Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 17:20

Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Gospel;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Scofield Reference Index - Inspiration;   Thompson Chain Reference - Time-Seekers;   Unsparing Justice;   The Topic Concordance - Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ;   Kingdom of God;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Kingdom of god;   Son of man;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - King, Christ as;   Kingdom of God;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Eschatology;   Tribulation, the;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Dispensations;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Luke, Gospel of;   Observed, Signs to Be;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Blessedness;   Church;   Kingdom of God;   Matthew, Gospel According to;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Announcements of Death;   Character;   Discourse;   Entry into Jerusalem;   Eschatology (2);   Ideal;   Lightning ;   Lord's Prayer (Ii);   Luke, Gospel According to;   Man (2);   Observation;   Poet;   Prophet;   Self-Control;   Sin (2);   Trinity (2);   Worldliness (2);  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Demand;   Jesus Christ (Part 1 of 2);   Kingdom of God (of Heaven), the;   Observe;   Parousia;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Christianity in Its Relation to Judaism;   New Testament;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for October 12;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Cometh not with observation - With scrupulous observation. That this is the proper meaning of the original, μετα παρατηρησεως, Kypke and others have amply proved from the best Greek writers. As if he had said: "The kingdom of God, the glorious religion of the Messiah, does not come in such a way as to be discerned only by sagacious critics, or is only to be seen by those who are scrupulously watching for it; it is not of such a nature as to be confined to one place, so that men might say of it, Behold it is only here, or only there: for this kingdom of God is publicly revealed; and behold it is among you; I proclaim it publicly, and work those miracles which prove the kingdom of God is come; and none of these things are done in a corner."

Dr. Lightfoot has well observed that there are two senses especially in which the phrase "kingdom of heaven," is to be understood.

  1. The promulgation and establishment of the Christian religion.
  • The total overthrow of the Jewish polity.
  • The Jews imagined that when the Messiah should come he would destroy the Gentiles, and reign gloriously over the Jews: the very reverse of this, our Lord intimates, should be the case. He was about to destroy the whole Jewish polity, and reign gloriously among the Gentiles. Hence he mentions the case of the general deluge, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. As if he had said: "The coming of this kingdom shall be as fatal to you as the deluge was to the old world, and as the fire and brimstone from heaven were to Sodom and Gomorrah." Our Lord states that this kingdom of heaven was within them, i.e. that they themselves should be the scene of these desolations, as, through their disobedience and rebellion, they possessed the seeds of these judgments. See on Matthew 3:2; (note).

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    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-17.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    Was demanded - Was asked.

    Of the Pharisees - This was a matter of much importance to them, and they had taught that it would come with parade and pomp. It is not unlikely that they asked this merely in “contempt,” and for the purpose of drawing out something that would expose him to ridicule.

    The kingdom of God - The “reign” of God; or the dispensation under the Messiah. See the notes at Matthew 3:2.

    With observation - With scrupulous and attentive looking for it, or with such an appearance as to “attract” observation - that is, with pomp, majesty, splendor. He did not deny that, according to their views, the time was drawing near; but he denied that his kingdom would come in the “manner” in which they expected. The Messiah would “not” come with pomp like an earthly prince; perhaps not in such a manner as to be “discerned” by the eyes of sagacious and artful people, who were expecting him in a way agreeable to their own feelings. The kingdom of God is “within” people, and it makes its way, not by pomp and noise, but by silence, decency, and order, 1 Corinthians 14:40.

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    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-17.html. 1870.

    Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

    And being asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God cometh, he answered them, and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you.

    Being asked by the Pharisees ... Some have made it out that these were sincere questioners; but all of the evidence is against it. "Their question amounted to a request for a `sign from heaven'."[28] Ash also saw this as "a rejection of the `signs' Jesus had already performed, and of what he had (already) said upon the subject."[29] Geldenhuys thought the Pharisees might have been sincere; but the view here is that these old enemies of Jesus were up to their old tricks. "The question was probably a mocking one, `When is this kingdom of God of which thou sayest so much, and of which thou claimest to be King, visibly to appear?'"[30]

    Cometh not with observation ... means that the kingdom would not visibly appear at all. There would be no proclamation of a king, in the political sense, no definition of boundaries, no setting up of any kind of material state at all. Hobbs noted that the word here translated "observation" is from the vocabulary of Greek medical writers (Luke being a physician), and that the word meant "closely watching the symptoms of heart disease."[31]

    The kingdom of God is within you ... Special attention is due this statement, because of the error that is associated with it in popular thought. Summers declared: "One thing only can be derived from this ... Jesus' emphasis of the kingdom as internal and spiritual, not external and material."[32] There is an element of truth in such a comment; but it must not be understood as teaching that the kingdom is simply something that gets into men. Summers appears to have had something like that in mind, basing his conclusion upon the fact that the word here translated "within" occurs only twice in the New Testament, the other instance being Matthew 23:26 where "the word refers to the inside of a cup or a dish." This, however, is not the whole story. The word in Matthew (used with an article) is a noun, and here it is an adverb; and W. E. Vine particularly stressed that, in Luke 17:21, "The English Revised Version margin, "in the midst of," is to be preferred. The kingdom of God was not in the hearts of the Pharisees!"[33]

    Geldenhuys has an especially pertinent comment on this, thus:

    The contention of some critics that the Saviour by these words taught that the kingdom of God is merely an inner, spiritual condition in the human heart, must very definitely be rejected. Such a condition may qualify for entrance into the kingdom, but it is not itself the kingdom ... It is not ... a state of mind ... nor a disposition of men. The kingdom of God is a fact of history, not psychology ... Jesus speaks everywhere of men entering the kingdom, not of the kingdom entering men!"[34]

    Lo here ... lo there ... In the next paragraph (Luke 17:22-37), Jesus explained that the external, visible "signs" so desired by the Pharisees were to be seen, not during the forthcoming church phase of the kingdom of God, but at the Second Advent. We agree with Barclay that " Luke 17:22-27 speak of the Second Coming of Jesus."[35] That there are, in the very nature of such a passage, difficulties that we cannot fully understand should not deter us. The things here prophesied shall surely come to pass.

    [28] E. J. Tinsley, The Gospel according to Luke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969), p. 166.

    [29] Anthony Lee Ash, op. cit., p. 80.

    [30] J. R. Dummelow, op. cit., p. 762.

    [31] Herschel H. Hobbs, op. cit., p. 251.

    [32] Ray Summers, op. cit., p. 202.

    [33] W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1962), p. 224.

    [34] Norval Geldenhuys, op. cit., pp. 443-444.

    [35] William Barclay, op. cit., p. 229.

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    Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
    Bibliographical Information
    Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-17.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    And when he was demanded of the Pharisees,.... Or "asked" by them; who expected the Messiah, and that when he was come he would set up a temporal kingdom, and deliver them from the Roman yoke; when they should enjoy great liberty, peace, and prosperity; so that they might put the following question to Christ in a serious manner, agreeably to these expectations: or it may be occasioned by the frequent mention that had been made of the kingdom of God by John, and Christ, and his disciples in their ministry, and so be put in a way of derision; or, as most of their questions were, with a view to ensnare or puzzle:

    when the kingdom of God should come; either the kingdom that God had promised, or the kingdom of the Messiah, who is truly God, that had been so often spoken of by John the Baptist, Christ, and his apostles. The Ethiopic version reads, "the kingdom of heaven", which is the same with the kingdom of God; for these phrases are promiscuously used. This question they need not have asked, had they carefully attended to the writings of the Old Testament they had in their hands; and had they diligently observed the signs of the times, in which they lived; and had they seriously regarded the ministry and miracles of Christ among them; from these things, they might have concluded, not only that the time was at hand, when the kingdom of God should be set up, but that it was already come: they might have observed, that not only the harbinger of the Messiah was come, who was John the Baptist; but that the Messiah himself was among them, by the many wonderful things which he wrought among them, and by the many Scripture prophecies which were fulfilled in him; they might have seen that the sceptre was manifestly departing from Judah; that all power and authority were falling into the hands of the Romans; and that only a mere shadow and appearance of it were among them; they might have known, by calculation, that the time fixed in Daniel's prophecy, for the coming of the Messiah, was now up, and therefore he must be come; and they had very good reason to believe that Jesus was he.

    He answered them and said, the kingdom of God cometh not with observation; or so as to be observed by the eye, or to be distinguished when it comes as the kingdoms of this world, by outward pomp and splendour, by temporal riches, external honours, and worldly power and grandeur; though it so far came with observation, that had they had eyes to see, they might have observed that it was come, by what they saw done by Christ, particularly the power that he showed in the dispossessing devils out of the bodies of men; see Matthew 12:28. The Syriac version reads, "with observations"; and some understand the words of the observances of the ceremonies of the law, of days, months, and years, and the difference of meats, and the like, which the kingdom of God is not in, and which were to cease upon its coming; but the former sense is best.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-17.html. 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    7 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with b observation:

    (7) The kingdom of God is not discerned by many although it is most present before their eyes, because they foolishly persuade themselves that it is to come with outward pomp.

    (b) With any outward pomp and show of majesty to be known by: for there were still many plain and evident tokens by which men might have understood that Christ was the Messiah, whose kingdom had been so long looked for: but he speaks in this place of those signs which the Pharisees dreamed of, who looked for an earthly Messianic kingdom.

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    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/luke-17.html. 1599-1645.

    John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

    20. And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

    [The kingdom of god cometh not with observation.] The kingdom of God, or of heaven, hath especially a twofold distinct sense in the Holy Scriptures. In some places it signifies the propagation of the gospel by the Messias and his followers, and that especially amongst the Gentiles: in other places it denotes the Messiah's victory and vengeance upon the Jews, the enemies of this gospel; but in the Jewish schools this was their conceit of him: that when he came he should cut off all those nations that obeyed not his, i.e., the Jewish law; redeeming Israel from the Gentile yoke; establishing a kingdom and age amongst them that should be crowned with all kind of delights whatever. In this they were miserably deceived, that they thought the Gentiles were first to be destroyed by him, and then that he himself would reign amongst the Israelites. Which, in truth, fell out just contrary; he was first to overthrow Israel, and then to reign amongst the Gentiles.

    It is easy to conceive in what sense the Pharisees propounded that question, When the kingdom of God should come? that is, when all those glorious things should be accomplished which they expected from the Messias? and, consequently, we may as well conceive, from the contexture of his discourse, in what sense our Saviour made his reply: "You inquire when the Messias will come: His coming will be as in the days of Noah, and as in the days of Lot. For as when Noah entered the ark the world perished by a deluge, and as when Lot went out of Sodom those five cities were overthrown, 'so shall it be in the day when the Son of Man shall be revealed.'" So that it is evident he speaks of the kingdom of God in that sense, as it signifies that dreadful revenge he would ere long take of that provoking nation and city of the Jews. The kingdom of God will come when Jerusalem shall be made like Sodom, verse 29, when it shall be made a carcase, verse 37.

    It is plain to every eye, that the cutting-off of that place and nation is emphatically called his kingdom, and his coming in glory. Nor indeed without reason: for before he wasted the city and subverted that nation, he had subdued all nations under the empire and obedience of the gospel; according to what he foretold, "That the gospel of the kingdom should be preached in all the world, and then should the end [of Jerusalem] come." And when he had obtained his dominion amongst the Gentiles, what then remained towards the consummation of his kingdom and victories, but to cut off his enemies the Jews, who would not that he should rule over them? Of this kingdom of God he speaks in this place, not answering according to that vain apprehension the Pharisee had when he propounded the question, but according to the thing itself and the truth of it. There are two things he saith of this kingdom:

    1. That it comes not with observation. Not but that it might be seen and conspicuous, but that they would not see and observe it. Which security and supineness of theirs he both foretells and taxeth in other places once and again.

    2. He further tells them, this kingdom of God is within you: you are the scene of these triumphs. And whereas your expectancies are of that kind, that you say, Behold here a token of the Messias in the subduing of such a nation, and, Behold there in the subduing of another; they will be all in vain, for it is within you; within, and upon your own nation, that these things must be done. I would lay the emphasis in the word you, when commonly it is laid in within.

    Besides, those things which follow, verse 22, do very much confirm it, that Christ speaks of the kingdom of God in that sense wherein we have supposed it: they are spoken to his disciples "that the days will come, wherein they shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, but shall not see it." The days of the Son of man, in the Jewish style, are the days of the Messias: days, wherein they promise themselves nothing but pleasing, prosperous, and gay enjoyments: and, questionless, the Pharisees put this question under this notion only. But our Saviour so applies the terms of the question to the truth, and to his own purpose, that they signify little else but vengeance and wrath and affliction. And it was so far from it, that the Jews should see their expected pleasures, that the disciples themselves should see nothing but affliction, though under another notion.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-17.html. 1675.

    Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

    With observation (μετα παρατησεωςmeta paratēseōs). Late Greek word from παρατηρεωparatēreō to watch closely. Only here in the N.T. Medical writers use it of watching the symptoms of disease. It is used also of close astronomical observations. But close watching of external phenomena will not reveal the signs of the kingdom of God.

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    The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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    Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-17.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

    Vincent's Word Studies

    With observation ( μετὰ παρατηρήσεως )

    Only here in New Testament. The progress of the kingdom cannot be defined by visible marks like that of an earthly kingdom. Its growth in the world is a process of pervasion, like the working of the leaven through the lump.

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    Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-17.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

    The kingdom of God cometh not with observation — With such outward pomp as draws the observation of every one.

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    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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    Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-17.html. 1765.

    The Fourfold Gospel

    And being asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God cometh1, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation2:

    1. And being asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God cometh. The question of the Pharisees was doubtless a covert criticism. More than three years before this Jesus had begun to say that the kingdom of heaven was at hand (Matthew 4:17); and they thought that after all this preparation it was high time that the kingdom should commence.

    2. He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. The Pharisees were looking for some manifestation of the sovereignty of God in the realm of the civil and the external, which would raise the Jewish nation to conspicuous supremacy, but they are told that the work of the kingdom is internal and spiritual (John 3:8; John 18:36; Romans 10:8; Colossians 1:27), and that its effects are not such as can be located in space. They were seeking honors and joys, and would find contempt and sorrow (Amos 5:18-20).

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    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
    Bibliographical Information
    J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-17.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

    Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

    With observation; with circumstances of pomp and ceremony.

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    Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-17.html. 1878.

    Scofield's Reference Notes

    observation

    Or, outward show.

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    Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Luke 17:20". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/luke-17.html. 1917.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

    Ver. 20. When the kingdom of God, &c.] This they asked in scorn: q.d. You tell us often of the kingdom of God, and that it is at hand; but when comes it once? All things continue as they did, &c.

    Cometh not with observation] That is, with outward pomp or superstitious seeking after.

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    Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-17.html. 1865-1868.

    Sermon Bible Commentary

    Luke 17:20

    Secrecy and Suddenness of Divine Visitations.

    I. It is impossible that the visitations of God should be other than secret and sudden, considering how the world goes on in every age. Men who are plunged in the pursuits of active life are no judges of its course and tendency on the whole. They confuse great events with little, and measure the importance of objects, as in perspective, by the mere standard of nearness or remoteness. It is only at a distance that one can take in the outlines and features of a whole country. It is but holy Daniel, solitary among princes, or Elijah, the recluse of Mount Carmel, who can withstand Baal, or forecast the time of God's providences among the nations. To the multitude all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. The business of state affairs, the movements of society, the course of nature, proceed as ever, till the moment of Christ's coming. Pride infatuates man, and self-indulgence and luxury work their way unseen—like some smouldering fire, which for a time leaves the outward form of things unaltered. At length the decayed mass cannot hold together, and breaks by its own weight, or on some slight and accidental external violence. This inward corruption of a nation seems to be meant in our Lord's words when He says of Jerusalem, "Where soever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together."

    II. From the occurrences of this day let us take comfort when we despond about the state of the Church. Perhaps we see not God's tokens; we see neither prophet nor teacher remaining to His people; darkness falls over the earth, and no protesting voice is heard. Yet, granting things to be at their very worst, still, when Christ was presented in the Temple, the age knew as little of it as it knows of His providence now. Rather, the worse our condition is, the nearer to us is the advent of our Deliverer. Even though He is silent, doubt not that His army is on the march towards us. He is coming through the sky, and has even now His camp upon the outskirts of our world. The greater His delay, the heavier will be His vengeance, and the more complete the deliverance of His people.

    J. H. Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. ii., p. 107.


    I. "Not with observation." "God manifest in the flesh" was a phenomenon the like of which had never yet been seen, and which throws every other event in the annals of man utterly into the shade. And what amount of public notice did it attract? The villagers of Bethlehem could find no room for the heavenly Visitant in their hostelry; they little heeded the manger-grotto outside where He, the, Infinite in human form, was laid alongside of the ox and the ass. Truly then the kingdom of God had come, but "not with observation."

    II. And when He who was the Centre and Sun of the Church, Jesus our Lord, had been crucified and had risen and founded His kingdom as His own Church, it still for many a year continued to illustrate this its early and Divine characteristic: it came among men "not with observation."

    III. As with the Church so with the soul, the law holds good that the kingdom comes not with observation. The great change of conversion most assuredly "cometh not with observation." All the more solemn and precious incidents in the life of the spirit of man do not court observation, but they elude, they shrink from it.

    H. P. Liddon, Penny Pulpit, No. 1,126.

    We must be careful to distinguish concerning what kingdom and what coming our Saviour is speaking.

    I. The Pharisees—who in common not only with their own countrymen, but almost with the whole Eastern world, were looking at that moment, though not according to knowledge, for the expectation of Israel—demanded one day of Christ "when the kingdom of God should come." And to them He made the answer, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation." Now the answer must have run in the line of the question; and therefore it must have referred to the first and then expected advent of our Lord; and it was concerning the establishment of the kingdom of grace that He said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation."

    II. It is interesting and very important to trace—for it contains a deep, spiritual lesson—how unobservableness is the characteristic of all God's great approaches to man. The workings of God's grace are, for the most part, not only beyond but contrary to, our calculation. God is mounting up to His grand design; but we cannot see the steps of His ascent. We look back, but we marvel at the line of the processes; and as each came in its order it was so simple that it escaped our observation, or so minute that it baffled our perception.

    III. It seems to be the general rule of all that is sublime that its motions shall be unseen. Who can discern the movements of the planets—whose evolutions we admire, whose courses guide our path? The day breaks, and the day sets, but who can fix the boundaries of the night, the boundaries of the darkness? You may watch the departing of summer beauty— as the leaves are swept by the autumn wind—but can the eye trace its movements? Does not everything on the earth and in the earth proclaim that "the kingdom of God cometh not with observation"? We must remember that the principle of God's universal government is to produce the grandest issues by the unlikeliest of means. Only give your best and do your best, and thus, by these little ripples, the great tide of truth sets in upon this world. Great opportunities pass by noiselessly, the highest claims plead quietly, and the deepest responsibilities roll in their stillnesses—"for the kingdom of God cometh not with observation."

    J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 2nd series, p. 257.


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    Bibliographical Information
    Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/luke-17.html.

    Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

    The generality of the Jews, and particularly the Pharisees, expected that the promised Messiah should be a temporal prince, and deliver them from the Roman yoke, under which they groaned. Accordingly the Pharisees here demanded of our Saviour, When the kingdom of God, of which he had so often spoken, should come? Christ answers them, That his kingdom cometh not with observation: that is, with pomp and splendor, which men may observe and gaze upon; but he tells them, the kingdom of God was now among them, by the ministry of John the Baptist and himself; and was already set up in the hearts of his people, by the secret operations of his Holy Spirit.

    Learn hence, that the false notion which the Jews had of the Messiah and his kindgdom, (that he himself was to be a temporal prince, and his kingdom a secular kingdom, to be set up with a great deal of noise, pomp, and splendor,) did hinder the generality of them from believing in him.

    Secondly, that the kingdom which Christ designed to set up in the world, was altogether spiritual, not obvious to human senses, but managed in the hearts of his people by the sceptre of his Spirit. My kingdom cometh not with observation, but is within you.

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    Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/luke-17.html. 1700-1703.

    Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

    20.] The question certainly is asked by the Pharisees, as all their questions were asked, with no good end in view: to entangle our Lord, or draw from Him some direct announcement which might be matter of accusation.

    μετὰ παρατηρ.] with (accompanied with) anticipation, or observation. The cognate verb is used ch. Luke 14:1 of the Pharisees ‘watching’ Jesus.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-17.html. 1863-1878.

    Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

    Luke 17:20. πότε, when) They ask rather concerning the time, than concerning the place, which without dispute (or distinction) they supposed would be Jerusalem. The Lord answers both concerning the time and concerning the place, but in a way widely different from what they were supposing. Comp. Luke 17:37, ch. Luke 19:11, et seqq. [All along from Luke 17:20 to ch. Luke 18:14 there is one continued reply to that question of theirs; and those particulars which we have in ch. Luke 17:22-37, were repeated by the Saviour on the occasion recorded in Matthew 24, etc.—Harm., p. 419. It is a course full of danger, to neglect present duties, and then to extend the exercise of our prudence forward to what is future.—V. g.]— μετὰ παρατηρήσεως, with observation) with such pageant as that one can gradually and successively observe the πότε and the ὧδε, the time and the place. The correlatives are: the messengers, whom these who are observing [i.e. who are on the look out, as if the kingdom of God came with observation] would wish to say, here or there: and these observers themselves, who require to know the here or there.

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    Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-17.html. 1897.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    Whether the Pharisees spake this deriding him, who in his discourses had been often mentioning a kingdom of God to come, or in simple seriousness, for they generally expected the coming of a Messiah, and a secular kingdom, which he should exercise in the earth, particularly over the Jews, (having first destroyed the Gentiles), is very hard to determine; their mean opinion of Christ inclineth some to think the former; their generally received opinion about the kingdom of the Messiah giveth some countenance to the latter. Our Saviour’s answer fitteth them, whatsoever they intended by their question:

    The kingdom of God (saith he) cometh not meta parathrhsewv, with observation. The word signifies a scrupulous and superstitious observation. Thus the verb from whence it cometh signifieth, Galatians 4:10. The verb also signifies a captious observation, Mark 3:2 Luke 6:7 14:1 Luke 20:20 Acts 9:24. But that sense cannot agree to the noun used in this place. The generality of the best interpreters agree the sense here to be, with external pomp and splendour; and therefore Beza expounds the noun here by a periphrasis, ita ut observari poterit, in such a manner as it can be observed. As if he had said, Men have taken up a false notion of my kingdom, as if it were to be a secular kingdom to be set up in the world, with a great deal of noise, and pomp, and splendour, so as men may observe it and gaze upon its coming. But that which I call my kingdom is not of this nature. Our Lord expounds it in the next verse:

    The kingdom of God is within you; it is of a spiritual nature, not obvious to human senses, but exercised over the hearts of my people. Whether our Saviour speaketh this in reply to the Pharisees, or (as some think) beginning a discourse with his disciples, which he further pursueth, I cannot determine.

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    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 17:20". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-17.html. 1685.

    Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

    когда придет Царствие Божие Возможно, уже заключив, что Он не Мессия, они спрашивали с издевкой.

    не придет... приметным образом Фарисеи полагали, что победа Мессии будет незамедлительной. Они ждали, чтобы Он пришел, свергнул власть Рима и установил Тысячелетнее Царство. План Христа был совершенно другим. Иисус являлся началом эры, в которой Царствие будет проявляться при правлении Бога в человеческих сердцах через веру в Спасителя (ст. 21; ср. Рим. 14:17). Это Царство не ограничится особым географическим расположением и не будет видимо человеческому глазу. Оно придет тихо, незаметно и без обычных пышности и великолепия, связанных с приходом царя. Иисус не говорил, что этим отменяются ветхозаветные обетования относительно земного царства. Скорее это земное, видимое проявление царства еще впереди (Отк. 20:1-6).

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    MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-17.html.

    Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

    Kingdom of God; the reign of the Messiah. Matthew 3:2.

    Not with observation; not with outward pomp and display, so that you can mark its progress, as you would that of an army, and say of it, "Lo here!" or, "Lo there!"

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    Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-17.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    The coming of the internal kingdom explained to the Pharisees, Luke 17:20-21.

    20.He was demanded of the Pharisees—John the Baptist had opened his preaching with the proclamation of the kingdom of God at hand; Christ had done the same, and his apostles had followed their example. These Pharisees then desire Jesus to tell them when this kingdom shall arrive. Its phenomena should, before a great while, begin to show themselves.

    Not with observation—That is, of the firmamental phenomena. The eclipse of the moon would come to them by observation or watching. The new moon of the Passover was watched for by the Jews with much exactness. So the Jews expected that the Messiah’s kingdom would show its sign in the skies, and then the face of the world be changed and renewed. The dead would be raised; and a Messiah, all glorious and heroic, would lead the armies of Israel to the destruction of the foes of God. Hence, as prophecy seemed to point to that day as its era, doubtless there was much observation of the signs of the sky.

     

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    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-17.html. 1874-1909.

    Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

    Luke 17:20. Asked by the Pharisees. To entangle Him, for they were seeking occasion to kill Him. Even in Perea, their enmity had been lately increased (see the last discourse, chaps. 15, 16). Possibly there was also mockery in the question, but the Pharisees would in that case have scrupulously avoided the expression: the kingdom of God, which means the actual kingdom of the Messiah.

    Cometh not with observation, i.e., when men are looking for it. The coming of the kingdom of God will not be of such a character that men can see outward tokens of preparation for it, and determine when it is to come.

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    Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-17.html. 1879-90.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    When the kingdom of God should come? or when is it to come? when will the Messias come? The Pharisees might say this in a mocking and an insulting manner, to signify that he could not be their true Messias. --- The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; that it, so as to be observed; not with great marks of temporal power, as you imagine. (Witham) --- The Pharisees expected a Messias powerful according to this world, a conqueror, a monarch, a revenger of the injuries of Israel; one who would restore them to liberty, and bless them with temporal goods and prosperity. In Jesus, they saw nothing, which corresponded to these magnificent hopes; and therefore asked him, by way of insult and reproach, when this kingdom of God would come, which he so often talked of and announced to his disciples. He answers them, that the manifestation of the Messias, and the establishment of his kingdom, shall not be effected in a conspicuous, splendid manner. It shall be brought about insensibly, and the accomplishment of the designs of the omnipotence of our Lord shall appear a casualty, and the effect of secondary causes. You shall not see the Messias coming at the head of armies, to spread terror and desolation. His arrival shall not be announced by ambassadors, &c. every thing in the establishment of my kingdom shall be the reverse of temporal power. (Calmet)

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    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-17.html. 1859.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    when He was demanded = having been asked.

    of = by. Greek. hupo. App-104.

    the Pharisees. Who were watching Him with hostile intent (Luke 6:7; Luke 14:1; Luke 20:20. Mark 3:2),

    the kingdom of God. See App-114.

    should come = is coming.

    observation = hostile watching. Greek. parateresis. Occurs only here. The verb pandereo is used always in a bad sense; and occurs only in Acts 9:24, and Galatians 4:10 to (observe), beside the four passages quoted above.

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    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-17.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

    And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation, [ meta (Greek #3326) parateereeseoos (Greek #3907)]. The word signifies 'watching' or 'lying in wait for a person or thing. In this sense, they "watched" our Lord once and again (Luke 14:1; Luke 20:20; Mark 3:2); and so they "watched" the gates to kill Paul (Acts 9:24). Here, the precise meaning would seem to be, The kingdom of God cometh not with 'watching' or 'lying in wait for it,' 'straining after it,' as for something outwardly imposing, and at once revealing itself. What follows confirms this.

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    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-17.html. 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (20) When he was demanded of the Pharisees.—The question may have been asked in a different tone, by different classes of those who bore the common name of Pharisee. There were some who were really looking for the coming of the Messianic kingdom; there were some who altogether rejected the claim of Jesus of Nazareth to be the Christ. In the lips of the one set, the question implied a taunt; in those of the other, something like impatience. The terms of the answer contain that which met both cases.

    Cometh not with observation.—The English noun exactly answers to the meaning of the Greek, as meaning careful and anxious watching. There was, perhaps, a special force in the word, as referring to the two forms of “watching” of which our Lord had been the object. Some of the Pharisees had “observed” Him once and again with a purpose more or less hostile. (Comp. Luke 6:7; Luke 14:1; Mark 3:2; where the Greek verb is that from which the noun here used is derived.) Others were looking for some sign from heaven, to show that He was the promised Head of the Kingdom. They are told that when it comes it will not be in conjunction with any such “observation” of outward things; it would burst upon them suddenly. In the meantime they must look for the signs of its presence in quite another region. The marginal reading, “outward shew”—that which is subject to observation—though giving an adequate meaning, is rather a paraphrase than a translation.

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    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-17.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
    when the
    10:11; 16:16; 19:11; Acts 1:6,7
    observation
    or, outward show.
    23,24; Daniel 2:44; Zechariah 4:6; John 18:36
    Reciprocal: Isaiah 42:2 - GeneralDaniel 2:45 - without hands;  Matthew 12:19 - GeneralMatthew 12:28 - then;  Matthew 20:21 - in thy;  Matthew 21:43 - The kingdom;  Luke 10:9 - The kingdom;  Acts 1:3 - speaking;  Romans 14:17 - kingdom;  Hebrews 12:28 - a kingdom

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    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-17.html.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    20.And being interrogated by the Pharisees This question was undoubtedly put in mockery; for, since Christ was continually speaking of the kingdom of God as at hand, while no change was taking place in the outward condition of the Jews, wicked and malicious persons looked upon this as a plausible excuse for harassing him. As if all that Christ said about the kingdom of God were idle talk and mere trifling, they put a sarcastic question to him, “When shall that kingdom come?” If any one shall consider this question to have been put on account of the grossness of their own views, rather than for the sake of jeering, I have no objection.

    The kingdom of God will not come with observation. My opinion is, that Christ now disregards those dogs, and accommodates this reply to the disciples; just as on many other occasions, when he was provoked by wicked men, and seized the opportunity of giving instruction. In this manner God disappoints their malice, while the truth, which is maintained in opposition to their sophistry, is the more fully displayed.

    The word observation is here employed by Christ to denote extraordinary splendor; (341) and he declares, that the kingdom of God will not make its appearance at a distance, or attended by pompous display. He means, that they are greatly mistaken who seek with the eyes of the flesh the kingdom of God, which is in no respect carnal or earthly, for it is nothing else than the inward and spiritual renewal of the soul. From the nature of the kingdom itself he shows that they are altogether in the wrong, who look around here or there, in order to observe visible marks. “That restoration of the Church,” he tells us, “which God has promised, must be looked for within; for, by quickening his elect into a heavenly newness of life, he establishes his kingdom within them.” And thus he indirectly reproves the stupidity of the Pharisees, because they aimed at nothing but what was earthly and fading. It must be observed, however, that Christ speaks only of the beginnings of the kingdom of God; for we now begin to be formed anew by the Spirit after the image of God, in order that our entire renovation, and that of the whole world, may afterwards follow in due time.

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    Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:20". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-17.html. 1840-57.