Simply living life may distract us from the kingdom of God. The truth is that Jesus is already the king. His kingdom is now. We often measure the presence and impact of God in the world by the fulfillment of our own needs and wants, risking missing God altogether.
20 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.”
When the Pharisees asked when the kingdom of God would come, I have to think they were asking about the restoration of Israel’s kingdom and self-reign. When will be free from Roman rule? When will we be restored? We can identify.
We often measure the presence and impact of God in the world by the fulfillment of our own needs and wants, don’t we?
They certainly weren’t thinking about heaven and a different life there. They would have been thinking about the restoration of promised land living with promised land leadership. Jesus’ answer is important for them and also for us.
Forget about your ideas of what the kingdom of God looks like. It is now. The kingdom of God is now. The kingdom of God is in your midst. Do you believe that? Is it possible that the promises of heaven could start today?
The presence of God in our midst is the key idea in this dialogue. The rule and reign of Jesus over everything is critical to understand. And yes, right now the world is subject to the influence of the god of this age, Satan, who is trying to steer us away from God. The future coming of Jesus will deal with these issues.
Yet now and here, Jesus is already the king. His kingdom is now.
One of the implications, which Jesus gets into after these verses, is that many will miss the kingdom because they are eating and drinking and being merry. Living life, in other words, may distract us from the kingdom. We might be so deeply involved and thereby distracted from heavenly things to think about the kingdom being now.
It happened in Noah’s time and Lot’s time and we should think today about whether it could happen to us… Would you rethink the kingdom of God and his presence in your life today?