• Gabriel von Wendt

Luke 10:17-24 - When His Kingdom Comes...

The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name." Jesus said, "I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given you the power 'to tread upon serpents' and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
At that very moment he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."
Turning to the disciples in private he said, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it."

This gospel touches on three different levels of the Kingdom of Christ. In the first place, it mentions the visible effects of the work that the apostles did in the immediate context of their days. They fought for Christ's cause and, thus, freed the people from the grip of evil; the Kingdom was spreading. On a higher level, Jesus saw His Kingdom independently of time and space, as a battle for the whole human world. He rejoices over the victory at hand and praises the Father for it. Lastly, Jesus gazes at his disciples "in private" and points out the triumph on the most important battlefield, each human heart. His Kingdom comes in each person who sees what they see: Jesus Christ is God's redeeming love made Flesh. If a heart experiences Christ, the Kingdom spreads.

If we take these three levels together, we can say that the Kingdom of Christ becomes a reality foremost in hearts in which God can inhabitate. Christ's battle of the times and His battles of greater contexts are, ultimately, unnumerable battles for concrete persons. Persons with body and soul, with problems and joys, with wounds and needs, with sins and virtue. Person's whose beating heart Christ wants to conquer for His Kingdom. Persons who God wants to see happy and fulfilled. Persons like yourself. So, when a situation of your daily life is freed from the grip of evil, His Kingdom comes. When you can step over the snares and traps of the devil without falling, when you resist sin and choose good, His Kingdom comes. When the simple wisdoms of revelation lead your decisions and the laws of real love impregnate your behavior, then His Kingdom comes.

Christ's battle is a battle for hearts.

The Kingdom spreads where persons flourish in Christ. Be it in daily life, in the world at large, or in your own heart: Christ wants to establish His reign and that means: He wants to live with us, be our life and glory, lift us up to a fulfilment inconceivable by any worldly standards. Thy Kingdom come in our life, in this world, in your heart.