Our scripture this morning is Luke 17:20-25.
One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.” Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see the day when the Son of Man returns, but you won’t see it. People will tell you, ‘Look, there is the Son of Man,’ or ‘Here he is,’ but don’t go out and follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so it will be on the day when the Son of Man comes. But first the Son of Man must suffer terribly and be rejected by this generation.”
Jesus had many discussions with the religious leaders of that time. Often it is hard to tell if their questions are serious or merely an attempt to discredit Jesus. He always answered them honestly, but not always in a way they could understand.
In this passage He tells us that we won’t know when He is to return, something He has said before. He also speaks about His rejection and suffering, which likely confused those who were already plotting His death and saddened His followers. His message was always truthful and consistent with God’s plan.
Jesus says “the Kingdom of God is already among you” (v. 21). He has proclaimed this from the very beginning of His ministry, teaching us that it is not a destination as much as a way of life, eternal life with our Creator. God wants us to be with Him forever, and through Christ’s loving sacrifice for us, we can believe and be saved.
Gracious God, even though we have failed because of our selfish ways, You are ready to forgive us and welcome us back when we turn from evil. Bless us to go in Your name, sharing Your love with the world. Amen.