St Luke 17:20-37

20 Interrogatus autem a pharisæis: Quando venit regnum Dei? respondens eis, dixit: Non venit regnum Dei cum observatione: 21 neque dicent: Ecce hic, aut ecce illic. Ecce enim regnum Dei intra vos est. 22 Et ait ad discipulos suos: Venient dies quando desideretis videre unum diem Filii hominis, et non videbitis. 23 Et dicent vobis: Ecce hic, et ecce illic. Nolite ire, neque sectemini: 24 nam, sicut fulgur coruscans de sub cælo in ea quæ sub cælo sunt, fulget: ita erit Filius hominis in die sua. 25 Primum autem oportet illum multa pati, et reprobari a generatione hac. 26 Et sicut factum est in diebus Noë, ita erit et in diebus Filii hominis: 27 edebant et bibebant: uxores ducebant et dabantur ad nuptias, usque in diem, qua intravit Noë in arcam: et venit diluvium, et perdidit omnes. 28 Similiter sicut factum est in diebus Lot: edebant et bibebant, emebant et vendebant, plantabant et ædificabant: 29 qua die autem exiit Lot a Sodomis, pluit ignem et sulphur de cælo, et omnes perdidit: 30 secundum hæc erit qua die Filius hominis revelabitur. 31 In illa hora, qui fuerit in tecto, et vasa ejus in domo, ne descendat tollere illa: et qui in agro, similiter non redeat retro. 32 Memores estote uxoris Lot. 33 Quicumque quæsierit animam suam salvam facere, perdet illam: et quicumque perdiderit illam, vivificabit eam. 34 Dico vobis: In illa nocte erunt duo in lecto uno: unus assumetur, et alter relinquetur: 35 duæ erunt molentes in unum: una assumetur, et altera relinquetur: 36 duo in agro: unus assumetur, et alter relinquetur. 37 Respondentes dicunt illi: Ubi Domine? Qui dixit illis: Ubicumque fuerit corpus, illuc congregabuntur et aquilæ.

[20] And being asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come? he answered them, and said: The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:[21] Neither shall they say: Behold here, or behold there. For lo, the kingdom of God is within you. [22] And he said to his disciples: The days will come, when you shall desire to see one day of the Son of man; and you shall not see it. [23] And they will say to you: See here, and see there. Go ye not after, nor follow them: [24] For as the lightning that lighteneth from under heaven, shineth unto the parts that are under heaven, so shall the Son of man be in his day. [25] But first he must suffer many things, and be rejected by this generation.[26] And as it came to pass in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. [27] They did eat and drink, they married wives, and were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark: and the flood came and destroyed them all. [28] Likewise as it came to pass, in the days of Lot: they did eat and drink, they bought and sold, they planted and built. [29] And in the day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. [30] Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man shall be revealed.[31] In that hour, he that shall be on the housetop, and his goods in the house, let him not go down to take them away: and he that shall be in the field, in like manner, let him not return back. [32] Remember Lot' s wife. [33] Whosoever shall seek to save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose it, shall preserve it. [34] I say to you: in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. [35] Two women shall be grinding together: the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left: two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.[36] They answering, say to him: Where, Lord? [37] Who said to them: Wheresoever the body shall be, thither will the eagles also be gathered together.


Ver. 20.—And when He was demanded of the Pharisees. The Kingdom of Israel, which had now indeed fallen, but which was to be raised up again by the Messiah.

The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. “Cometh,” that is, will come. It is a Hebraism, in which the present is put for the future. Observe that Christ said, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” This Pharisee, therefore, either from a desire of knowledge, or to mock Jesus, said, “Thou Jesus preachest Thy kingdom in heaven, but when will it come? When shall we see Thee reigning in it? When shall we see Israel, who is now subjugated by the Romans, breathe again through Thy means and recover her liberty and live happily under Thee as her kin?” “They asked Him when He would reign,” says Euthymius, “as to deride Him, who appeared as one of low estate.” But Christ answered mildly and briefly at first as in this verse, but afterwards at more length (verse 22 to the end of the chapter). 

He spoke of the glory of His kingdom in the heavens, to which that of grace should first be subordinated on earth, for we proceed to glory through grace. He said therefore, The kingdom of God. The kingdom of God and the Messiah cometh not with previous preparation, nor with the outward pomp of soldiers, horses, and chariots, as you can see, from itself. You know a king to be at hand when you see his attendants preceding him. With such as these you thought that the kingdom of the Messiah would come, and you look for it as now nigh at hand.

Ver.21.—Neither shall they say. They shall not say, In Jerusalem is the royal throne of Christ, He reigns there in magnificence like another Solomon; because Christ does not reign on a bodily throne, but in a spiritual soul, which by His grace He rules and directs into all good, and so guides it to the kingdom of heaven. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, Rom. xiv. 17. I would understand all these sayings of the same thing: that is, of the first Advent of Christ in which He reigns in the souls of the faithful as a king through His grace; for thus do His sayings, as a whole, best agree together and cohere. Some, however, understand the kingdom of glory, because He will adorn even the bodies of the just with His own brightness, and other gifts, as all may see.

Secondly, This kingdom of God is within us: that is, it is in our own power if we embrace the faith and grace of Christ, and work with Him, for, as Titus says, “It is of our own will and power to receive the kingdom of God.”

Thirdly, The kingdom of God is within us, because Christ, as our God and king, lives among us preaching and endowing this kingdom. Thus speaks Theophylact: “The kingdom of God on the whole is to live after the manner of the angels, when nothing of this world occupies our souls. We need no long time and no distant journey, for faith is near us, and after faith the divine life.” The same also said the Apostle, “The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, that is, the word of faith,” Rom. x. 8. For to believe, and to walk worthily of our belief and of our calling, is within us. The Pharisees therefore derided the Lord, but He turned them into ridicule, showing that they were ignorant of that which was within them and which is very easy to any one who wishes for it. “For now when I am in the midst of you, you are able to possess the kingdom of God if you believe in Me and will live according to My commandments.”...

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