20 Pharisees asked Jesus when God’s kingdom was coming. He replied, “God’s kingdom isn’t coming with signs that are easily noticed. 21 Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ Don’t you see? God’s kingdom is already among you.”
In Jesus’ time, many of the faithful missed the point of the kingdom of God. Leaders looked for a tangible, political kingdom and argued over what it might look like and how best to usher it in. The Pharisees & Sadducees, two groups mentioned in the New Testament, fought with each other over many fine points of Jewish law and tradition. They could find little common ground, though they all practiced the same faith. The one thing they agreed on was challenging Jesus.
It’s easy for us to do the same with other Christians. Though some arguments are worth having, let’s remember not to miss sight of the bigger picture. Let’s remember not to get lost within our own judgments of ourselves and others.
In Luke 17, Jesus assures us that the Kingdom of God is already among us, so we don’t have to keep searching. Instead Christ’s message tells us to look beyond our small frame of reference for God. Jesus’ words may not fully explain all of the measures of the kingdom, but he is surely reminding us to see the bigger picture and to look further than just our own beliefs. Jesus is announcing that if we are so concerned about our own salvation, we may miss the moments and opportunities to simply help those in need.
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Take a moment to pause and to look beyond your immediate needs and surroundings. How might your current ideas of the kingdom of God limit your views of the world, both far and near?
Then thank God for all that you have today. Ask for God’s forgiveness for when you have missed the bigger picture or fallen short in helping someone in need. Ask for ways that Jesus might help you to be his hands and feet for someone new today.