January 26, 2024

When the Kingdom is Near

Luke 10:1, 8-12

“People [won’t] say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

—  Luke 17:21

After his baptism, Jesus went around proclaiming the good news. He said, “The kingdom of God is near! It’s here! People are entering in front of your eyes!”

Jesus proclaimed the good news by his actions too. He faced down the devil and drove out demons. He healed the sick and fed the hungry. He touched the untouchable and taught the unteachable. He welcomed the weary and sent away the smug. He forgave the sinner and challenged the self-righteous. All of it was evidence that the kingdom of God had come. When Jesus sent out an advance team of seventy-two followers, they healed the sick, like Jesus did. They even drove out demons, like Jesus did (Luke 10:17). Once again, it was evidence that the kingdom of God had come near (see Luke 9:1-6). Whether people accepted the news or rejected it, the news remained the same: The kingdom of God has come near!

Jesus said you can’t point to the kingdom of God and say, “There it is!” Not because there’s no evidence of the kingdom—but because he wanted us to be alert for signs of the kingdom all around us.

The Michigan state motto says this: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look around you. I wonder what signs of the kingdom are waiting for us to look and to see. I wonder how close those signs are.

Open our eyes, Lord Jesus, to see your kingdom. Surprise us by the wonder of its ways, so different from the ways of this world. Amen.

About the author — Bob Arbogast

Bob Arbogast is the pastor of Celebration Fellowship church in Ionia, Michigan. In his spare time, he plays guitar in a West Michigan blues band. He and his wife Jan have been married forty years and have three adult daughters. Bob has been praying the psalms since 2002.

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