Questions About the Kingdom of God

“Questions About the Kingdom of God”
A reflection on Luke 17:20-21
Thursday of the Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
©️2022 Gloria M. Chang

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he said in reply, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.”

Luke 17:20-21

The Kingdom of God is Among You

What is the kingdom of God? Mysteriously, Jesus told the Pharisees that it cannot be observed. No one can point to it and say, “Here it is!” or “There it is!” Then, translations diverge on the Greek adverb entos, defined by Strong’s Dictionary as “within,” “among,” and “inside.” A survey of English translations yields the following interpretations:

“For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.”
“For behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
“For behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.”

Jesus, the Word made flesh, manifested the kingdom of God “among” or “in the midst of” his people. But such a manifestation was observable, as the apostles testified: “What was from the beginning, what we have heard… seen… and touched with our hands” (1 John 1:1).

The Kingdom of God is Within You

The adverb entos appears only one other time in the New Testament, in Jesus’ teaching on the necessity of inward purity:

“Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside (entos) of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”

Matthew 23:26

Transforming persons from the inside out, Messianic redemption is whole and complete. In the Sermon on the Mount, the possessors of the kingdom of heaven are the poor in spirit and those who mourn; the meek and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; the merciful and pure in heart; the peacemakers and the persecuted (Matthew 5:3-10).

In various parables, the kingdom of God is also small, like a mustard seed, and hidden, like yeast, but grows to manifest proportions.

Christ Makes All Things New

From the outside in to the inside out, the kingdom of God comes softly in the seed of Christ, grows, germinates in human hearts, and transforms the whole body of humanity one person at a time. The goal of redemption surpasses all earthly kingdoms, resting in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Shalom is the fruit of the passion (Luke 17:25).

“Behold, I make all things new.”

Revelation 21:5

The kingdom of God is within you.
Among you, Christ’s love makes all things new.

2 Replies to “Questions About the Kingdom of God”

  1. Where two or three are gathered in Christ’s name, he is in the midst.
    Where two or three are blogging about Christ, the Spirit moves among them.
    Where two or three are praying, God dwells within their hearts.

    1. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst (mesō) of them.”
      Matthew 18:20

      Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in (en) you?
      1 Corinthians 3:16

      The root of entos is en. Life in God, who encompasses spacetime, cannot be adequately described by our adverbs. Praise God beyond all words!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: