Continuing our series on The Treasure in the Field, A Submissive Spirit
It is important to understand the contrasting natures of God and Satan. They are not both self-centred tyrants clamouring for the allegiance of men. Satan is like that; but the character of God is entirely different. God, by nature, is submissive. We know that Jesus came to reveal to us the character of God. As we look at Jesus, we see a clearly submissive person: he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will” (Heb 10 5-7). The nature of authority in the Kingdom of God is different to any other kind of authority. It is the authority that is earned by serving rather than forced by coercion (see Mt 20:25,26).
Men were forced to choose between the two kingdoms when Jesus was on trial. They were given the choice between Jesus and Barabbas (see John 18:36-40). What frightened Pilate was the fact that Jesus claimed to represent a higher authority (Jn 19:8-11). Even in Jesus’ kingship, the powerful element was that, in his submissive attitude, he had an authority that had been given him from above. He was not grasping after power for his own sake. Barabbas, on the other hand, is characterized as the one who refused to recognize higher authorities. He had taken part in a rebellion (18:40). His name means “Son of the father” – and so he was!
The choice was between rebellion and submission. These are not merely conflicting principles. The conflict is personified. To be a rebel is to be a Barabbas, a son of your father. To have a submissive spirit is to be a son of the Father. Jesus came to reveal to us a new kind of kingdom – an authority that bears the image of life within the Trinity. He is a King like his Father.