“Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” ~ Luke 17:20-21
~ In my previous post on this topic, I mentioned that Jesus did not come to set up any sort of militaristic earthly kingdom. I want to reinforce that point by looking at the verse above.
In the above verse, Jesus is addressing some Pharisees with whom He was at loggerheads with. Here He points out to them that His growing reign will not be one accompanied by the noisy clash of swords nor the explosion of bombs. Rather it will be something that will grow silently, invisibly and I would say, at times somewhat inconspicuously.
Now – As an aside I also want to mention that the sentence, “… the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” is translated in some Bibles as “ the kingdom of God is in within you.” That is not the best translation. It is better to translate it as “in the midst of you” or “among you”. There are a number of New Agers and Hindu gurus who use this verse as a proof-text to argue that Jesus taught divinity is within. This is incorrect.
Jesus was addressing some jealous and venial Pharisees who would eventually get Him killed. He was not telling this corrupt lot that divinity was within them. What Jesus meant by saying that “ the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” was that He, Himself was the Kingdom of God and that He was in their midst. He was standing among them. See the painting above.