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Some Sayings of Jesus

17

Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! 2It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. 4And if the same person sins against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive.”

5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

7 “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’ ”

Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers

11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

The Coming of the Kingdom

20 Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; 21nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ”There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”

22 Then he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23They will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ”Look here!’ Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. 24For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. 25But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation. 26Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man. 27They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them. 28Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them 30—it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. 32Remember Lot’s wife. 33Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it. 34I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left.” 37Then they asked him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”


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Lu 17:1-10. OffensesFaithHumility.

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 10:1).

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 Cleansed.

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 [Bengel].

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 (Mt 8:10).

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 similar.

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 adieu?"

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.




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