"As they went away Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: 'What did you go out into the wilderness to look at?  A reed shaken by the wind?  What then did you go out to see?.....A prophet?  Yes, and more than a prophet."  John the Baptist, of whom Jesus was speaking, drew a lot of attention from the people of Israel.  Wherever he preached, crowds gathered.  They listened to him, enjoyed him.  Many went away transformed by what they heard.  Many more just went away.  Some partake of the Kingdom he preached of.  Many more were just sightseeing, checking out what was going on.  Some were Kingdom of God seekers.  Many were just Kingdom Tourists.  There to take a few "snapshots," maybe even get close to John himself, interested in his message to a degree, but not enough for that message to lay hold of their hearts and lives. Jesus was speaking to those same people now.  People who had come to see John, were now coming to see Him.  Christ and His Kingdom will always draw those whose hearts are being drawn to Him.  It will also attract the "tourists."  Those who may have come there, but they don't, won't, live there.
      I had the joy of living in beautiful Colorado Springs for 4 years of my life.  The Springs is a great tourist attraction, drawing thousands upon thousands of tourists every year.  They can be seen everywhere, taking pictures, posing at famous landmarks. They're there a week, two weeks, seeing all they can, and enjoying all of it.  Then they go home.  The Springs was a great place to enjoy for the moment, but it was not where they lived.  It was not where they would abide.  They took memories home with them, photos of the wondrous mountains, the beautiful Garden of the Gods, and of course, Pikes Peak.  Those photos would go into albums, or be kept on their laptop, to be looked at from time to time, and with warm memories.  It went no further than that. That's where they had visited.  It was not where they lived.
     I contrast that with the life of the dear old woman I knew in the Nursing Home  I worked at.  She had a room with a large window that looked out directly upon majestic Pikes Peak.  I remember her saying to me one time, "I never get tired at looking at my mountains."  You see, she had been born there.  Had lived there all her life.  The beauty of that city and area were part of her. They weren't just something she looked at, they were hers.  Tourists, and residents.  There's a world of difference between the two.  It is even more true as concerns His Kingdom.  Are we tourists, sightseers of it, or citizens, dwellers within it?  
    Eugene Peterson wrote this prayer as concerns Jesus' words in Matthew 11.  He writes, "It is a lot easier for me, Lord Jesus, to be an onlooker than a participant.  I get all the pleasures of diversion and excitement, and none of the stress of risk and discipline.....Forgive me for looking on, and enable me to enter in, by faith.  Amen.".......You and I may be found "in church" every time the doors open.  We may be in prayer groups, Bible studies, Sunday School classes, and countless other "church stuff," but still nothing more than tourists in the Kingdom.  We like what we see.  It may please our emotions, but our hearts and being remain untouched.  We may have our snapshot memories to look at, but what we have seen is not "ours."  We may have visited there, but we're not living there.  His Kingdom is not ours.  Our kingdom is found somewhere else.
   So, if you are one of those who finds themselves at anything that is being done in his name, how do you answer His question as to what you've, we've, come to see?  Have we come to look on....or to enter in?

Blessings,
Pastor O 
  

 

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