Lord, we trust and rest primarily in You.
Read LUKE 17:20–37
The Coming of the Kingdom of God
20 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, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”[a]
22 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. 23 People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day[b] will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 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.
28 “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.
30 “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 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. 32 Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”  [c]
37 “Where, Lord?” they asked.
He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”
a Luke 17:21 Or is within you
b Luke 17:24 Some manuscripts do not have in his day.
c Luke 17:36 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Matt. 24:40.
New International Version (NIV)
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“’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.” (C.S. Lewis, referring to Aslan, the Lion, in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Geoffrey Bles, 1950 and later editions)
In this passage the Pharisees ask Jesus when God’s kingdom will come, not knowing that it has already arrived. Jesus clarifies that God’s kingdom is not like an earthly kingdom with borders and buildings. Instead, it is all about the work of the Spirit in people’s lives and communities. God’s kingdom lives not in programs or institutions, but in people’s hearts, for “the kingdom of God is in your midst” (21).
Jesus then presents a litany of various disasters and suffering to illustrate an important point – nobody can find real security in their possessions, for these things can be taken away quickly. He reaches the culmination of this section by saying that those who try to keep their life will lose it, whereas whoever loses it will preserve it. Once again, we observe Jesus subverting cultural norms as he teaches about his upside-down kingdom.
This is a relevant message today. We find false security in so many worldly things – possessions, insurance, and access to health care, among others. None of these things are wrong in and of themselves, but when we depend upon them for absolute security, we often find ourselves in the twin traps of materialism and individualism: “My life consists of what I have and own, and I work hard for me and my success alone.” God’s kingdom calls us to set aside this cultural mindset, lay down our lives in loving obedience, and find true security in God alone.
Where do you really find your security? As you learn to find it in God’s love and presence, rather than your abilities, belongings and faith, you will be liberated to live in Christ’s fullness of life and freedom.
Lord, Your kingdom is unique. Its members are citizens of two realms with ultimate allegiance only to One.