“Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”[c] 22 Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day[d] will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.” Luke 17.20-25
“The Kingdom of God is among you.” I love this statement. Jesus talks much about the Kingdom of God in Scripture. The Kingdom which brings salvation, repentance, renewal, and rebuke. But what does it mean for God’s Kingdom to be among us or “in our midst?” Is it spiritual or supernatural? Is it near or far? Is it hidden or visible? Jesus doesn’t say. But what he does say is that one day it will come and we will know it because it will be like “the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.”
But before the Kingdom of God fully comes, the Son of Man, Jesus himself, must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection brought forth the Kingdom. As he speaks to the first century listeners in Israel, they are looking for it. But before it comes, he must die. Then he will send the Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of God will be among us as God is among us.
Yet Jesus’ Kingdom is not fully come until the believers are taken up with him in glory. People will say, v.23, “There he is!” Or “Here he is!” But “do not go running off after them. For these will be false signs of Jesus’ return. And even though we long for his final return, we wait in anticipation of the return of the coming King.
So what do we do in the meantime? We wait upon the Lord. We love him, serve him, follow his commands. We make disciples, spread his word, strengthen his church for the renewal and reconciliation of all who will listen. We help people find God, connect with him and know Jesus. We live by the power of the Holy Spirit, as people who have faith, and we are attentive to the voice of the Lord. We await the return of Jesus.
I don’t know how you feel about this but I am ready for his return. This life, with all it’s ups and downs, joys and disappointments, is nothing compared to what it will be when Jesus’ Kingdom is fully realized. When Heaven becomes a reality on earth and when we walk with the Reigning King.
Is this your prayer today? Are you expectant for his return? Ready your hearts. Renew your minds. Allow Christ to reign in you and await his arrival. For did you not know that his Kingdom is in your midst?
”O Lord God, you are good. The daily grind can become grace when our eyes are fixed on you. Come now, Lord Jesus, return quickly! Heal our land, save our nation, restore the people. Help us know that you are present among us and that our labor in the Lord is not in vain. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen