The Word for today:
We have before us today a very instructive picture of the kingdom of God. The first thing you’ll note is that it’s not populated by a bunch of cub scouts with merit badges:
When one of the guests sitting at the table heard this, he said to Jesus, “How fortunate the one who gets to eat dinner in God’s kingdom!”
Jesus said to him, “There was once a man who threw a great dinner party and invited many. When it was time for dinner, he sent out his servant to the invited guests, saying, ‘Come on in; the food’s on the table.’ “Then they all began to beg off, one after another making excuses…
The servant went back and told the master what had happened. He was outraged and told the servant, ‘Quickly, get out into the city streets and alleys. Collect all who look like they need a square meal, all the misfits and homeless and wretched you can lay your hands on, and bring them here.'” (Luke 14:15-21)
This scene is probably a radical departure from your notion of heaven. If it is, I suggest that you radically depart from your previous notions, and begin to replace the pictures in your head with the ones that Jesus had in his head.
That’s how we accomplish the odd-sounding thing called putting on the mind of Christ:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind… (Romans 12:2)
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus… (Philippians 2:5)
…but we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
“Putting on the mind of Christ” sounds more mysterious than it is. All you have to do is think of your mind as a photo album, where your outlook on things is stored.
As you read the Bible, compare the pictures in your head with the pictures inside Jesus’ head. When yours are the same, keep them!
But when they differ, throw them out and replace your way of seeing things with Jesus’ way of seeing things. You can start today–by comparing your “photograph” of heaven with the picture Jesus showed us.
It’s really a lot of fun to sit right next to Jesus and compare photo albums! You will get to know the Bible better; you will get to know Jesus better; and you’ll even get to know yourself better in the process!
So begin to lose the pictures of heaven that you might have had before. Lose the harps, the halos, the cub scouts, the merit badges…
Replace that picture with the one we see in Jesus’ album: a bunch of misfits from the wrong side of the tracks who did nothing more than accept the King’s invitation.