As we go through the Gospel of Luke, we’re now in the middle of chapter 17. Jesus begins to talk about His return as King. I want to take some time to get a detailed look at this portion of Scripture.
I believe there are some things about the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ that we’ve lost sight of. There are some very surprising things that Jesus said in this text. But first, He had to correct the Pharisees’ view of the kingdom.
Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
Luke 17:20-21 NIV
The Pharisees were always looking for an occasion to accuse Jesus. They wanted to find something against Him. So, they came up with this question. When is the kingdom coming?
They knew that the Messiah was supposed to establish the kingdom. So, they decided to see how smart He was.
Please understand what these men were doing. They didn’t want to believe in Him. They weren’t looking for the arrival of the kingdom of God. They were just looking for a chance to test the Lord and to trick Him into saying something that would open Him up to some accusation.
How does Jesus respond to their question? In dealing with these men, He turns the tables on them and gives them an answer that refers to the spiritual kingdom instead of the physical. The Lord’s exhortation to them is that you will not find it by careful observation.
They first needed to understand what “kingdom” means. A kingdom can be any place. As I’ve explained a few times in this blog, a king-dom is the domain, or place of dominion, of a king. It’s any place or person over which the King has authority.
So, if the King of kings has authority in your heart, that’s where the kingdom of God is. Wherever the King has authority to rule is where the kingdom has been established. The kingdom of God could be among you or in you. It all depends upon whether or not you have received the King.
If you’re submitted to the King, you’re a part of the kingdom. If you’re not submitted to the King, then you are not in the kingdom and the kingdom is not in you. Instead, you will find that the kingdom of God is among you, just like in the parable of the weeds and the wheat (Matthew 13:36-43).
The wheat is a part of the kingdom, the weeds aren’t. Jesus was explaining the same concept to these Pharisees. He gives them the spiritual truth even though it wasn’t what they wanted to hear. They were asking Him for the physical manifestation of the kingdom.
The same applies to us today. Many believers want to receive the blessings of the kingdom without submitting to the King. We need to learn that you can’t have one without the other.
That’s really the basis of a question that Jesus asked earlier in this Gospel.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
Luke 6:46 NIV
The very fact that we call Jesus Christ “Lord”, assumes that He has total authority over our lives. If there is any aspect of our life that we keep control over, then He’s not Lord of us. Lordship is all or nothing. That’s something we need to realize in the church.
Too many believers think that God’s kingdom operates by voting or popular opinion. Far from it. God sets the standard. He points the direction. We say, “Yes and amen!” and follow in obedience.
That’s the kingdom of God. That’s how we find peace and fulfillment in His presence.
Question: What does it mean to be submitted to Christ as King?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi