Luke 17:21 - The Kingdom of God is Within You and or Around You.
Behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21 (KJV)
The kingdom of God is within you; probably indicating that the
kingdom is spiritual and internal, rather than physical and external.
But also can mean that the kingdom is present in the person of its
king, Jesus. However, the immediate context may favor the former
interpretation, namely, that the kingdom is spiritual and so not visible. If
this is the correct view, the pronoun "you" in the phrase "within
you" is to be taken in a general sense rather than as referring to
the unbelieving Pharisees personally. The kingdom certainly was not
within them. [NIV SB]
It seems better to take Jesus' reference to the invisible form
of His kingdom as "among" rather than "within" the Pharisees who
questioned Him. The kingdom was already present, in the person of the King.
It was not present in pomp or glory. It was not present in power.
All the emblems of worldly rule had been discarded. And the
Pharisees, deceived by the phantoms they pursued, simply could not
recognize the kingdom when it came.
What a lesson for us. God's kingdom is among us too. Christ is
here, hidden but present in His church and in His people. Christ is
here, in the needy and the oppressed. Christ is here, in the hopeless
and the weak. Let's never be deceived, as were the Pharisees, by
worldly wealth, by buildings, or by pomp. God's kingdom is among us, as
Christ expresses His love in the ministry of His people to all. [The
365-Day Devotional Commentary]
Some versions say "the Kingdom of God is among you"; the word
can be translated either way. If Jesus meant a kingdom within, He
was emphasizing that it would begin with spiritual change in His
followers. If He meant a kingdom among them, He was saying that He, the
King, was in their midst. Perhaps He chose a word with both meanings
because both possibilities were true. [Life Application SB]
The kingdom of God was among the Jews, or rather within some of
them. It was a spiritual kingdom, set up in the heart by the power of
Divine grace. [Matthew Henry Commentary]
The Pharisees were expecting the Messiah to come in power
overthrowing the Roman empire and its dominion over them and to set up God's
kingdom on earth giving them high seats of power and authority over the
kingdom. Christ saw that their real need was Him in there hearts if they
were going to be ready when He did come in His glory at the second
advent. Thus He said "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the
kingdom of God is within you." Then He proceeds to discuss the
importance of having this born again experience when He does come for the
second time. DA506-510
Rom 14:17 (KJV) For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Joy is the customary way of life of those who have received the
Spirit. See Gal.5:22 & Act.13:52 note. The Spirit transforms those in
whom He lives. We may have lived without joy, or only with the kind
of joy which comes from having selfish desires fulfilled. The
Spirit transforms us into people who have joy because we have found our
true destiny. The joy we have, not the legalistic rules we follow,
show we are Christ's.
The kingdom of God means joy in the Holy Spirit. All who belong
to God's rule have that joy as a fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22).
The value of the kingdom of God cannot be compared to earthly
treasures. God's kingdom produces the spiritual - and enduring - treasures
of righteousness (right living among people), peace (well-being in
all relationships), and joy. These spiritual treasures should not be
traded for earthly riches which soon pass away. Our relationships with
other people should show our love for them and our concentration on
spiritual treasures rather than on earthly pleasures. Compare Mat.6:33.
[Disciple's SB mod]
Jesus was talking about the KINGDOM OF GRACE which is set up
within an individual Christian life. The KINGDOM OF GLORY is the
revelation of Christ in the clouds of heaven when He comes back the second
time. But it is the kingdom of grace within which constitutes present
power and victory in the Christian life. This one step alone will
settle all of the problems that might develop within and around us.
Jesus, in Mat.6:33, said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his
righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." The Inside
Report by Joe Crews