“The kingdom of God does not come with observation…”– Luke 17:20
The kingdom of God was something Jesus spoke of often during His ministry. Along the way to Jerusalem, the Pharisees asked Jesus about the coming kingdom. It was a conversation the Rabbi would usually discuss. They waited for Messiah in anticipation. So much so that families were said to be very large in Palestine. “There was a curious belief,” Barclay writes, “that the Messiah would not come until all souls that should be born had been born. So to have a large family was to hasten the coming of the Messiah.” As a result of their anticipation, the Pharisees asked Jesus when the promise would be fulfilled. Their hope was in a temporal kingdom that would advance the Jewish nation above all others.
“It cometh not with observation” was Jesus’ answer. Not with outward show. It was a silent entrance with no pomp and no noise. The Messiah’s first advent was already among them, in their midst. They would soon see Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey’s foal as promised (Matthew 21:5; Zechariah 9:9). Although their Savior was in-front of them, they did not recognize Him. Their hopes hung on events they thought would bring peace on earth and forgot to look up for redemption.
We are experiencing a lot of chaos in our world today. Where do we look for the answers? Do we look to a cause or organization? Do we look to political figures? Many Christians believe that God will only work in this world if a particular political party is in office. The Church can begin thinking that in the decision and outcome we want, peace will come. And, if we are not careful, we can start aligning ourselves with movements that can replace God, no matter how good they seem to be. Let us be diligent not to be so focused on things we hope will bring peace here that we easily forget Jesus and His peace that is already among us. It is the peace that surpasses all understanding!
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”– Philippians 4:4-7