Behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst. Luke 17:21
The Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come. He answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
In a mysterious way Jesus has instituted the kingdom of God and introduced people into it, though the kingdom itself is yet future. The kingdom on this earth will not happen, as explained in Revelation 19, until Jesus returns and establishes it. It’s then that Satan will be bound for a thousand years; the calf will lie down with the lion, and your little children can play with snakes (which you don’t want them to do just now). That’s the kingdom, and it’s not here yet.
But there is an aspect of the kingdom that is here—and Jesus says it is in your midst. What is it? It’s us. We are a unique people—aliens, pilgrims, saints—because we are ruled by a King who is not on this planet. We are ruled by One who sits at the right hand of the throne of God in heaven, and we pray, “Thy will be done on this earth as it already is in heaven.” We are a heavenly people because we have a heavenly King, and we submit to Him.
And to His kingdom people, Jesus promises persecution: “If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20). There will be tension, conflict—even within your family. Jesus said He came not always to bring peace, but to bring a sword to your household if need be. Living the kingdom ethic is something very sacred—and something very serious.