Now when Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:20-21 NJKV)
It is impossible for some people to believe in the kingdom of God because they can’t see or touch it. Only those that see with spiritual eyes can truly see the kingdom. I know people who claim to be agnostic or atheist. Whatever they claim to be the point is they openly reject God. They don’t believe because just like Jesus said, they can’t see or feel the kingdom of God.
It takes a large amount of faith, or maybe not. Possibly it just takes faith the size of a mustard seed, to know without a shadow of a doubt that God is with us all. The Pharisees were looking for an earthly king and an earthly kingdom. They were watching for a military style takeover when the kingdom of God came. God didn’t do things their way. They could not believe. God sees everything from an eternal standpoint no man could possibly see. Believing is the faith of it all.
His thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways. We have to look for Him in the surprises of life. When Jesus told the Pharisees the kingdom of God was within us, they did not believe Him. It wasn’t what they were looking for.
What would it have been like to be a Pharisee? All throughout the Old Testament God audibly spoke to His people and showed Himself in mighty ways. They knew the stories they heard from their forefathers.
Jesus did not come the expected way. He came perfectly fulfilling the prophecy. He quietly came. He mingled into the society and was one of us. The Pharisees had studied the scripture and thought they had it all figured out. When Jesus came and taught the things He taught, they were blinded. They were not looking for the Savior with their hearts; they were looking for Him with their heads. How could they see?
God had a plan. He knew exactly what was going to happen when He sent His son. He did not make a mistake. He knew that the people would reject Christ and crucify Him.
It is amazing the Pharisees had the book of Isaiah but they did not believe. If they had believed what Isaiah and John said they would have made Jesus the king. This was not in the plan. Jesus had a mission on this earth. The Pharisees played a role. God knew what was going to happen. He allowed it to happen for one reason: for you and for me and even for the Pharisees.
Each time I think of how Jesus must have felt during those times He was trying to tell the people Who He was I realize how hard it must have been for Him. He knew His mission on earth. The love He has for us took over, and led Him forward. Even knowing what the future held for Him He could see beyond the cross. The Pharisees couldn’t see beyond their own noses.
Unfortunately, even today with all the promises we have at our fingertips, there are still those who are blinded. Those who cannot and will not believe are spiritually blinded. It is so simple. The gospel is so simple even little children understand. But like a modern day Pharisee—some cannot see beyond their own noses.
To find God is to seek Him. When we seek Him we find Him. We find Him in the neighbor that brings a casserole over when we are sick. We find Him in the hugs we get at church or the songs we sing. We find Him in a little child that says her prayers at night. We find Him in our hearts. We talk to Him and He walks with us. How much closer could He get? It is up to us to feel Him and see Him in ourselves and in others. He is there, we just have to look and believe.
I pray for the blinded ones everyday. I pray their blinded eyes will be cleared and their hearts will be touched by someone, somewhere, sometime before it is too late. Some are very intelligent but their intelligence gets in the way of their hearts. They won’t listen and they won’t try to believe. They are desperately searching for something in this life, but even with their intelligent minds they cannot see God is right in front of them. He is there knocking on the door of their hearts. So they stumble around searching, always searching, but never realizing the thing they fight so hard is the One they are searching for.
Thank God for your spiritual eyes that see and believe. Pray for those who cannot see.