Summary: The Coming Kingdom of God
Reading: Luke chapter 17 verses 20-37.
Questions:….do you ever wonder why….:
• Superman could stop bullets with his chest, but always ducked when someone threw a gun at him?
• Or if a jogger runs at the speed of sound can he still hear his walkman?
• If the cops arrest a mime, do they have to tell him he has the right to remain silent?
• Why do pubs and bars advertise live bands?
• Why is there only ONE Monopolies Commission?
• What's another word for thesaurus?
• In America, why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
• Or during WW2 why did kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
• My favourite:
• If a man speaks and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?
• A friend once asked Isidor I. Rabi, a Nobel prize winner in science,
• How he became a scientist.
• Rabi replied that every day after school his mother would talk to him about his school day.
• She wasn’t so much interested in what he had learned that day,
• But she always inquired; “Isidor, did you ask a good question today?”
• Rabi said, “Asking good questions made me become a scientist.”
• In this passage before us tonight:
• We have two good questions;
• We also have two good answers,
• Although they are not easy answers to digest and understand.
• Question 1: Asked by the Pharisees (vs 20): ‘When will the Kingdom of God be?’
• Question 2: Asked by the disciples (vs37): ’Where will it be?’
• It was the Passover season, party-time!
• And so an excited atmosphere of expectancy pervaded the Jewish people.
• Passover was when the Jews commemorated their deliverance from Egypt
• When they were set free from the slavery to freedom.
• Led by their great leader Moses!
• Ever since that time, the Jews longed for another Moses;
• And especially at this time in their history they longed for someone who would;
• Deliver them from their present bondage of the Roman occupiers.
• Some had hoped that John the Baptist would be that deliverer,
• But he had been imprisoned and then killed.
• And so now the attention has very much been focused on Jesus.
• Who unlike John was able to work incredible miracles as well as preach a good sermon!
• The fact that Jesus was going to Jerusalem excited them all the more.
• Perhaps now, at long last, he would establish the promised kingdom of God!
Verse 20 introduces us to the Pharisees:
• The Pharisees, were not only the top religious leaders of their day;
• They were considered the custodians, the protectors, the guardians of the Law:
• So it was part of their remit and right;
• To check out ‘teachers’ like Jesus.
• It was there job was to make sure no false teachings were being propagated;
• So it was almost expected of them to ask Jesus when He thought the kingdom of God would appear.
• It was also the custom for Jewish teacher's (like Jesus) to discuss these subjects publicly,
• Which is why these questions are asked in the open.
• Now I want us to notice that in answering those two questions;
• Jesus gives his listeners five pieces of advice:
(1). God Is in Your Midst (verse 20b-21):
• In answer to the question: "When is the kingdom of God coming?"
• Jesus points the Pharisees to himself!
"The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation; nor will people say, 'Here it is' or, 'There it is', because the kingdom of God is with in you”.
"The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst”.
In his answer to the Pharisees question:
• In verse 20:
• Jesus chose to use an unusual word:
• In English it is translated as “observe” or "observation";
• And this is the only time it is used in the entire New Testament.
• It carries the idea of a doctor watching a patient for symptoms to appear;
• So that he can pinpoint and diagnose some illness or disease.
I think Jesus is reminding or rather informing the Pharisees:
• That the things of God cannot be figured out by human logic alone.
• We need more than a clever mind and good knowledge.
• I think the New Testament makes it very clear in a number of different places;
• That we need the Spirit of God to make sense of spiritual things.
• ill: Simon Peter and his confession “You are the Christ”.