Growing Kingdom People – Heaven’s Bracketology

Heaven’s Bracketology

Do you suppose Jesus loves basketball?

Perhaps.

Did you know He once filled 12 baskets with five loaves of bread? And this after feeding thousands of people with just five loaves?  Can you imagine what the score would be if Jesus played college ball?

Jesus once said the kingdom of heaven is like a “net” (Matthew 13:47). Ok. So He went on to say it was like a net full of all kinds of fish.  But it is still a net.

Most importantly, Jesus was a number one “seed.” The Bible says He was the “Seed” of the promise of Abraham (Galatians 3:19).  He wasn’t just one of four number one seeds.  He was “the” number one Seed (with a capital “S”).

And if all of this isn’t enough evidence of Jesus’ possible connection to basketball, turn to Revelation 5:8. Do you understand what you are reading?  The four creatures in God’s “final” revelation are with twenty-four elders, worshipping Jesus, the Lamb of God! That’s right.  They are Jesus’ “’final four.”

I know this is speculation. I just feel sure Jesus enjoys March Madness.  If nothing else, perhaps He cheers with the angels every time a player or coach praises Him for the abilities they have been given.

But I will put these important matters aside for a moment to address something that involves each and every one of us. How would you like to come in “first” in heaven?

I know. I know.  It’s a little presumptuous.  Just getting to heaven is enough.  Why would anyone entertain the possibility of being “first?”

Jesus did.

Yup. It seems His disciples were always positioning themselves to be first.  One day Peter, in his boldness, went for the gusto.  He said, “We have left everything to follow you.  What then, will there be for us?” (Matthew 19:27)  In other words, “We are going to be first.  Right Jesus?”

Interestingly, Jesus didn’t say, “No, you can’t be first.” Instead, He told Peter how to be first.  He said, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.  But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” (Mat 19:29-30)

How do you land a number one seed in Jesus’ kingdom bracket?

You don’t.

Instead, you submit your life to Jesus and become first (co-heirs) with Him in His kingdom. He is the coach, the number one scorer and the MVP all wrapped up in the “One.”  He invites us to be on His team, but not if we want His position.

“So the first will be last and the last will be first” (Matthew 20:16).

Don’t worry about making it to the big dance, or perhaps I should say “the big feast.” You are already in by faith, through grace.  You don’t have to spend the rest of your life fighting and clawing to be recognized, or to prove to anyone you deserve salvation.

Certainly not to God.

He already knows you don’t.

Deserve salvation, that is.

But He makes you first through His Son, who is His “First” born.”

This must all be “maddening” to Satan. He led us into sin to put us on permanent suspension and we ended up playing on the winning team with the number one Seed.

And you’re mad because the bracket doesn’t look the way you thought it should…

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About LJones

Minister and story teller.
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