December 15, 2006

Where Are They Now?

John 18:28-37

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36


A while ago a television program asked the question "Where are they now?" The program was about celebrities and child stars who had been famous but had quickly faded from the public eye.

Caesar Augustus was famous in his day. He ruled the Roman Empire and ushered in a period of peace known as the Pax Romana. It was a time of prosperity for the empire, and Augustus was popular with his people. But Augustus and his empire had a dark side. In his early years he was known for his cruelty. When he took power, he put 300 of Rome's senators to death. When Jesus was born, Judea was under Roman military occupation. Under Caesar's rule the people of Judea were taxed heavily, and political dissenters were crucified. Caesar Augustus built his kingdom on earthly power and a "peace" born of cruel coercion.

Into this world another king was born--not in a palace but in a stable. His kingdom was "not of this world" but came through preaching, teaching, and healing as he announced a lasting peace with God through his own death and resurrection.

Two thousand years later, we might ask, "Where are they now?" Where is Caesar and his kingdom? Well, Augustus died, and his kingdom faded long ago. But Jesus lives, and his kingdom is all around us.

King of kings, we worship you. You reign over all things forever. May we be faithful citizens of your kingdom, living by your rule in our lives each day. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Joel Sheeres

Rev. Joel Sheeres is the pastor at First Christian Reformed Church in Crown Point, Indiana. He and his wife, Christine, have three children. Pastor Sheeres has previously served at Faith Christian Reformed Church in Elmhurst, Illinois.

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