10Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

Jesus’ Entry Into Jerusalem Giotto 14c

What is this “coming kingdom” for which the crowds look with such anticipation and hope? Whatever it is, it is clear that the “kingdom” Jesus came to bring is not the “kingdom” the crowds were seeking.

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is reported to have said of his kingdom,

The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ (Luke 17:20, 21a).

The crowds celebrating Jesus’ arrival are looking for a kingdom that comes “with things that can be observed.” They want to be able to say, “Look, here it is!” or “There it is!” They want a kingdom that proves itself with tangible benefits. This is not the Jesus kingdom.

The Jesus kingdom is invisible. It is not perceptible to our usual physical senses. There may not appear to be any immediate or tangible payoff to living in the Jesus kingdom.

If I am going to perceive the kingdom of Jesus, I am going to need to develop other skills. The skills of the Jesus kingdom are more subtle than the parades and loud Hosannas of the crowds welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem.

If I am going to discern the Jesus kingdom, I am going to need to withdraw from the crowd, to find space, quiet and stillness. If I am going to catch the hints of the Jesus kingdom I am going to need to silence the clamour of the kingdoms of the external world because, as Jesus went on to say,

in fact, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21b)

When I cling to the kingdoms of the world, I fail to make the journey “within.”

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What are the subtle skills that give access to an awareness of the secret inner kingdom Jesus brings? What is the cost of failing to perceive the subtle kingdom of Jesus?