Life after Resurrection…What does Jesus’ mustard seed empire look like?
— by Tom Sine —
Our last post we asked “Life after Resurrection… What are God’s purposes for a people and a world?” We answered by painting a very different biblical vision for a people and a world than getting our souls rescued for the clouds.
This week we are asking what does Jesus mustard seed empire look like? How is Jesus empire different from the empire of the global mall?
“Coming home to the mustard seed empire of Jesus”
Remember that this new mustard seed empire was not ushered in with pomp and circumstance. As you know, it had its origins with a baby born in a cow stall in undistinguished village in the Roman Empire during the first century AD. When Jesus began teaching, he announced the astonishing news that his new empire had arrived. He made clear that it would be unlike any empire the world had ever seen. It came on a donkey’s back. Its “imperial council” was comprised of a handful of unemployed fisherman, a couple of IRS agents, a prostitute and some other hangers-on.
Jesus demonstrated how to wield his imperial power by washing feet, telling stories and playing with kids. Jesus’ empire is based on the absurd values that the last should be first, losers are winners and the most influential in this empire should clean the toilets.
Jesus insisted that those who are a part of his empire shouldn’t worry about finances, but simply trust God. The resources to run this empire were basins, towels, and any left over lunches. This empire also developed a reputation for constant partying. What was even more concerning is that they were almost always found to be partying with the wrong kind of people.
Members of this empire are instructed to love their enemies, forgive their friends, always give twice as much as people ask of them and never pursue power or position. Seriously, is this any way to run an empire?
Imagine what would happen if you ran a political, economic or even religious institution with these bizarre values. Clearly, it wouldn’t have much of a future. It might even get the leader assassinated.
I want to emphasize that a major part of the coming of God’s new order is not only the bringing of hope, healing and redemption to our world but the total and utter destruction of the works of evil. [i]
Doesn’t the decision to follow this Jesus and become a part of the mustard seed empire he invites us to join call us not only to change a spiritual part of our lives but all of our lives? Doesn’t it invite us give our total lives to a different dream than the one that is powering the imperial global mall? Do write me this week and share your good response or…your pushback. I want to hear from you.
[i] The New Conspirators: Creating the Future One Mustard Seed at a Time” pp.119-120.