As this new century begins, a new kingdom is emerging where God rules. It is a redeemed way of life where we experience a foretaste of the next age.
There was a man so consumed with loving His friends that He hardly had time to eat. His mother and brothers worried when they heard the reports about Him, and they walked thirty miles to take Him into their custody. They said, "He has lost His senses." Other people were saying even darker things about Him. When His mother and brothers got to the city, it was worse than they expected. Many people were crowded around Him and they couldn't get near Him. They anxiously waited for Him to respond after they sent word that they had arrived.
His response worked its way through the large crowd. After a long time His mother heard that her son had said, "Who are My mother and My brothers?" Then He looked on those around Him and said, "Behold, My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother." (Mark 3:31-35)
That day Yahshua turned away His own mother because she wanted Him to come home and live a normal life. He called her to do the same thing everyone who followed Him had done -- leave everything behind that they had or hoped to be, and enter the new society He was establishing. In return, He showed them a completely new marvelous way of life. In this life those who clung to Him were learning just what He meant when He spoke of the Kingdom of God -- a place to belong, where they could dwell forever with Him. It was so wonderful that no matter what He said to them, even when it shocked them (as it had His own mother), the normal response was:
Where else can we go? You have the words of eternal life. (John 6:53-68)
At His side they learned to judge the motives of their hearts. It hurt for their selfishness to be exposed, but this led them to see the strife and contention that was in them. Yahshua caused them to face all the things they had always hidden. When He did this they would weep in remorse. Washed by the words He spoke and the forgiveness He poured out, they found they were able to love other human beings they had once despised. What went on in their hearts was a greater miracle than the healing of lepers. They were becoming what humans were originally created to be -- honest, loyal, caring, always loving and being loved.
There is another place to belong, and it, too, is permanent. The loneliness that results from this is like a debtor's prison. In the past debtors were thrown into prison when they couldn't pay their debts. There was no way out unless their debts were paid, and they had no way to do it themselves. They were left to rot in jail until someone ransomed them.
That's the way it is with sin and loneliness. There's no way out unless you pay the full price, and it is beyond your ability to pay. The full price is death. Even Yahshua's disciples needed a ransom. Even they were in debtor's prison. You see, He went right into debtor's prison to give them hope. Then He needed to get them out. If He was going to lead them out, He would have to pay the full price for them all. They couldn't pay for themselves anymore than we can. But He could because there was nothing in Him of death or loneliness or sin. He wasn't guilty. We were. He died in our place.
So now the life we live is no longer for ourselves but for Him who died in our place. He rose from the dead so that we could live just as He did, bringing the same love to others that He brought to His disciples and that He poured out in our hearts.