The Sermon Notes of Harold Buls

The Sermon Notes of Harold Buls

On the Gospel Lessons of the Ingrian Lutheran Church of Russia

Text from Luke 17:20-24

Advent 2

The Sermon Outline of Harold Buls

Text from Luke 17:20-24

Advent 2

THEME: The Kingdom Of God


The twelve tribes of Israel under Moses were not identical to the kingdom of God. For example, only those who looked at the bronze serpent lived (Numbers 21:7-9). The rest died in unbelief. Another example: Under the theocracy (Deuteronomy 21:1) God allowed unbelievers to divorce their wives. But Jesus called this "hardness of heart" (Matthew 19:8). Not all Israelites were members of the kingdom of God. Another example: At John 8:33 the Jews claimed that mere descent from Abraham made them free, members of the kingdom of God. But Jesus rejected that idea. Paul says at Romans 9:6: "They are not all Israel who are of Israel." In our text for today Jesus tells us what the kingdom of God is not and what it is.


A. God's Kingdom does not come with observation, verse 20. It is plain that the Pharisees' understanding of the term "kingdom of God" was not the same as Jesus' understanding thereof. In this verse "observation" means "watching, spying" (cf. the use of the verb at 6:7; 14:1; 20:20; Acts 9:24). It means "observance of rules" Galatians 4:10. The noun "observation" occurs only here in the New Testament. It means "to observe in a physical way so that one can observe and watch. "Jesus explains when He says that people will be wrong when they say: "Look here. Look there." Jesus explains at Matthew 24:23 "Then if any one says to you: `Look here is the Christ' or `here He is' don't believe them, for false Christs and false prophets will arise and will deceive, if possible, even the elect. "The Pharisees' understanding of the kingdom of God was a Christless kingdom of false prophets.

B. It is not a physical kingdom, verse 21. In the wilderness the children of Israel wanted a life of much food and no suffering, Exodus 16:3. At Samuel's time they wanted a king like the other nations, I Samuel 8:5, even though God did not will that. In Jesus' day the Jews thought that mere descent from Abraham made them members of the Kingdom, John 8:39. But in our text Jesus says that the kingdom of God is within you. The kingdom of God, in this life, is hidden in the hearts of men. Paul said: "The foundation of God stands firm, having this seal: `The Lord knows those who are His'. " Unconverted Paul thought he was a member of the kingdom of God but when he was converted he learned that membership is by faith. See II Corinthians 5:7.



Christians say: "Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever." They live their lives by faith in the Son of God who gave Himself for them. Galatians 2:20. Amen.

This text was converted to ascii format for Project Wittenberg by Mary Grady and is in the public domain. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct any comments or suggestions to: Rev. Robert E. Smith of the Walther Library at Concordia Theological Seminary.

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