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  • Sam Matthews. K

211. Kingdom unseen and within.

'Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, "Here it is" or "There it is", because the kingdom of God is within ( or among) you." (Luke 17:20-21) The Pharisees probably might have meant the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, because for a Jew, the kingdom of God meant the kingdom of Israel. But Jesus spoke about another kingdom that has no borders and cannot be located on a map because it is unseen! The Jews anticipated the coming of the Kingdom of God and were looking for its physical signs - they expected a kingly Messiah, dressed in Royal robes and seated on the Throne of David; one who would rule the nations with an iron Sceptre. ( Psalm 2:8-9) All this will be true of the Messiah at his second coming - Instead, they found an man mostly preaching, teaching and healing. He didn't look like a Royal but more like a commoner! He didn't fit into their mould to be recognised as the Messiah. When John the Baptist sent his disciples to enquire whether he was the one to come, 'at that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sickness and evil spirits and gave sight to many who are blind. So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard. The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the good news is preached to the poor." ( Luke 7:21-22) These then are the evidences that Jesus had to show that the kingdom of God is among us. To those who questioned his source of power, he said, "If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you." ( Luke 11:20) But when the, 'people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once', (Luke 19:11) he enlightened them with the parable of the ten talents; saying how 'a man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return' (Vs 12) and 'settle accounts with his servants'. ( Matthew 25:19) We can expect the kingdom to God to appear at once at his second coming.

Until then, those who have entered the kingdom, have got the kingdom of God within them. As said earlier, the kingdom of God is the territory and we have come directly under heaven's rule because 'our citizenship is in heaven'. ( Philippians 3:20) Many would like to enter the kingdom and are searching for the door to the kingdom but can't find it because "small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it, but "wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it." ( Matthew 7:13-14) Jesus is the gate to that unseen kingdom as he himself said, "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture." ( John 10:9) Those who have seen the film "The Chronicles of Narnia" have seen how some children accidently entered through a door and found themselves in another world ruled by a Lion called Aslan. (The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of novels written by C. S. Lewis after he became a Christian. The series revolves around the adventures of children in the world of Narnia, ruled by Aslan, a wise and powerful lion who is the true king of Narnia.) If you haven't entered the unseen kingdom, enter by the gate of Jesus. All are welcome! Amen.

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