THE KINGDOM IS WITHIN / AMONG
Most of us are familiar with the first verse in the Bible “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1), but maybe not equally as familiar with the last: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” (Rev 22:21)
These two verses reflect the focal of Jesus’ kingdom ministry… that God is behind it all and God loves all that he is behind… God wants everyone restored, especially the disenfranchised (Luke 4:16-21)… and this is not only his mission but also the mission of all of his disciples (Matt 10:7-8).
These lofty Jesus-goals were not easily accepted by the religious and governmental leaders. Instead they demanded signs that would authenticate Jesus’ authority (John 2:16-21; Matt 12:39-41; Luke 23:4-9).
Jesus’ adversaries couldn’t seem to understand that the kingdom of God could be present without being observable (Luke 17:20-21). The kingdom may be unnoticed because it is hidden deep inside a person (Matt 15:19; Gal 5:22-23). Or, the kingdom may be so obvious that it is overlooked… the Creator-God is reflected all around us and among us and especially in Jesus (John 1:1, 14).
When we pray “Thy Kingdom Come” we may not actually see what we expect… but in mysterious ways we could never anticipate his grace descends and all is being worked out for good.