Text: Luke 17:20-37, Luke 18:1-14
Event(s): Jesus speaks of the coming of the Kingdom; The Parable of the Persistent Widow; The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
Luke 17:21 “The kingdom of God is within you.” The word within is better translated among you, or in your midst. The Pharisees were asking when the kingdom would come, not realizing that The King Himself was standing right before them. The kingdom had already arrived but because they had their own expectations of what it would look like, they missed it.
Luke 17:22- “you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man” Though the kingdom “had come” the full consummation of the kingdom awaits the second coming of the Lord. “One of the days of the Son of Man” refers to a day in the future, when Jesus will be fully reigning on the earth. (Reading vs 22-37 in the AMP or MSG Bible may make it easier to understand the essence of this passage.)
Luke 17:24 “For as the lightning that flashes…” The second coming of Christ will be as unmistakable, yet as sudden as a flash of lightning.
Luke 17:26-30 “as it was in the days of Noah…” This also describes the second coming of Christ taking place during a time when people are greatly distracted. Vs 27-28 speak to very normal life events that can and should be enjoyed. It’s not that these things are bad in and of themselves, of course, however when they move into first place in our lives they distract us from living in a state of expectancy, alertness and preparedness.
Luke 18:7 “His own elect who cry out day and night” Never doubt that God hears our prayers.
Luke 18:11 “God, I thank You that I am not like other men” Comparison – whether we think ourselves better or less than others, is a sign of pride. It must be dealt with swiftly at all costs, for it is one of the greatest poisons of the heart.
Today’s Takeaway: Today’s passage reminds us to keep an attitude of readiness, alertness and preparedness. Prayer, being the primary way this attitude is cultivated. Readiness and alertness implies not that we become skittish and start looking around every corner and in every cloud. Remember, Jesus always spoke to the issues and condition of our hearts. So above all, it means that we are quick to address and deal with any condition of our hearts. It also means, as given the example of Lot’s wife, that while we may enjoy the various activities life brings, we don’t hold to our possessions too closely. Today, let us spend time in prayer asking God to show us any area where we may be growing lax. Let us also ask Him to reveal if there’s any possession that we hold so dear that if He should ever call our name, we would be tempted to turn back for.
Additional (optional) reading: Genesis 19:12-29