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I can only imagine what Jesus was mumbling under his breath about the Nazarenes when they ran him out of town for saying he was the Messiah.
But Jesus being Jesus, he likely would have tagged on a prayer and a blessing as he shrugged off the hate in his hometown the same way he shrugged it off everywhere else. Being hated and outcast goes with the territory of being godly in an ungodly world. He knew that when he took on the job of being the Messiah. We need to know it, too.
Still, it doesn’t mean you can’t get a good grumble in every now and then. God understands. Certainly Jesus does, seeing that he spent 33 years dealing one-on-one with the ungodly. Though to be fair, Earth is the realm of the ungodly. Time and space are theirs. God made temporal creation as a resource for everyone, but he put it under the management of a tightly controlled Satan.
The Kingdom is ours, though. All ours. The ungodly can’t get in there, unless they repent and stay the course. Some beings, like Satan, can never get into the Kingdom.
So Jesus would have retreated into the presence of God when he was being run out of his hometown, the same way we retreat into the presence of God when the ungodly world gets to be too much for us. That’s why God made us the Kingdom, so we can take shelter in him. He knew how progressively crappy things were going to get on Earth in every regard, so he created our own personal spiritual safe space of the Kingdom, which we can access only as born-again believers and only by God’s Spirit.
I love God’s creation, but I hate the world. I wish I could have seen Earth before people did a number on it. I wish I could have smelled the air and drunk the water before the manmade pollution ruined them, but I guess I’ll have to wait until I get to Heaven to do those things. I can wait. Heaven is worth the wait.
Heaven is an infinite Earth, perfected, just as our heavenly bodies will be infinite and perfected. Some people lie about Heaven and say it’s a spiritual realm only and that we’ll have a spiritual body only, but that lie comes from the pit of Hell. The fallen beings only have spiritual bodies. That’s where the lie comes from – their own experience of having no bodies for all eternity.
Those who make it to Heaven will have beautiful and glorious bodies, even more beautiful and glorious than at the beginning, before the fall. In Heaven, everyone is not only at least as beautiful as Satan before his fall, they’re MORE beautiful. And Jesus is second in beauty only to God, who is the most beautiful of all.
We’ll see for ourselves just how impossibly beautiful God is, if and when we make it home.
These are the things I think about and the daydreams I dream when the world gets to be too much, when the sugar-coated evil gets to be too galling. I think about Heaven and daydream about God. God loves it when we daydream about him; he fills in the blanks with little details that corroborate with lines and words in scripture that we didn’t understand before. He whispers secrets in our inner ear and says things to make us laugh. He wipes all our tears away. There’s nothing the world can throw at God’s children that he can’t make right for them or help them through, if they rely on him, if they turn to him only. Jesus is living proof of that. So is Paul. So are all the disciples, except for the one who betrayed Jesus. And so are we, God’s born-again children and Jesus’ followers. There’s nothing the world can throw at us that God can’t catch and throw back.
No matter how foul a mood the world puts me in, God turns it around on a dime and has me giggling and singing before I know it. His promise to his children is that he will wipe all their tears away, and so he does, with his beautiful voice and his beautiful hands and his beautiful everything. He wipes all the tears away, and before we know it, we’re singing his praises in words and music that he gives to us only, as a gift.
Let the ungodly run you out of your own personal Nazareth. Let them run you out, and then let God turn your grumbles into his own special brand of joy that he serves up customized just for you. Let them run you out of town even as you pray for them. Let them crucify you even, as you pray for them. How can you not pray and feel sorry for such a people who don’t know God and don’t know Heaven?
How can you not feel sorry for them?