The Kingdom of God Isn’t What You Think


We need God—not just our idea of Him and the blessings He can bring.

Passages: Luke 17, Psalm 50

As Jesus' notoriety grew, he faced increasing questioning and opposition from the religious leaders of the day. One of the main things the Pharisee leaders wanted to know was about this idea of the Kingdom of God being established on Earth. For the observant Jew, they were waiting for the Messiah to save them, not from their sins, but from their circumstances. They were waiting for a King who would overthrow the oppressive Roman government. Surely, they thought, the coming of the Kingdom of God will be unmistakable. It will turn the power structure of the world upside down. It will fix everything. It will be supernatural and amazing.  Well, the coming of the Kingdom of God was all these things, but not in the ways the religious leaders expected.

Jesus answered their question about the Kingdom by saying, “The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed…” It won't be loud. It won't be flashy. In fact, you'll miss it if you're waiting for the loud, flashy spectacle from the sky. The Kingdom of God is not what we think. “The Kingdom of God is in the midst of you,” He said.  Jesus knew this because He was that to be true; He was the beginning of the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

The Pharisees missed who was in their midst. How could Jesus possibly be the Messiah? He was not overthrowing Rome, but rather preaching to hillbillies on hillsides. And a few chapters later He's actually crucified by the Roman government to appease those same religious leaders. Some Savior, right? He was apparently defeated by the people who they expected their Messiah to overthrow. They wanted a political Savior, a warring King to kill their enemies and change their circumstances. They didn't want God, they wanted their idea of God. A self–made Savior, created in their image, to meet their needs.

And we're no different. We want better circumstances, better health. We want more money, more blessings, emotional highs, signs and wonders. We want an easy button, a quick fix.

But Jesus says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”   This is the divine order of things, the good and right way to live our lives. And thankfully, God, in His infinite wisdom and kindness, knows we need a Savior to come and kill our sin, not our enemies. We need Him, not just the blessings He can provide. We need the Kingdom of God, not just our idea of it.

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