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§ 213. The Kingdom of God comet/h not with Observation. (Luke, xvii., 20.)

When the Pharisees demanded of him when the kingdom of God should appear, he assured them, “The kingdom of God cometh not with outward show” (cannot be outwardly seen by human eyes);577577   The antithesis is, that it reveals itself invisibly, so as to be seen only by the eye of faith.neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is among you.”578578   The words ἐντὸς ὑμῶν may, indeed, mean “within you,” as they are commonly interpreted; but this would not suit the persons addressed, for they were as yet strangers to the kingdom of God, the foundation of faith not having been laid in their hearts. The passage, thus understood, would have been applicable only to believers. Christ would not have expressed himself in a way so liable to misconstruction and perversion on the part of the Pharisees. Had he meant to tell them that the kingdom of God must be prepared within their hearts, he would have warned them, instead of looking for its outward appearance, to strive to fit themselves for it by laying the only basis of which it admitted, in the dispositions of their hearts. Every thing is clear and natural if we take the words in the sense that we have assigned to them: “The kingdom of God is in your midst, if you will only recognize it. You must not seek at a distance what is already near; the kingdom of God has come in my ministry; and all that believe on me belong to it.” This agrees also with his usual mode of treating the Pharisees; he always pointed out to them the true meaning of his appearance. Cf. Matt., xii., 28; and p. 241, seq.

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