The Kingdom of God Isn’t What You Think

As Jesus' notoriety grew, he faced increasing questioning and opposition from the religious leaders of the day. One of the main things the Pharisee leaders wanted to know was this idea of the Kingdom of God being established on Earth. For the observant Jew, they were waiting for the Messiah to save them, not from their sins, but from their circumstances. They were waiting for a King who would overthrow the oppressive Roman government. Surely, they thought, the coming of the Kingdom of God will be unmistakable. It will turn the power structure of the world upside down. It will fix everything. It will be supernatural and amazing. And it was, but not in the ways the religious leaders expected.

Jesus answered their question about the Kingdom by saying, “The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed…” It won't be loud. It won't be flashy. In fact, you'll miss it if you're waiting for the loud, flashy spectacle from the sky. The Kingdom of God is not what we think. “The Kingdom of God is in the midst of you,“ He says. Jesus knew this because He was this—He was the beginning of the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

The Pharisees miss who's in their midst. How could Jesus possibly be the Messiah? He's not overthrowing Rome, He's preaching to hillbillies on hillsides. And a few chapters later He's actually crucified by the Roman government to appease those same religious leaders. Some Savior, right? He's defeated by the people they expected their Messiah to overthrow. They wanted a political Savior, a warring King to kill their circumstances and their enemies. They didn't want God, they wanted their idea of God. A self–made Savior, created in their image, to meet their needs.

And we're no different. We want better circumstances, better health. We want more money, more blessings, signs and wonders, emotional highs. We want an easy button, a quick fix.

But Jesus says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.“ This is the divine order of things, the good and right way to live our lives. And thankfully, God, in His infinite wisdom and kindness, knows we need a Savior to come and kill our sin, not our circumstances. We need Him, not just the blessings He can provide. We need the Kingdom of God, not just our idea of it.

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