he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come,
he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh
not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for,
behold, the kingdom of God is within you.(Luke
17:20,21 kjv) From a Catholic source,
we see this:The sum of His teaching, as of that of
His precursor, was the approach of the Kingdom of God, meaning not only
the rule of righteousness in the individual heart ("the kingdom of God is within you" — Luke, xvii,
21), but also the Church.
From John Wesley's
Notes, 1754. (Luke 17:21) For behold the kingdom
of God is within or among you - Look not for it in distant times or remote
places: it is now in the midst of you: it is come: it is present in
the soul of every true believer: it is a spiritual kingdom, an internal
principle. Wherever it exists, it exists in the heart.
This view, that puts the kingdom in the hearts of
the Pharisees (and others), is a gross misunderstanding of Jesus and the
kingdom of God.
This false view of the kingdom and of the Greek text produces
the mistaken idea that the kingdom resides in the hearts of men. These
also dictate ignoring the context. The Greek, ẻntós ùmwn,
means within you or among you. Where the pronoun is plural, as here,
one best reads "among you" or "in the midst of you." Now check the context.
Can the kingdom be in the hearts of the Pharisees? Jesus said to them,
You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God
knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination
in the sight of God. (Luke
16:15) These men were an abomination to God because of
what was in their hearts! No, His kingdom certainly was not there.
This view also exposes a false view of the kingdom. Search the Word
of Jesus and you will see that it is always the man that enters the kingdom
and never the kingdom that enters the man! For example, Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become
like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Matt. 18:3) Or, How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the
The RSV gets it right: ...nor will they say, `Lo, here it is!' or `There!'
for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.
The kingdom was not within
each man. The Pharisees, hoping for the visible restoration of the Davidic
monarchy, were blind to the presence of the true kingdom, which cometh not with observation. The word is final
-- a visible kingdom will never come! Everyone that hopes for a millinneal
reign of Christ on the earth will be disappointed. It is here, in our midst,
even now, as the Lord reigns over all.
How is it that the kingdom was in their midst? Jesus, applying the authority
of the kingdom as he healed the sick, cleansed lepers and cast out demons,
was the personal presence of the kingdom. He said elsewhere: But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons,
then the kingdom of God has come upon you.(Matt. 12:28) His presence,
exercising the power of the kingdom (He had just cleansed ten lepers.) was
the presence of the kingdom, in their very midst, and they did not recognize
it because they could see no visible signs. more