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, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” ~ Luke 17:20-21
Things are not always as they seem. An old, beat-up pair of shoes is the most comfortable pair in the closet. A restaurant that looks like a dive serves amazing food.
When the long-awaited Savior finally arrived, many who saw him weren’t impressed. He was from a poor family. He was too ordinary. Sure, there had been miracles. But if he was the promised Savior, when was he going to establish his reign? When was he going to usher in a new golden age for the people of Israel? In today’s reading, some religious leaders called Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come.
Things were not as they seemed. Jesus was not running for office; he was heading for the cross to pay for the sins of all. He was not raising an army; he was inviting people to repent and believe in him. And wherever people heard the Savior’s words and believed, there was the kingdom of God. So, when Jesus was asked when the kingdom of God would come, he said, “The kingdom of God is in your midst.”
Things are still not as they seem. When we read a devotion like this one, when we bow our heads and pray, when we go to church and worship, it all looks and feels so ordinary. We might wonder if it’s worth our time and effort to commit ourselves to such things. We might be tempted to focus on other things instead. Let Jesus’ words in today’s reading put any doubts to rest. Where the words of Jesus are heard and believed, there the kingdom of God is in your midst.
Dear Jesus, you have paid for all my sins. Keep me close to your Word. Reign as King in my heart. Amen.