Q.

What does Luke 17:21 mean when it says that the kingdom is within a person?

A.
Luke 17:20 and 21 read,

Now when He [Jesus] was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

So Jesus was addressing the Pharisees here, who were demanding to know when the kingdom would come.

The Pharisees were unbelievers in opposition to Christ; therefore we can be sure He wasn’t saying that the kingdom was within them. Rather He was saying that He was/is King, and since He was at that moment standing in their midst, He was within reach. The kingdom had already been presented to them by Jesus’ being among them in His earthly ministry, bur they rejected it and Him. What they needed to do, and failed to do, was acknowledge Him as the Messiah and believe on Him.

Do you have feedback or a Bible question to submit? Send to nolson@garbc.org or mail to Norman A. Olson in care of the Baptist Bulletin, 1300 N. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60173-4806.

Reprinted from the Baptist Bulletin (January 2005).
© 2005 Regular Baptist Press. All rights reserved.
Used by permission.