“.. . the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17.21
This statement by Jesus can be translated in two ways. Some translations state that the kingdom of God is ‘among you’, or ‘in your midst’, and others phrase it, ‘within you’. Perhaps these translations are not so different.
Jesus originally said these words to the Pharisees, who were looking for signs of the coming of the kingdom. Jesus encouraged them not to look for signs of the kingdom elsewhere, but rather to be aware of the presence of the kingdom in their midst – and what was in their very midst was himself. If they could but see it, the fullness of the kingdom of God would be so close to them; they could probably even feel his breath on them.
Although we don’t have the physical presence of Jesus with us as the Pharisees did, he does live in us through the Holy Spirit, and for that reason we, too, can proclaim that the kingdom is within us. All the resources of what God’s kingdom has to bring are actually as close as the air within our lungs. To have the Spirit dwelling in us is to have every fruit and every gift so close to us.
Wherever you may be right now, pause to proclaim, “The kingdom of God is within me.”
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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