God’s kingdom came to reign on earth in a new, decisive way through Jesus.
Have you ever wrestled with knowing or articulating your unique and specific purpose in this world? Some of us seem to struggle with “the what.” Some of us seem to struggle with “the why.” And others wrestle with “the how.” Regardless of the missing piece, it’s a common feeling. When we’re able to come up for air in the midst of the hustle and bustle of daily life, we all tend to wonder, from time to time, what we’re meant to do with what one American poet, Mary Oliver, called this “one, wild and precious life.”
Scripture gives us a lot of direction and guidance. God’s Spirit leads us in prayer and through promptings. But for many of us, the search for calling, mission, or purpose is an ongoing area of growth and refinement.
That’s why it’s comforting to know that Jesus was keenly and innately aware of His own purpose. It seems like He daily fixed His focus on the thing He knew He was meant to do. Even in His final days, under extreme emotional, relational, and physical duress, Jesus articulated clearly and confidently His mission. When asked by Pilate if He was “a king.” Jesus responded, “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth” (John 18:37).
God, made flesh through the incarnation, declared it Himself: He was “born for this.” He was born to be the King who would testify to the truth and establish the kingdom of God in a robust manner here on earth.
The prophets foretold of this kingdom, and the people of God anticipated it with great hope. Yet, when it came in the flesh in this seemingly ordinary man, Jesus, they weren’t so sure. This kingdom did not look like what they expected. I think we still have trouble with that. The kingdom of God doesn’t always look like what we’re anticipating. N. T. Wright says it best: “Our whole culture is so fixated on dying and going to heaven, when the whole Scripture is about heaven coming down to earth.” Now, Wright is not denying the spiritual reality of the kingdom, or of heaven, but pointing out the ways in which our over-emphasis of the future and far away has eclipsed the present and personal.
The kingdom is here.
The kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God, broke into our world in a massive, marked way through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. God’s kingdom came to reign on earth in a new, decisive way through Jesus. He knew that His mission—His purpose—was to live the life none of us could live, free from sin and shame, and to conquer death so that we could experience life in the coming kingdom both here and now, and on into eternity.
Once you opt into the kingdom life, once you lay everything down at the feet of Jesus and become a citizen of that kingdom, your meaning and hope is fully wrapped into the fate and trajectory of that kingdom. Daniel, long before the coming of Jesus, describes it as a “kingdom that will never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44). Never has there been, and never will there be, another kingdom or rule like this. One that has begun here and now, and one that will endure forever.
Recognize that your purpose, your calling, and your great work in this world is wrapped up in God’s kingdom, one that is already established. The King has marked the way. If you’ve come to put your life in the hands of Jesus, you were “born for this” kingdom work.