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Luke 17:20-21

The Coming of the Kingdom

17:20 Now at one point 1  the Pharisees 2  asked Jesus 3  when the kingdom of God 4  was coming, so he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs 5  to be observed, 17:21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is 6  in your midst.” 7 

1 tn The words “at one point” are supplied to indicate that the following incident is not necessarily in chronological sequence with the preceding event.

2 sn See the note on Pharisees in 5:17.

3 tn Grk “having been asked by the Pharisees.” The passive construction has been translated as an active one in keeping with contemporary English style, and the direct object, Jesus, has been supplied from the context.

4 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21.

5 tn Or “is not coming in a way that it can be closely watched” (L&N 24.48). Although there are differing interpretations of what this means, it probably refers to the cosmic signs often associated with the kingdom’s coming in the Jewish view (1 En. 91, 93; 2 Bar. 53—74). See D. L. Bock, Luke (BECNT), 2:1412-14, also H. Riesenfeld, TDNT 8:150.

6 tn This is a present tense in the Greek text. In contrast to waiting and looking for the kingdom, it is now available.

7 tn This is a far better translation than “in you.” Jesus would never tell the hostile Pharisees that the kingdom was inside them. The reference is to Jesus present in their midst. He brings the kingdom. Another possible translation would be “in your grasp.” For further discussion and options, see D. L. Bock, Luke (BECNT), 2:1414-19.

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