In my one year walk through the bible, I started Matthew today. When Jesus came into the world, he didn’t come to an easy place. Matthew started out with a long genealogy… 42 generations. That’s a long bloodline to follow. Then Joseph wanted to divorce the pregnant Mary, but an angel intervened and convinced him otherwise. Learning of a potential King of the Jews, King Herod tried to collaborate with the Magi to find Jesus and kill him. The Magi, I am sure, were taking on great personal risk when the escaped without returning to Herod with news of Jesus’ exact location. So Herod ordered the murder of all the boys in Bethlehem age two and under. Meanwhile, Mary, Joseph and Jesus had escaped to Egypt where they lived until Herod died, and it was safe to go back to Israel. Undoubtedly, life in Egypt as a refugee was no bargain. Later, Jesus’ was baptized by John, tempted by the Satan, and began to preach. Jesus ends chapter four saying, “Repent, the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
All that in four chapters. As I reread it, it occurred to me that today the Kingdom of Heaven is still open for business. Despite my waywardness, my sinfulness, my inability to live up to expectations and ideals, the Savior, the Lord, the King of Kings, the Alpha and Omega, is still there. Open. Ready to hear my confession. Ready to cleanse me of my sin, and to welcome me into His majestic arms. No furloughs. No political positioning. Just open.
And he is open for business for anyone. Regardless of who you are and what you have done. He is ever-present, never failing. Holy.
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”