The Kingdom Is Where The Eagles Are Gathered

Photo by Sam Bark on Unsplash

Luke 17:20-21 And when {Jesus} 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: 21 neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Luke 17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

WHEN Will The Kingdom Of God Come In?

The Pharisees – constantly at war with the Lord Jesus – wanted to know WHEN the Kingdom of God would come. Why did they ask Jesus this question with such force? Because Jesus had previously presented Himself as the Messiah. Jesus called Himself “Son of Man”. Our Lord told people:

Matthew 8:20 The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

In Matthew chapter 9 Jesus told a crippled man,

Matthew 9:2 … Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

The Scribes on hearing this said “this man blasphemes God, for only God can forgive sins” (also Mark 2:6-7). Jesus told them:

Matthew 9:6-7 … that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house.

The phrase “son of man” was used in prophecy to describe the Messiah’s earthly Kingdom. The Prophet Daniel – of whom the Pharisees were well acquainted – wrote of the Messiah:

Daniel 7:13-14 … I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Jesus repeatedly, in His ministry, referred to Himself as “the Son of man”. When the Pharisees were upset that Jesus’ disciples picked corn to eat on the Sabbath, Jesus told them:

Matthew 12:6, 8 …. in this place is one greater than the temple. … 8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

If Jesus is the Messiah then WHEN is He going to bring in his kingdom? They DEMANDED Jesus answer this. Jesus replies:

Luke 17:20-21 … The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

The kingdom of God is within you”. God will one day send Jesus back to this earth. He is coming again. He may come tonight. Oh, how I wish He would. But the Kingdom of God is NOT just when Jesus returns. The “kingdom of God is within you”. When you receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you become a part of His Kingdom. After John the Baptist was imprisoned, our Lord …

Mark 1:14-15 … Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

The kingdom of God is at hand”. To enter His Kingdom you must repent and believe the Gospel. Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:4; 19:16). He is the King of His Church, the King of the Christian, the King of our hearts. His Kingdom at this time does not “come by observation”. The Scribes and Pharisees carefully watched Jesus, observing Him, waiting for Him to stumble, finding fault. They would not see His Kingdom because they would not believe. Those who will not believe Jesus, those who will not “keep His commandments”, will never be a part of His Kingdom.

Oh Beloved, there are so many “pretend Christians”, much like these Pharisees, in the world today. They hear His Word, but never DO it. Did not Jesus say:

John 14:15-17 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

If you will not love Jesus, the King of the Kingdom, then you will not receive God’s Spirit. But if you love Jesus, the Kingdom of God is within you. The Pharisees cannot know nor understand this. If Jesus is not King of your heart, you are not in His Kingdom. Religion does not make you a part of His Kingdom. Jesus said:

John 15:9-11 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Where Jesus is, the Kingdom of God is. If Jesus is in your heart, you are in His Kingdom RIGHT NOW. Just prior to this query by the Pharisees we read:

Luke 17:11 And it came to pass, as {Jesus} went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

Jesus went through the middle of Samaria and Galilee. As Jesus was moving southward, the text should say “Jesus went through the middle of Galilee and Samaria”. But it doesn’t. It lists Samaria first. Now Galilee was an area that was thoroughly Jewish, but Samaria, oh, that was a different story! Samaritans were despised by Orthodox Jews. Samaria was an area that had been occupied by Assyria many years before. Many of the Jews that lived in Samaria intermingled with the Assyrians. Why would God give Samaria first billing in the text? It is because faith was found in a Samaritan. Read with me:

Luke 17:12-14 And as {Jesus} entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

The ten men, lepers, stand far off. God told Moses “Command the children of Israel to put out of the camp every leper” (Numbers 5:1-2). Those who were lepers in the Old Testament were often afflicted with the disease as a punishment from God (see 2 Chronicles 26:16-23; 2 Kings 15:5; 2 Kings 5:25-27). This group of ten men were Jews as well as Samaritans, all bound together by one common affliction. They cry out to Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. The word Master is the Greek word ἐπιστάτης epistátēs, (pronounced ep-is-tat’-ace), which means “overseer, boss, the One in charge”. Jesus’ disciples often called Him “Master” (see Luke 5:5; Luke 8:24, 45; Luke 9:33, 49), recognizing that He was in charge. These men recognize Jesus – at least outwardly – as the Lord. He is our Master. He is our King. Jesus is our Messiah.

The lepers asked the Master for mercy.
Mercy is
to we receive that which we do not deserve.

Jesus does not hesitate. He tells them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests”. When Jesus came, He did not come to eradicate the Law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:18). The Law of God said that when a person was healed of leprosy, they were to go to the priests to diagnose their healing, as well as to make a sacrifice in thanksgiving to God (see Leviticus 13:1-46; 14:2-32). Jesus came to fulfill the Law. “Go, show yourselves to the priests”. They were healed at that very moment, but needed to be diagnosed healed, and to make sacrifice to God.

Luke 17:15-16 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

The ten men were healed. The priests diagnosed their healing. They made their sacrifices before God as the Law commanded. Then the nine went home. But one, the Samaritan, the hated Samaritan, the half breed Samaritan, he came back to the Master. This man did not just give Jesus lip-service – he honored Jesus with his life. He fell down at Jesus’ feet – Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus says:

Luke 17:17-18 … Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

Where are the nine? Jesus knows where they are, but He speaks so we can know this truth. Ten lepers went to the priests to be diagnosed, according to the Law. Ten lepers offered sacrifice to God at the Temple, according to the Law. But only one leper gave glory to God. Only one leper came and bowed down to Jesus, worshiping at His feet. Only one leper came to the King of the Kingdom of God, and honored the Son of God. Jesus told that Samaritan:

Luke 17:19 … Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

To HEAR Jesus and not HONOR Jesus is not faith.
Saving faith receives Jesus Christ as
both Savior and Lord.

John 5:22-24 … the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Beloved, the faith that saves is the faith that, from the heart, honors the Son. The Kingdom of God is within you – or it is not. Do you love Jesus? Then do as Jesus said. Do you love the King? Then you are part of the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God Will One Day Be Over The Earth

The Kingdom of God is within you. But there is a future Kingdom of God that will come. Jesus tells His listeners:

Luke 17:22-25 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.

Jesus told those listening, “There will be a day when you will want to see the Son of Man, the Messiah, but won’t be able to. I must suffer many things and be rejected by Israel.” Jesus was living under the shadow of the Cross. He was getting ready to die for your sins and mine. “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). The Pharisees will not miss Jesus, but His disciples, members of His Kingdom will. “Jesus is the satisfactory payment for our sins, and not just for us, but for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2, my paraphrase).

But Jesus is coming again.

Luke 17:26-27 And as it was in the days of {Noah}, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

When Jesus returns for His Church, it will be just like it was in the days of Noah. People will eat, and drank, and marry wives, or be given in marriage. People will live their lives without God, and consider life normal. God’s Word will be preached. It will be available. God’s Word is available in our Church in person, or in the parking lot, or on Facebook, or by mail. In our world today you can heart the Word of God. In Noah’s day, there was only Noah preaching the coming judgment. God was going to judge the earth because of sin, because of trespasses against his person and His Law. What was true in Noah’s day? The Scripture says:

Genesis 6:2 … the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

  1. God’s people stopped caring about the Lord. It has always been God’s commandment that

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Believers in Christ are to love unbelievers, but are not to form an intimate bond – like marriage – with an unbeliever. When light marries darkness, the light dims. The beginning of the judgment of God on the world was when the sons of God (the saved) married the daughters of Adam (unbelievers). This is what has happened in America today. Christians and Churches have made covenants with those who are lost and without Christ.

When the Light becomes dark,
the judgment of God is not far off!

2 Peter 2:5 {God} spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

  1. When God’s people ignored God’s warning, it brought rampant evil on the earth – evil so great that God decided to wash it all away.

Genesis 6:5 God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Can we not say that this is true in America today? Everywhere you look, evil abounds. The Bible says in …

Isaiah 5:20-21 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

Our God is not mocked – what you sow, you shall reap (Galatians 6:7). When you dabble in sin, it isn’t long before judgment finds you.

  1. However, God did not destroy the world immediately. He made Noah a preacher of righteousness, and allowed him to preach. God said,

Genesis 6:13 … Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make thee an ark

God gave mankind time to repent, and a way to escape judgment. This way was narrow and specific. There was only one way to life – and that was God’s way. In our world today, just as in Noah’s day, the lost believe there are many ways to salvation. They think they can build their own boat and escape the judgment of God. But beloved, there is but one way, and that narrow way is through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

There was no way of salvation in Noah’s time but the Ark.
There is no way of salvation in our time but the Cross of Christ.
Noah manned the Ark. Jesus died on the Cross.

The Scripture without shame declares:

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other {but Jesus}: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

It is Jesus only who suffered for our sins, one time only, on Calvary. The Righteous Jesus died for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God. (1 Peter 3:15). There was no other way to be saved, then our now, but by the means that God has given. Ark or Christ? Have you been saved?

  1. When judgment came, it came suddenly and unexpectedly. God told Noah:

Genesis 7:1 … Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

Jesus warned us in:

Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Our Lord told us in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3, For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Sudden destruction will come. Beloved, we do not know when Jesus is coming for His Church, but once He takes His Church from this earth the Great Tribulation will come. There will be seven terrible, frightening years on the earth as Satan’s son the AntiChrist reigns. Judgment is coming. It is certain. But we do not know when. God says over and over again “the day of the Lord will come as a thief” (2 Peter 3:10). Will you be ready? Are you on the Ark that is Christ? Oh Beloved, do not wait. You do not know when Jesus will return – but He will! You do not know when the last day of life is, when you yourself will leave this body. God knows, but you do not. It is appointed to each person a time to die, and after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Have you received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior? Oh Beloved, today is the day of salvation:

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I {helped} thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Have you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If not, now is the accepted time – now is the day of salvation.

When we started our sermon today, I quoted two texts. They were:

Luke 17:20-21 And when {Jesus} 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: 21 neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Luke 17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

In the first text we talked about WHEN the Kingdom of God would come. But we never examined the second text. The Pharisees asked Jesus “WHEN is the Kingdom coming?” The disciples asked Jesus “WHERE is the Kingdom of God?” Jesus’ response sounds cryptic, but it’s not. Jesus said, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. What is this “BODY” Jesus is speaking of? It is simple – He is still discussing the Kingdom of God. The Bible calls the believers, united together by faith in Jesus, the “Body of Christ”:

Romans 12:4-5 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

God’s people are those who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. God’s people are united, loving God with all their hearts, all their souls, and with all their minds (Matthew 22:37). God’s people are those who, loving God most, obey His commandment:

Matthew 22:39 … Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

In fact, God’s people are those who obey the new commandment Jesus gave us,

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Where the Body gathers, the Eagles are. Eagles are often presented in the Scripture as believers who rest on the Rock of Christ. The Prophet said:

Isaiah 40:31 … they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Eagles escape those that would prey on them by making their nests high up in the rocks. That Rock is Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4). If you are in Christ, you are not the devil’s prey. You are an eagle. You are to soar on wings of faith, looking to the One Who saved you. Eagles soar without flapping their wings, being lifted by the wind. The Christian soars by spreading the wings of his faith, and by resting on God’s Spirit and His Word. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6). Are you resting on Jesus? Are you obeying His Word? Oh Beloved, I pray you will. May God’s Holy Word and His Holy Spirit draw you to Him this very day. Amen and Amen.

Troublesome times are here, filling men’s hearts with fear
Freedom we all hold dear now is at stake
Humbling your hearts to God saves from the chastening rod
Seek the way pilgrims trod, Christians awake

Jesus is coming soon, morning or night or noon
Many will meet their doom, trumpets will sound
All of the dead shall rise, righteous meet in the skies
Going where no one dies, heavenward bound

Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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