St Luke (This is The Kingdom)

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St Luke - "This is the Kingdom"

Luke 10: 1-0

The Gospel reading which we heard just a few minutes ago marks a pivotal change of direction for Jesus’ ministry – Luke tells us that Jesus appointed 72 others -  not the disciples – and sent them out 2 by 2 to go ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go to forewarn them of his impending visit.     We don’t know who these 72 were – but can be pretty certain they were dedicated followers whose lives had been changed and invigorated by the Good News preached by Jesus.

 

Jesus told them to heal the sick who they met – and here is the key phrase “tell them that the Kingdom of God has come near you.”

 

What did Jesus mean when he said that they were to tell them “that the Kingdom of God has come near you”?    One of the dominant themes of Jesus’ ministry was about the Kingdom – though nowhere is there a clear cut formal definition of exactly what he meant by the kingdom.    And what did he mean when he said to tell those the chosen 72 met “that the Kingdom of God has come near you?”

 

Jesus of course not only promised “the Kingdom” – and this is critical – he “lived” the kingdom – he was and is the living embodiment of the kingdom and by his very presence in our lives – the kingdom had arrived.  

 

It is exactly the same for us – for you and me today.    Jesus was once asked by the Pharisees – when would the Kingdom come?   Jesus replied that; “the kingdom of God does not come with careful observation, nor will people say “here it is” or “there it is” because the kingdom of God is within you”.    To dwell in God’s kingdom – is to abide in – to be enveloped in - God’s love.   So God’s kingdom is a kingdom of love – and this love is portrayed in the story of Jesus Christ  - handed down to us in the Gospels – Jesus’ story is THE story – the story of the kingdom in action – an he made it clear that life in the kingdom was a normal life – a life that is open to all humanity – underpinned by a relationship with God.

 

Jesus told his disciples – “those who love me – will be loved by my Father and we will come and make our home with them”. It is through the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit - in our lives as men and women of the world- that proclaims the Kingdom.

 

St Paul tells us in those never to be forgotten words ~”The life that I live is not my life – but the life which Christ lives in me – who loved me and gave his life for me”.  This is the kingdom

Peter Hewlett-Smith, Heckfield, 18 October 2015