in your midst

The pharisees were expecting the kingdom to come with apocalyptic signs; they were using natural perception. But Jesus was saying,enigmatically, that the kingdom was already in their midst. (Luke 17:20-21). Because the pharisees weren’t born from above, they couldn’t “see” the kingdom, even though it was standing in their midst (John 3:3). Jesus was pointing to the presence of the kingdom in this text, not its inwardness. The New testament refers to people entering the kingdom, not the kingdom entering people. Scot McKnight is dead-on when he wrote, “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, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is, ‘because the kingdom of God is in your midst.


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