20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come. This was a logical question to ask, for He had been preaching for quite some time that the kingdom was at hand. Jesus responded to the question in two ways. First, He said that the Pharisees would not be able to tell of the coming of the kingdom through their observations. Second, he told them that the kingdom was in their midst. The term ‘within you’ as some translations render the Greek phrase is often misunderstood. The Pharisees were rejecting Him as the Messiah and were not believers. (They were distinct from the disciples Jesus was about to address at the beginning of verse 22.) Thus, it would not make sense for Jesus to have told the Pharisees that the kingdom of God was within them as if it were some sort of spiritual kingdom. It is better to translate the phrase ‘within you’ as ‘in your midst’ as seen in the ESV, NIV and AMP translations. Some scholars believe that the force of the expression is “within your possession or within your reach.” Jesus’ point was that He was standing right in their (the Pharisees) midst. All they needed to do was acknowledge that He is indeed the Messiah who could bring in the kingdom—and then the kingdom would come.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Pray for specific people you know; neighbours, friends or those you see when you walk. Or, pray for opportunities to get to know your neighbours better