Missional Jesus thought it couldn’t be clearer. God’s redemptive plan was at work. Who knew?
Read this text from Luke 17:20-21.
Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, â??The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, â??Here it is,â?? or â??There it is,â?? because the kingdom of God is within you [better: in your midst].â?
The holiness movement that informed Jesus of Herod’s intent to kill him also asked Jesus when the kingdom might come. Missional Jesus responds:
1. Missional Jesus sternly warns of the ineptitude of those who were calculating — using apocalyptic timetables — when the kingdom might come. This is the point of “careful observation.”
2. Missional Jesus says this: don’t listen to those who think they know. Listen to Jesus.
3. Missional Jesus says the kingdom of God is “in your midst.”
Debate: some think this refers to a religious experience or the presence of the Spirit within the heart. Neither of these options is contrary to the Christian faith, but neither are what this text says. He doesn’t say “in you” but “in your midst.” There’s a difference.
What is he saying? The kingdom of God is in your midst, if you have eyes to see and a heart to believe. If you don’t, you’ll miss the presence of God’s redemptive moment. The kingdom is recognized not by its flash but by its humility, it’s inauspicious potent presence.