Luke Chapter 17 Continued
Luke 17:20 “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:”
“When the kingdom of God should come”: They may have asked the question mockingly, having already concluded that He was not the Messiah.
“Cometh not with observation”: The Pharisees believed that the Messiah’s triumph would be immediate.
They were looking for Him to come, overthrow Rome, and set up the millennial kingdom. Christ’s program was altogether different. He was inaugurating an era in which the kingdom would be manifest in the rule of God in men’s hearts through faith in the Savior (Verse 21; Rom. 14:17).
That kingdom was neither confined to a particular geographical location nor visible to human eyes. It would come quietly, invisibly, and without the normal pomp and splendor associated with the arrival of a king.
Jesus did not suggest that the Old Testament promises of an earthly kingdom where hereby nullified. Rather, that earthly, visible manifestation of the kingdom is yet to come (Rev. 20:1-6).
Luke 17:21 “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
“Is within you”: I.e., within people’s hearts. The pronoun could hardly refer to the Pharisees in general.
The word kingdom is in the book of Luke 44 times. The kingdom that Jesus is speaking of here is when we make Jesus, King and Lord of our lives. A Christian carries Jesus in his heart. In that sense, the kingdom of God is within every Christian.
Luke 17:22 “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].”
“The days will come”: This introduces a brief discourse that has some similarities to the Oliver
Discourse (of Matt. Chapters 24 and 25).
“Ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man”: I.e., desire to have Him physically present. This suggests a longing for His return to set things right (Rev. 6:9-11; 22:20).
Jesus is telling these disciples. I am with you now, but there will come a time when I will not be with you. You will long to see me, but I won’t be there.
Luke 17:23 “And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after [them], nor follow [them].”
No one should consider the claims of self-styled messiahs because all of them are false. When Christ returns, no one will miss it (Matt. 24:27-28).
In (verse 22 above), we see that this message is to all followers of Jesus for all time, because it said those who have disciplined themselves to follow Jesus (the disciples). Throughout the ages every Christian has longed to see Jesus. Verse 23 above is looking to our time.
Everyone is looking for Jesus. We must be careful not to look in the wrong places. We are warned not to go looking for Jesus in any out of the way places. We will see in the next verse where we will find Him.
Luke 17:24 “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.”
In the book of Acts the first chapter:
Acts 1:9-11 “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;” “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
You see, when Jesus returns to earth, it won’t be a secret. Every eye will see Him. We don’t need to run around looking for His appearing. We will know it when He comes.
Luke 17:25 “But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.”
“Must suffer”: I.e., because it was the sovereign plan of God for Him to die as a substitute for sinners. (9:22; 18:31-33; 24:25-26; Matt. 16:21; Mark 8:31).
We see here, that Jesus has jumped from His second coming to the earth in verse 24, back to the time they were in. This suffering and rejection would happen in Jerusalem just a few days from when Jesus was telling the disciples this. He would be rejected by His own people, the Hebrews. He would be whipped, spit upon, and then crucified.
With Jesus, as with the Father, a thousand years can be as one day. Jesus foreknew all the things that would happen at crucifixion and at His second coming. He tells of both here in reverse order so His followers would not try to figure out the exact time.
Luke 17:26 “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.”
“As it was in the days of Noah”: Jesus’ emphasis here is not so much on the extreme wickedness of Noah’s day (Gen. 6:5), but on the people’s preoccupation with mundane matters of everyday life. “Eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” (Matt. 24:38), when judgment fell suddenly.
They had received warnings, in the form on Noah’s preaching (2 Pet. 2:5), and the ark itself, which was a testimony to the judgment that was to come. But they were unconcerned about such matters and therefore were swept away unexpectedly in the midst of their daily activities.
Now again here, Jesus has jumped to telling them about how it will be at His second coming to the earth. In Noah’s day, people had gotten so evil that God decided to destroy them. Our day is just as bad as it was then. I believe that is one of the signs that Jesus is coming soon.
Luke 17:27 “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.”
There is a great deal of this teaching in our book on Genesis, so we will not go into detail here. It is enough to know that God was fed up with their evil and destroyed them because of it. Noah found favor in the sight of God, and he and his family were saved.
God will not always overlook sin. There is time when punishment falls. Read (2 Timothy 3), and you can see our people are in the last days right now. Then the wrath of God will fall, as it did on these people in Noah’s day.
Luke 17:28 “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;”
“As it was in the days of Lot”: I.e., judgment came suddenly, destroying people in the midst of their everyday activities (Gen. 19:24-25). None of the things Jesus cited with regard to Noah’s day or Lot’s day were inherently sinful. But people were so absorbed in the things of this life that they were utterly unprepared when the time of judgment came.
Luke 17:29 “But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all.”
Sodom, where Lot lived, was a community where homosexuals and lesbians lived. Their minds were perverted. Even married people, such as Lot’s daughters and their husbands, had no natural relations. The men were homosexuals. Homosexuality is rampant in our land today. Do we think we are better than Sodom?
God will destroy this land, if we do not have a national repentance from this terrible sin. The disease AIDS which has swept through a number of countries, I believe is a warning from God to straighten up or else.
Luke 17:30 “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
How much clearer can it be? The time is NOW! Jesus could be back at any moment and be revealed as king of Kings and Lord of lords. REPENT AND BE SAVED!!!
Luke 17:31 “In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.”
“Housetop”: The typical house had a flat roof with an external stairway. The danger would be so great that those on the roofs should flee, without going into the house to retrieve anything.
Just as Lot and his family were not to look back; we see we are not to look back. When Jesus calls, just go with no hesitation.
Luke 17:32 “Remember Lot’s wife.”
Lot’s wife was destroyed on the very threshold of deliverance. Here attachment to Sodom was so powerful that she delayed and looked back; she was overwhelmed by oncoming judgment, just before reaching the place of safety (Gen. 19:26).
You remember, she looked back and turned to a pillar of salt.
Luke 17:33 “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”
“Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased”: Jesus favored this sort of paradoxical play on words (9:24; 13:30; 17:33; 18:14; Matt. 23:11-12). This comment made the point of Matthew 14:8-10 clear. The point of this whole lesson closely parallels (Proverbs 25:6-7).
Our life is but a vapor on this earth, it soon passes. This earth is not our home. We need not try to hang on to something so temporary. Spend your life on earth working for God, not worrying about tomorrow.
Luke 17:34 “I tell you, in that night there shall be two [men] in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.”
The meaning of this verse is similar to (Matthew 24:40-41). Of two persons sitting near each other, one shall be taken and the other left. The calamity would be sudden, and would come upon them before they were aware.
I do not believe that this means two homosexuals, as many believe today. When two men sleep in one bed, it does not necessarily mean they are evil. This just means one of these men is a follower of Jesus and the other is not.
It is interesting to me that this Scripture says in that night, as if the catching away is at night. I am not saying that it will be. This could be symbolic of darkness or could actually be at night. I can’t say for sure.
Luke 17:35 “Two [women] shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”
See, this straightens out the Scripture before. These 2 women are working together. Again, it is just explaining that one is saved and the other is lost. The lost one rejected Jesus as the Savior.
Luke 17:36 “Two [men] shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”
We see here, an indication that it might be during daylight. People don’t work in the field at night, ordinarily. Another thought is that daylight here is night on the other side of the world. Just because two people work together does not mean they are both saved.
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.”
“Will the eagles be gathered”: The location of a carcass is visible from great distances because of the circling carrion birds overhead (Job. 39:27-30). Similarly, Christ’s return will be clearly evident to all near and far. The same point is made by the lightning in verse 27. The vulture-dead body imagery here also speaks of the judgment that will accompany His return (Rev. 19:21).
Luke Chapter 17 Continued Questions
1. Who demanded Jesus to tell them when the kingdom of God would come?
2. Where did Jesus say the kingdom of God is?
3. How many times is the word kingdom used in Luke?
4. What kingdom is Jesus speaking of here?
5. What did Jesus tell the disciples they would desire to see and could not?
6. What did Jesus say to do when someone tried to get you to go somewhere to find Him?
7. Who are the disciples?
8. In verse 24, we realize the second coming of Christ will be seen where?
9. In what book of the Bible do we read that Jesus will come back the same way He went to heaven?
10. In verse 25 Jesus says before all that He had explained happened, what had to happen?
11. In verse 26. whose days did Jesus compare the days of His second coming with?
12. What similarity is there?
13. What other man’s days did He compare to His second coming?
14. What sin was predominate in Luke?
15. What is the suggestion of the author to those who are not ready to meet God?
16. When Jesus comes, what does verse 31 say we should do if we are on the housetop?
17. What happened to Lot’s wife when she looked back?
18. Whosoever shall seek to save his life ______ _______ _______.
19. What in verse 34 happens to the two men in the bed?
20. Does night in verse 34 mean Jesus will come at night?
21. What were the women doing when the second coming came?
22. What question did the disciples ask Jesus about the catching away?
23. What does the body symbolize?
24. What do eagles symbolize?