Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part LX: Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In His Teaching On The Coming Of God's Kingdom
(Luke 17:20-37)
  1. Introduction
    1. Liberal Theology has taught that Jesus' statement in Luke 17:21 that "the kingdom of God is within you" means He never anticipated a literal Messianic Kingdom as Premillennialists teach, but that man needed to look within for his own innate goodness, and foster it for the good of society as God's "kingdom"!
    2. Conversely, if Jesus is God's true Savior, we should expect His view of God's prophesied Kingdom to reflect the literal interpretation of God's written Word, and Luke 17:20-37 in its context does this!
    3. We view the passage for verification of Jesus' credentials as a truthful God's Savior for the world, and for application on living and preparing for the Kingdom of God as revealed in God's Word (as follows):
  2. Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In His Teaching On The Coming Of God's Kingdom.
    1. Jesus' Luke 17:20b-37 discussion about God's Kingdom arose in response to a question by the Pharisees on when that Kingdom would be instituted, Luke 17:20a.
    2. This question came in the context of Jewish belief about the Kingdom, the view that when the Messiah came, He would break the ruling power of the Roman Empire over Israel, and establish a material Kingdom on earth, cf. G. Campbell Morgan, The Gospel According To Luke, 1931, p. 199.
    3. In contrast to this view, Jesus said the Kingdom would not rise by an outward show of a coup, what "cometh not with observation" means in Luke 17:20b KJV; Ryrie St. Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Lk. 17:20.
    4. Similarly, He noted it was errant to think that the Messianic Kingdom would appear in some specific location on the earth as opposed to some other location or locations, Luke 17:21a.
    5. Rather, His Kingdom was "within you," Luke 17:21b, and we study the Greek text to clarify this phrase:
      1. The preposition entos as used with the plural noun, "you," refers to what is in the midst of a group of people versus what is within an individual, Ibid., Morgan, p. 200; U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966 ed., p. 283.
      2. Specifically, Jesus was not claiming that God's kingdom was within the hearts of His listeners, for that could not have been true since the Pharisees were notoriously unsaved people, cf. John 8:13, 44.
      3. Rather, He said the Messianic Kingdom was in their midst, that He as the Messiah was standing among them, offering His Kingdom, implying they to trust in Him as Messiah, Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Luke 17:21!
    6. Turning from the unbelieving Pharisees to His believing disciples, Jesus explained what the coming of His Messianic Kingdom would entail in view to Israel's current unbelief in Him, Luke 17:22-37:
      1. The Great Tribulation was coming when Israel would long for His Kingdom, but not see it, Lk. 17:22.
      2. Deceivers would use this desire to try to mislead them, but Jesus warned believers not to heed them, for His return to set up His Kingdom would be worldwide in its power and glory, Luke 17:23-24.
      3. However, Jesus had to suffer and be rejected of His generation of Jews before that time, Luke 17:25.
      4. Christ's return will be like God's judgment of the Genesis Flood and the fall of Sodom, Lk. 17:26-29: there will be worldwide trauma, so all men will need to heed God immediately and fully above all other earthly concerns or lose their lives as in the case of Lot's wife, Lk. 17:30-32 with Gen. 19:15-26!
      5. Accordingly, groups of people worldwide would be separated from each other in sudden judgment, some being sent to hell and others being left to enter Christ's Kingdom as believers, Luke 17:33-36.
      6. The Luke 17:37 cryptic phrase about vultures gathering over dead bodies likely teaches that wherever sinful decay exists, God will judge it much like vultures eat decaying flesh wherever it exists. Thus, Christ's return and judgment will apply to all men everywhere, no exceptions, Ibid., Morgan, p. 201.
      7. The key point is clear: the arrival of Christ's Messianic Kingdom at His Second Coming will be a worldwide, traumatic event that will demand that all men on earth immediately, fully submit to Christ!
Lesson: Jesus taught that His Messianic Kingdom would literally fulfill Old Testament prophecy, and that He was then presenting Himself as the Messiah. However, as Israel then rejected Him, He would set up His Kingdom at His return, and God would demand that all men fully, instantly submit to Christ.

Application: (1) May we trust in Jesus as God's true Messiah in His Scriptural view of His kingdom. (2) May we heed Christ today without delay for blessing in view of His coming, powerful Kingdom!