Backwards Kingdom

Day 23

Matthew 11:1-19

I believed. 

I believed, Jesus, and I gave everything. I followed the anointed path and went willingly into the wilderness. I called for repentance, and they came. They came and came, and I worked for You. Jesus, You know what I gave. What I suffered. I spoke bold words and made enemies. When You walked down to the river that day, I knew. Here You were, at last, the Promise. I saw the Spirit. I heard the Voice. 

But now I sit in this cell, and some days it seems that I worked for nothing. You have not come for me. The enemy still sits on his throne. And worst of all, those people who repented—all those who listened to my words and believed—they, too, still live under enemy rule. They, too, still suffer. 

Is this how it ends, Jesus? Where is the Promise? I thought it was You. 


Man of fire and fervor. Zealous and unflinching. I know you did not think it would end this way. You stood for the truth, and they imprisoned you. You have waited for me to come, and it seems I have not.  

You are no reed to be shaken by the wind. Even now, in your prison, you hold to what you know. But you know only in part, friend. You were born into a world of violence where the powerful take their kingdoms by force. I bring a new way.

My kingdom is a backwards kingdom. All my ways are life. But new life cannot spring up till old things die. Do not despair, my son. You, too, will walk the way of death. But your death, your laying down of self, will be the sowing of the seeds of the kingdom. 

Look. Listen. The blind see. The lame walk. The deaf hear. The dead rise. The poor receive good news. Do not now doubt because you did not receive the promise. Many before you walked this way. Many before you sat in the dark. 

Do not stumble now, John. Now is the time of the kingdom. Just now, when things seem bleakest, when you think that all of it was for nothing, just now you stand on the very threshold of hope. 

I have come, and I am coming still.

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