And now: The future
God of heaven, bring the reality of heaven to earth and help me to be a part of that.
Read Luke 17:20–37
 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed,  nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”  Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.  People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them.  For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.  But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.  “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.  People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.  “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.  But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.  “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.  On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.  Remember Lot’s wife!  Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.  I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”   “Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhere is Jesus drawing focus?
“The kingdom of God is like __.” Jesus has a lot of different ways of filling in the blank, often using parables. Today’s passage, instead, offers several pictures of how the kingdom of God is like the end of the world: lightning flashing across the sky; disruptive judgment; people snatched away in the midst of daily living. This is good news for those who are struggling to get justice; bad news for those who are in control. Pharisees liked to be in control. So they try and pin him down: “This kingdom of God—when is it due?” They were looking for something they could get a handle on. Not so, says Jesus. You’re busy trying to pin it down and master it, but you have missed the most important point: it is right here “in your midst” (21, although some translations say “within you”). The “you” is plural. This is not “within you” in a personal spiritual sense. It is “in the midst of you all.” Right in front of your noses. You don’t need to wait for the end of the world. Jesus has come and the kingdom of God is already happening, right now.
How is God at work right in front of you? Ask for fresh eyes to see how God is active in your daily situations today.
King Jesus, thank You that You are establishing Your kingdom.
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