Continuing our series on The Treasure in the Field, The Coming of the King
When Jesus came to inaugurate God’s Kingdom he came to clean house. We have seen that his kingly arrival in Jerusalem was expressed in his activities taking charge in the temple, driving out the profiteers and demanding that “MY house” be cleaned up and restored to its proper use for prayer. But Jesus’ kingship was also seen in other apparently more gentle actions like healing the sick. This, too, was kingly power.
In a sense this was also a kind of house-cleaning operation. Jesus sais, “If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you” (Mt 12:28). Elsewhere he described the expulsion of demons in terms of sweeping a house clean. And this, too, was a declaration of his authority. Illegal squatters like demons were to be ejected from people’s lives as the king reclaimed these people as his rightful property.
All of Jesus’ miracles can be seen in this light. Cleaning house for an entire planet, making a start on the project of clearing out the consequences of sin: sickness and disease, hunger and poverty – such things have no right to inhabit the territory that he has redeemed.
So Jesus was looking for an appropriate response to this embryonic coming of his kingdom. He was looking for those who would acknowledge his kingship and participate in his kingdom work. But the empty words crying “Hosanna” were insufficient. The kingdom was to be given only to those “producing its fruits” (Mt 21:43). That promise is for the church. However it remains to be seen, depending on our response to his kingship, how much of the manifestation of his kingship will be enjoyed in the earth in our day. Singing about the king and waving palm branches will not cut it: a fig tree with foliage but no fruit symbolized that situation. But when there is fruit of his kingship in our lives, his glory may be seen on earth even in our generation.