The Paradoxical Kingdom

You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Matthew 20:25b-28 (NIV)


What does it mean that the First shall be Last in Christ’s Paradoxical Kingdom? What does it mean that the enslaved becomes first?

What will then become of the colonizers? What will become of presidents and speakers of the house and supreme court justices and law makers and kings and queens? Are they to be exalted, to be lifted first?

The Gladiator Arena at Sunset

What will become of the oppressed and the dirty and the filthy? Of the homeless in our churches, on our streets? Side-stepped, or treated with honor and dignity in ways they do not find outside of the embodied church?

How do we treat the testimony and the personhood of women and children that survived rape and battered abuse? Do we ignore, or do we prioritize?

How do we recognize international banks and resource-stealing multinational agrarian/oil/diamond/manufacturing/textile/technology corporations that steal the resources of colonized countries and people? Do we prioritize them or question them to the fullness of their evil deeds as they Lord it over?

How do we treat hungry families? Do we tell them to wait, or do we prioritize them?

How do we react when influential pastors like John MacArthur advance White Supremacist theology from their pulpits, on the radio, and on the internet? Where does he go in the Body?

How does the Church as whole and as embodied members act out as agents of liberation for the Paradoxical Kingdom?

And how do we act as tools for the continued status quo, resisting the paradox, maintaining the Empire of Rome and the Ways of the World?