One of the things that gets glossed over with a particular statement Jesus makes in the Bible (and Gnostic gospels)… “the kingdom of God is within you”… is not just the meaning of Jesus’s statement regarding divinity lying within us. That certainly gets glossed over in most every church I’ve been to due to leadership’s inability to fully understand that statement, and also the typical doctrine of the Church to teach against it. But something else that gets ignored is the simple inarguable fact of who Jesus is speaking to in Luke 17:20 in that particular instance when he says, “the kingdom of God is within you”.
If you’ll notice in (reading from the King James or New King James versions) it was the Pharisees to whom he was speaking. The Pharisees. The group of folks who often stood against Jesus and John the Baptist in both Biblical and secular histories. The group of people who were never to be expected to follow Christ, believe in Christ, take the path to God by way of Christ… and basically, who were the folks simply lost to the message of Jesus and any potential salvation delivered by Jesus.
Yet Jesus himself was telling the Pharisees that the kingdom of God was within them. And so from a popular Christian perspective that “Jesus is the only way”, how could Jesus himself have been telling the anti-Jesus people that the kingdom of God lay also to be found within them?
I’ll let that sink in for a moment. Think about that question. How could Jesus himself have told an anti-Christian mindset that the kingdom of God was within them?
Could it be that Jesus himself was preaching that following Him was NOT the only path to God? Or if He IS the only path to God, how then could Jesus have taught non-followers that the divinity of God was within them also?
What are your thoughts on this quandary? FYI, a more accurate translation of this saying can be found within the Gospel of Thomas, Verse 3, where it was also recorded.
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