Luke 17:20-23: “Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.’ 22 Then He said to the disciples, ‘The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, 'Look here!' or 'Look there!' Do not go after them or follow them.”
In those days many of Jesus’ followers and even His critics were looking for a physical kingdom, to replace the Romans and their oppression. The Hebrews had been under Roman control for years and were waiting for God to deliver them, as He had done in the past. They were waiting for their Messiah to arrive, to crush the yoke of oppression, and to free His people once again. They were hoping for a king to rise up and lead them to a revolt. However, God’s plan was slightly different, there was a yoke of oppression that kept His people down, but it was not a physical yoke; rather, it was a spiritual one. God was coming to set up His Kingdom, but it would not be a physical one, rather a spiritual one. In addition, God would offer a way out of their oppression but it would not be through physical revolt, it would come through a spiritual revolt. Jesus was calling His people to change their hearts.
God does care about our physical well-being and seeks to lead, guide, and provide for all of His children. However, He is much more concerned about our spiritual well-being, because the soul is eternal, and our days here on earth are not guaranteed. The Pharisees were asking Jesus about the Kingdom of God. They questioned Jesus about the kingdom of which He had spoken. Jesus answered them, saying, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” Jesus does go on to say that there will be a time when the physical kingdom will come, but it is not anything you should be looking for now. His emphasis to all which where there was to make sure that they were concerned for the spiritual kingdom more then anything else. We can still see that emphasis today.
This world no longer has the oppression of the Romans, but we do have many things that still oppress God’s people. Sin, persecution of our beliefs, and even our Government oppress God’s people today. Day after day we read the ever-growing hostility toward Christians and our beliefs. We as a faith know and believe that Jesus will come back and set up His physical Kingdom here on earth. When He does that physical kingdom will vanquish all oppression that sets itself up against God’s plan. Nevertheless, we as Christ followers must be more concerned with the spiritual kingdom of God. We as citizens of this Kingdom have responsibilities and duties to serve our King with obedience. We carry the Kingdom of God with us as we go throughout this world as ambassadors. As ambassadors for Christ we are His representatives, we are to re-present Jesus in and to this world. That is being the Kingdom of God right now, for such a time as this.
Old Testament: 11 Sam 1-3 New Testament Luke 18:1-17