Verses 20-37 of Luke 17 are admittedly difficult to put in context and understand. Many believe that Jesus is speaking of the final judgment, and there may be some of that mixed in here. But there are several clues that lead us to associate this with the coming judgment upon Jerusalem that will come in A.D. 70. Much of this is similar to the message contained in Matthew 24, which we discussed in this previous post.
One part that generates confusion for some is when the Pharisees ask Him when the kingdom of God will come in verse 20. Jesus tells them in verse 21 that “the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” Some translate that as “within you,” but that cannot be the case, as it is addressed to those who do not believe. Instead, Jesus is telling them that it has already arrived in the lives and the hearts of those who are already following Him.
If we take it a bite at a time from there, we can see in verses 22 and 23 that Jesus is telling them that there will be no mistaking the days of the Son of Man. Much of this sounds very much like the references to “the day of the Lord” that is spoken about on many occasions in the Old Testament, such as Zephaniah 1:14-18, Isaiah 13:9-11, Joel 2, and many other passages. That term always referred to a time of God taking some kind of decisive action.
He then compares it to the events of the Great Flood, and of Sodom and Gomorrah. In verse 37 He tells them “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” Some translations have “eagles” rather than “vultures,” which many associate with Rome, as it was a symbol of power for them. A coincidental translation? Perhaps, but perhaps not.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.