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Summary: The Coming Kingdom of God

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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?

Ill:

• 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?’

The context:

• 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!

N.I.V:

"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”.

N.A.S.B:

"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”.

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