S (Scripture): Luke 17:20 Now at one point the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was coming, so he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
O (Observation): Whoa! Wait? What?!? “The Kingdom of God is in your midst”? Are you sure, Jesus? ‘Cause ain’t nobody seen no signs.
Jesus causes confusion…again… Jesus’ non-dualistic understanding of the kingdom is that the Kingdom is here…and will be here. (That means that the Kingdom is not EITHER now OR later…rather, that the Kingdom can be here BOTH now AND later. The thought of the Jewish folks of the time was that soemone like a King David would come back and conquer Caeser and restore Israel atop the political and religious food chain.
Jesus reminds the people that waiting for a sign is silly. For Jesus himself has begun to usher in the new Kingdom, and Kingdom life looks like Jesus’ life – full of grace and humility and suffering and obedience to God.
A (Application): We don’t want Jesus’ life thank you very much. We don’t want to be humiliated by our peers or the powers that be. We don’t want God’s hopes and dreams for our own for those hopes and dream cause us to give more than we are comfortable, to serve others when we can be relaxing on our couch, to invite our loved ones and friends to support a cause we believe in, though they may not.
Living in the Kigdom of God is challenging, but is also full of grace. Two things are at play as children of the Kingdom: Relationship and Responsibility.
- Relationship. God ushers us into the Kingdom by the gift of the Holy Spirit. Most notably this happens in our baptism. God sends the Spirit to join us to Jesus’ death and resurrection. We live the kingdom life NOW, because God brings us along and invites us into an eternal relationship that can never be broken.
- Responsibility. As Kingdom-livers, we are given authority and power that is not our own, but our responsibility to wield. We use this authority and power not to misuse or abuse others, but to support the outcast and the downtrodden. Our responsibility is to preach the Gospel and live it out, using that authority and power given to us by the Lord.
How is that going for you? Do you sense the relationship aspect more? Or the responsibility aspect? Do you sense either?
I’m happy to chat with you if you would like to reach out to me. Just let me know.
P (Prayer): Lord, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Amen.