Open In App

The Kingdom of God Isn’t What You Think

The religious leaders in Luke 17 were waiting for the Messiah to save them—not from their sins, but from their circumstances. They asked Jesus about the kingdom of God hoping for a king to overthrow the oppressive Roman government. They expected the coming of the kingdom of God to unmistakably turn the power structure of the world upside down, fix everything, and be supernatural and amazing. And it was, but not in the ways they expected.

Jesus said, “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” (Luke 17:20-21). The kingdom of God is not what we, or the Pharisees, think it is. They expected a physical kingdom with borders, but it’s a spiritual kingdom that starts now and continues in eternity. The kingdom of God is not located in a specific place, it begins in our hearts when we receive Jesus’ payment for our sins and declare Him Lord.

The Pharisees miss that Jesus is the Messiah. How could He be? He's not overthrowing Rome; He's preaching to hillbillies on hillsides. And later, He’s crucified by the Roman government to appease those same religious leaders. Some savior, right? Jesus was defeated by the government 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.

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

But, in Matthew 6:33 Jesus says, “ first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will given to you as well.”

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.


  • Do you see Jesus as someone to meet your needs, or a Savior you desperately need relationship with? You can start a relationship with Him today.
  • Do you find yourself wishing and wanting for more, or are you content with your current circumstances?
  • What’s one way you can put Jesus first in your life today?

Like what you just read? Download the NewSpring App for an even better reading experience. You can read, share, and bookmark your favorites quickly and easily from your phone.

Related devotionals

We want you to have a safe experience while using our site.

Unfortunately, there are security risks associated with your browser. To keep you protected we will be discontinuing support to this browser. Please visit for a secure browser update.