Let’s look to the parallels.
There are two versions of Thomas here. The Coptic (from Nag Hammadi) and the Greek (a fragment called the Oxyrhynchus text).
Jesus said: If those who lead you say to you: See, the kingdom is in heaven, then the birds of the heaven will go before you; if they say to you: It is in the sea, then the fish will go before you. But the kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty.
Je[sus] says: [“If those] who seek to attract you [say to you: ‘See,] the Kingdom [is] in hea[ven, then] the birds of hea[ven will be there before you. If they say: ‘It] is under the earth!’ [then] the fishes of the sea [will be there be]fore you. And the Kingd[om of heaven] is within you! [He who? . . .] knows this will find [. . .] [When] you know yourselves, [then you will know that] it is you who are [the sons] of the [living] Father. [But if you do not] know yourselves, then [. . .] and it is you the poverty!”
Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “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!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.” (note: The AV1611 (King Jimmy) and the NIV both read the kingdom of God is within you.
Firstly, where do our sources agree?
Each contrasts the expectations/teachings of leadership which looks for a distant kingdom to be preceded by signs with another teaching, attributed to Jesus, that situates the kingdom very close and present and within/among.
I read this as witnessing to the kingdom as a present reality. This piece is anti-apocalyptic. Jesus’ return on the clouds as a conquering messiah — the whole book of Revelation schtick is basically denied. The kingdom manifests itself in human relationships.
The question isn’t — when will Jesus return to set up his kingdom? The question is — do your everyday relationships with people reflect the reign of Christ? Are you already living the kingdom into this world?
My answer? Not nearly enough.