“The Kingdom of God does not come with an observation, nor will they say, See Here! or See There!  For indeed, the Kingdom of God is within you.”  Luke 17: 20-21

There is a song that starts out “Signs, Signs everywhere a sign….” (I apologize for those who might know the song and now it is stuck in your head).  We also often hear that wise old phrase:  “Seeing is believing”.  (Although again, with the things they can do with computers these days, that saying is now often put to the test).  In this case, the Pharisees are looking for a sign.  They have asked Jesus, when is the kingdom of God going to come?

It is not just a question that happens in the bible.  I have taught in large governmental organizations and fortune 100 companies.  Many times the classes have been about organizational change initiatives.  In many cases, these changes are things that the rank and file of the organization actually want to see happen; things like, more input into decisions, improved and more open communications, greater sharing of leadership and responsibility.  However, in virtually all cases, I have some and in some cases the majority who says; I’ll believe the changes are happening when I see them actually happen.  In most cases, what they mean and what they will say is, I will not change until I see a change on the part of other people, especially management.  What they don’t understand is the converse of their statement and the impact.  For what they are also saying is:  I have no part in making anything different until I see it from above.  They often do not see the power and the promise that comes from embracing the new idea, regardless of whether others embrace it or not.

It might have been interesting if Jesus had asked them; “Why do you ask?”  “What do you plan to do when the Kingdom comes that you are not doing right now?”  Alas, their answers would not have mattered as they were not going to believe what Jesus said to them, no matter what.  They needed to learn the lesson that the prophet Samuel learned when he entered into Jesse’s tent to anoint the next king of Israel.  He saw sons who were powerful and saw sons who were strikingly handsome and thought to himself:  “Surely this one is the next king”.  But God answered to him:  “The Lord does not see as a man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.  Samuel would have overlooked King David.

If we stop for a moment to truly think about it; that the Kingdom of God would be inside us, makes perfect sense.  We are spiritual beings.  We have a soul.  Yet we are also physical beings living in a physical world.  Though, our ability to feel, to care, to love comes, not from without, but from within.  Thus, that God being of Spirit, would desire to touch and interact with where our spirit resides, is logical.  That Jesus Christ came and lived among us, demonstrates the ability for the Spirit to also reside in the flesh.  Albeit we will never have the perfect combination of Spirit and flesh, that He did.

Jesus Christ did the miracles that He did, taught the Truth that He Taught, Lived the perfect Life that He Lived, because of what was inside.  I often ponder, what it would be like, if I/we really tapped into the Spirit within me/us; really stepped forth with the understanding that we have all the resources of His Kingdom, within us.  May it be that in trying to find the sign I seek, I do not look out there, but I look in here, in me.  I did not nor ever will earn His Kingdom which resides in me.  It is a gift made possible through the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ my Savior.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we search the starry universe, the depth of the seas and all over this earth for a sign from You.  Yet You testify through Your Son Jesus Christ, that Your Kingdom resides within us.  Give us the strength to search and the wisdom to find Your Kingdom within us.  Show us through the tools of Your Word and Your Love the vision of what we should be like as Your Kingdom People.  And plant within our hearts the urging to become Your Kingdom People.  In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.