Lu 17:1-10. Offenses—Faith—Humility.
1, 2. (See Mt 18:6, 7).
3, 4. (See on Mt
18:15-17; Mt 18:21, 22).
4. seven times—not a lower
measure of the forgiving spirit than the "seventy times seven" enjoined
on Peter, which was occasioned by his asking if he was to stop
at seven times. "No," is the virtual answer, "though it come to seventy
times that number, if only he ask forgiveness in sincerity."
5. Lord—(See on Lu
increase our faith—moved by the
difficulty of avoiding and forgiving "offenses." This is the only
instance in which a spiritual operation upon their souls was
solicited of Christ by the Twelve; but a kindred and higher prayer had
been offered before, by one with far fewer opportunities. (See on Mr 9:24.)
6. sycamine—mulberry. (See on Mr 11:22-24.)
7-10. say unto him by and by—The "by and
by" (or rather "directly") should be joined not to the saying
but the going: "Go directly." The connection here is: "But when
your faith has been so increased as both to avoid and forgive
offenses, and do things impossible to all but faith, be not puffed up
as though you had laid the Lord under any obligations to you."
9. I trow not—or, as we say, when much
more is meant, "I should think not."
10. unprofitable—a word which, though
usually denoting the opposite of profit, is here used simply in
its negative sense. "We have not, as his servants, profited or
benefited God at all." (Compare Job 22:2, 3; Ro 11:35.)
Lu 17:11-19. Ten Lepers
11-13. through the midst of Samaria and
Galilee—probably on the confines of both.
12. stood afar off—(Compare Le 13:45, 46).
13. they lifted up—their common misery
drawing these poor outcasts together (2Ki 7:3), nay, making them forget the fierce
national antipathy of Jew and Samaritan [Trench].
Jesus, &c.—(Compare Mt 20:30-33). How quick a teacher is felt
misery, even though as here the teaching may be soon forgotten!
14. show yourselves—as cleansed persons.
(See on Mt 8:4.) Thus too would the Samaritan be
taught that "salvation is of the Jews" (Joh 4:22).
as they went, were cleansed—In how
many different ways were our Lord's cures wrought, and this different
from all the rest.
17, 18. Were there not ten
cleansed—rather, were not the ten cleansed? that is,
the whole of them—an example (by the way) of Christ's omniscience
18. this stranger—"this alien"
(literally, "of another race"). The language is that of wonder and
admiration, as is expressly said of another exhibition of Gentile faith
19. Arise—for he had "fallen down on his
face at His feet" (Lu 17:16)
and there lain prostrate.
faith made thee whole—not as the
others, merely in body, but in that higher spiritual sense with which
His constant language has so familiarized us.
Lu 17:20-37. Coming of the
Kingdom of God and of the Son of Man.
20-25. when, &c.—To meet the
erroneous views not only of the Pharisees, but of the disciples
themselves, our Lord addresses both, announcing the coming of the
kingdom under different aspects.
It cometh not with observation—with
watching or lying in wait, as for something outwardly imposing and at
once revealing itself.
21. Lo here! … lo there!—shut up
within this or that sharply defined and visible
geographical or ecclesiastical limit.
within you—is of an internal and
spiritual character (as contrasted with their outside
views of it). But it has its external side too.
22. The days—rather "Days."
will come—as in Lu 19:43, when, amidst calamities, &c., you
will anxiously look for a deliverer, and deceivers will put themselves
forward in this character.
one of the days of the Son of
man—Himself again among them but for one day; as we say when
all seems to be going wrong and the one person who could keep them
right is removed [Neander in Stier, &c.]. "This is said to guard
against the mistake of supposing that His visible presence would
accompany the manifestation and establishment of His kingdom" [Webster and Wilkinson].
23. they shall say, See here … go not,
&c.—a warning to all so-called expositors of prophecy and
their followers, who cry, Lo there and see here, every time that war
breaks out or revolutions occur.
24. as lightning … so … the Son of
man—that is it will be as manifest. The Lord speaks here of
His coming and manifestation in a prophetically indefinite manner, and
in these preparatory words blends into one the distinctive
epochs [Stier]. When the whole
polity of the Jews, civil and ecclesiastical alike, was broken up at
once, and its continuance rendered impossible by the destruction of
Jerusalem, it became as manifest to all as the lightning of heaven that
the kingdom of God had ceased to exist in its old, and had entered on a
new and perfectly different form. So it may be again, ere its final and
greatest change at the personal coming of Christ, and of which the
words in their highest sense are alone true.
25. But first … suffer,
&c.—This shows that the more immediate reference of Lu 17:23 is to an event soon to
follow the death of Christ. It was designed to withdraw the attention
of "His disciples" from the glare in which His foregoing words
had invested the approaching establishment of His kingdom.
26-30. eat … married …
planted—all the ordinary occupations and enjoyments of life.
Though the antediluvian world and the cities of the plain were awfully
wicked, it is not their wickedness, but their
worldliness, their unbelief and indifference to the future,
their unpreparedness, that is here held up as a warning.
Note.—These recorded events of Old Testament
history—denied or explained away nowadays by not a few—are
referred to here as facts.
31-33. to take it away … Remember,
&c.—a warning against that lingering reluctance to part
with present treasures which induces some to remain in a burning
house, in hopes of saving this and that precious article till consumed
and buried in its ruins. The cases here supposed, though different, are
32. Lot's wife—her "look back,"
for that is all that is said of her, and her recorded doom. Her
heart was in Sodom still, and the "look" just said, "And must I bid it
33. Whosoever, &c.—(See on Lu 9:23-27).
34. two in one bed—the prepared and
unprepared mingled in closest intercourse together in the ordinary
walks and fellowships of life, when the moment of severance arrives.
Awful truth! realized before the destruction of Jerusalem, when the
Christians found themselves forced by their Lord's directions (Lu 21:21) at once and for ever away from
their old associates; but most of all when the second coming of Christ
shall burst upon a heedless world.
37. Where—shall this occur?
Wheresoever, &c.—"As birds of prey
scent out the carrion, so wherever is found a mass of incurable moral
and spiritual corruption, there will be seen alighting the ministers of
divine judgment," a proverbial saying terrifically verified at the
destruction of Jerusalem, and many times since, though its most
tremendous illustration will be at the world's final day.