord says to my Lord,
“Until I make Your foot stand on all who hate Your Word.”
From in His Church the Savior rules all His enemies;
while those who know His favor go forth the Lord to please.
Read Matthew 19.1-30; meditate on verses 27-30.
1. When does “the regeneration” begin?
2. What will happen at that time?
Peter’s question prompted Jesus to provide a critical insight relative to the coming of the Kingdom and its character and purpose (v. 27). We note that Jesus did not rebuke Peter for asking about what they should expect who have left all to follow Him. Of course we have expectations! But just what should they be?
By the time Paul was writing 1 Corinthians, Jesus had already taken His seat at the Father’s right hand (cf. 1 Cor. 15.20-28). Stephen saw Jesus standing there, ready to welcome home a beloved martyr and friend (Acts 7.56). The ascension of Christ and His enthronement at the right hand of God marks the beginning of the historical period Jesus referred to here as “the regeneration” (v. 28). “The regeneration” marks the new age of the Spirit, when multitudes are being regenerated in Jesus – born again into eternal life – and seeking and striving for the Kingdom of God.
Notice what Jesus says about this time – the historical moment in which we live. First, those who follow Jesus will be established as rulers to bring His judgments into the household of God (v. 28). As He showed us in chapter 18, all believers have responsibility for learning and wielding the Word in helping one another to hate sin and live in the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Kingdom. Peter picked up on these words of Jesus in 1 Peter 2.8, 9 when he referred to believers as a “royal priesthood”. We are all kings, and each of us has authority and responsibility for a sector in Christ’s cosmos-wide domain, to bring the word of God to bear on all aspects of it, beginning in the household of faith.
Second, having forsaken all earthly goods and ties to follow Jesus, we become part of a worldwide family of brothers and sisters (v. 29). All the resources of the household of faith are available to us, and all that we have is available for Jesus to use as He will in making disciples, building His Church, and advancing His Kingdom. The first believers understood this perfectly well (cf. Acts 4-6), and they lived in abundant peace, blessing, and fruitfulness. We should expect the Kingdom to be made up of communities like those we see in Acts and the rest of the New Testament. Today’s churches often bear little resemblance to the Kingdom communities Jesus promised we would know. No wonder we’re not realizing the kind of Kingdom impact they did.
Finally, it’s the last, the least, the humble, the ready-to-serve who are the leaders in these communities. Those who seek power, prestige, and prominence as Jesus’ followers will be lagging far behind the true leaders, those who understand that Kingdom greatness comes to the humble, the servants, and those who learn, obey, and teach God’s Law.
1. Have you identified the extent of that sector of the Kingdom over which you are called to rule and judge – your Personal Mission Field? Are you working it faithfully each day?
2. Meditate on Deuteronomy 17.14-20 and Ezekiel 36.26, 27. Can we be effective as kings and judges if we neglect the Law of God? Explain.
3. Whom among your brothers and sisters in the household of faith can you encourage today?
They followed him in the washing of baptism, the sanctification of the faith, in the adoption of the inheritance and in the resurrection from the dead. For this is that regeneration that the apostles received and that the law could not grant. It joined them together above the twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, to the glory of the twelve patriarchs. Hilary of Poitiers (315-367), On Matthew 20.4
Help me to seek Your Kingdom and live within Your Word today as I…
Pray Psalm 110.3-7.
Pray that the Lord will fill you with His power and send you forth today to seek and advance His Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Sing Psalm 110.3-7.
Psalm 110.3-7 (Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
Filled with the Spirit’s power, in holy robes of love,
from early morning’s hour, they serve their Lord above.
Christ reigns a priest forever, the King of Righteousness
and King of Peace who ever His chosen ones will bless.
The Lord at Your right hand, Lord, in wrath shall shatter kings,
when judgment by His strong Word He to the nations brings.
Then, all His foes defeated, He takes His hard-won rest,
in glorious triumph seated with us, redeemed and blessed!
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).