This past weekend was the Covent Garden Talks Weekend Away 2012. Great company, great food, great talks, great weath…oh well, you can’t have everything!
Mark Oden joined us from Sevenoaks to speak to us from Matthew 8-9. They’re chapters which include a large number of miraculous events including a whole bunch of healings, casting out of demons and the calming of a raging storm with just a word. Jesus demonstrating his power and authority in very dramatic fashion. But why?
In the section we get a seemingly odd little verse that is possibly the key to the whole thing. Jesus, encountering two men so violently possessed by demons that we’re told no-one could go anywhere near them, is confronted with this; ‘What have you to do with us O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?’ (Matt 8:29).
‘Before the time’. Eh? It’s as they think Jesus has arrived early. Well if you know what the demons know then you know in one sense he has at this point. You see the demons are under no illusion as to where history is headed. A world fractured by disease, disorder and death now will one day be fully submitted to glorious rule of King Jesus, and for evil that day will be one of torment.
In the gospels though we get a glorious sneak preview, like a film trailer months before the full picture is released, into what that day, what Jesus’ kingdom will be like. No disease, no disorder, no death, no demons. All the things which drain this world of joy, banished, permanently.
Too often my ambitions of what this world could be like, lofty though I may think they are; a more peaceful world, more prosperity for more people, better healthcare…those things are good things but they are far too small an ambition.
Jesus can, and will, reign over a world beyond anything we could imagine. What a wonderful thing to be able to offer others the opportunity to share in that.