The Christian Quandary of Luke 17

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.

Your turn…

 

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  1. We all have a particle of God in us. Religion is just a lot of noise that distracts us from our own divinity. Religion separates us from God the way money separates us from the earth. Instead of going to a job to earn money to buy food to survive, why aren’t we just putting the seeds in the ground and feeding ourselves? My life changed profoundly when I read “The Ringing Cedars of Russia” where Anastasia urges us to believe our humanity is in fact divine.

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    • Well said. I completely agree.

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    • I just ran across that book, treesew, at http://www.cosmicparadigm.com. I believe in coincidences, so there must be a message there for me. Thanks to Sean for that as well. I began to look at things, like: 1. Why am I paying for power when we can use the resources from the sun? 2. Why am I paying for food when we can grow our own? 3. Why am I paying for the home with which I reside? It just seems like a pointless vicious circle at a full time job to pay for things that we should’t need to? Is this not our home? I actually do not worry or fear anything, like, things that just don’t matter, such as the material. If I must be at a job which must earn me $$ for the necessities in life, I’d rather be at one where I am helping others. This is my career shift after 20+ in the corporate arena. I just see things differently and cannot be in the environment 8 hours of my day anymore. Make sense?

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      • Makes perfect sense to me. I gave up a 6 digit per year career to do this… and I have no idea how I’m going to pay for it yet… ;-) THAT’S LIVING! Helping others, consequences be damned, and with the confidence you’ll make it all work out in the end somehow. WOOHOO!

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  2. Thought provoking insight, Sean. It took me a lot of years to reach the point where I was able to let go of the brainwashing that Jesus was the only way to God, etc. Having been exposed to fundamental christianity in my vulnerable teens, I was an easy hook for the fear inducing teachings of those who used religion to manipulate and control others. I could never come to terms with a god who loved me unconditionally yet would condemn me to eternal damnation if I didn’t follow ‘his’ rules exactly though. What kind of love is that?? I finally reached a point where I turned my back on what I’d been taught and looked to the heavens and declared that I wanted to know God on my own, without outside influence. The Divine has granted me that grace ever since and I’ve never looked back! Thank God, literally! I firmly believe and trust that we are ALL children of the Divine and all have that Divinity within us…even the most unsavory of us. To think otherwise is to come from a point of judgment and that’s The Me’s territory. (By the way, I LOVE your reference to The Me and I Am distinction! Brilliant!! Catapulted me into a whole new realm of awareness!!!) Another thing I’ve thought about is that most of our interpretations of the Bible are from Bible scholars, not scriptural scholars. Bible scholars interpret from whatever their perspective is, whether it’s based in Truth or fact or not, not necesarrily with the intent of seeking the possible deeper meanings there might be within the text. We are all a product of our upbringing, to some extent, whether it’s cultural or familial. Like so many other things, we continue to believe what we’ve been taught until something or someone ‘disturbs’ that belief and we start questioning it. It takes a brave soul to question powerful, although not necessarily True, religious teachings. Thank God for those who aren’t afraid to shake our religious foundations with thought provoking insights! As Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “You can’t solve a problem from the same mindset that created it in the first place.” We’d all better start thinking outside-the-box more!!! Keep it up, Sean!! Really loving what you’re sharing! P.S. Also love the Ringing Cedars Series, too!!! My best to you all who are making that internal shift to a more peaceful and compassionate life!!

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    • Thanks Ruth! I have not yet experienced the Ringing Cedars series, tho it sounds like I should put it on the to do list.

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  3. These books came into my life about the same time as my terminal cancer diagnosis. Nothing like your oncologist telling you not to buy any green bananas to get your spiritual ducks in a row! I think they call it “death therapy”. As I was learning how false the medical industry was, so was everything I thought about religion. Don’t retail Jesus to me, I got a connection. Same for my health.

    I believe it was Edgar Cayce who said “The hope of the world will spring from a religious movement out of Russia”. I think he was talking about Anastasia. Russians are taking back their land and touching the earth with love. They are also producing tons of food from some of the worst argicultural land in the country, something that is scantly reported on. I remember the uproar when Michele Obama planted a vegtable garden in the white house….ministry of agriculture tried to slap her on the wrist for cutting their grass. I recommed the books, it’s like nothing you’ve ever read before, Star Trek meets the Bible.

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    • Thank you for this comment and the suggestion. I’m going to definitely put these on the reading list for the iPad2 I’m picking up this week. ;-)

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  4. There is no ‘quandary’. The Pharisees, as noted in Luke and in Mark, were diligently watching and carefully observing Jesus .
    “: and the Pharisees were watching Him closely [to see] if”
    “: … they were watching Him closely.”
    “: …So they watched Him, and sent spies”

    In response to the question when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus answered “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation,”. The root of Greek word translated as observation is used for the passages above. As stated elsewhere, “Jews seek signs” and we know that Jesus told this unbelieving world that it would be given only one sign, that of Jonah. And that His kingdom was not of this world. Therefore when Jesus further stated “nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” He is not telling the pharisees that it was inside them, but rather that His kingdom would not be an earthly physical kingdom which the Jews were expecting.

    How the occult love the serpents lie that they are immortal, when scripture is clear: Only God is immortal. How the occult love to ignore scripture which clearly states who is EXCLUDED from the kingdom. Therefore, there is no quandary – Jesus was not telling them that the kingdom of God was inside THEM.

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    • With respect to you, Terry, you’re dead wrong. Jesus did indeed say exactly what you mentioned, but what He was saying was very clear. He was saying that man’s understanding of Heaven was flawed, and when man says “look, it’s over here” or “look, it’s over there”, that they will not find it. That is the reason the ‘observation’ vocabulary is used. He was saying that rather than looking externally, the truth is that the Kingdom of God can only be found within them. So looking outside themselves would not reveal it. Only looking within. And the fact that he said it to a group of staunch non-believers, a people who contemporary religious leaders suggest were damned (or EXCLUDED, as you say), proves that Christianity is missing the real message of Jesus that the phenomenon of spiritual enlightenment… the experience that opens the inner door… is what leads to salvation and Heaven, and not anything else. Thanks for the comment. I hope one day you observe truth.

      Reply

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