The Kingdom of God is much bigger than any one individual, but that Kingdom is ‘within’ everyone who submits to King Jesus. Therefore we should expect to have a Kingdom impact on the world as we come into contact with it. If there is new life within us there will also be new power at work through us. The truth that the Kingdom is within the believer is not the whole truth about Kingdom life. However it is an important truth that Jesus wanted to emphasise on this occasion.
These verses should also encourage us in times when there is nothing, or little, to show for our work. Although the Kingdom is in some mysterious sense ’embodied’ in the subjects of the Kingdom, its influence and growth is often invisible. You may feel that your church is not growing like the one down the road; or that you are not developing as you should be. But you can’t measure everything by the ‘visible’.
‘The best things are the quietest. The deepest work of God, in the individual and in the community, does not reveal itself to the newspaper reporter, but steals on the world like spring through garden and woodland.’ F.B. Meyer: Devotional Commentary, p.446.
Another possible rendering of the word ‘within’ is ‘among’. The Pharisees wanted to know when God’s Kingdom would come, not realising that it had already arrived in the Person of Jesus. It is possible to miss what you are looking for because you are blinkered in your expectations.
Prayer: Reign in me Sovereign Lord.