Luke 17 - Outline of Luke (MENU page)
Luke has seven chief divisions:
I. The Evangelist's Introduction, 1:1-4.
II. The human relationships of Jesus, 1:5- 2:52.
III. The baptism, ancestry, and testing of Jesus, 3:1- 4:13.
IV. The ministry of the Son of man as Prophet-King in Galilee, 4:14- 9:50.
V. The journey of the Son of Man from Galilee to Jerusalem, 9:51- 19:44
VI. The final offer of the Son of man as King to Israel, His rejection and sacrifice, 19:45- 23:56.
VII. The resurrection, the resurrection ministry, and the ascension of the Son of man, 24:1-53.
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An instruction in forgiveness.
(Cf. Mat 18:6-7,14-15)
1. Then said he unto the disciples,
It is impossible but that offences will come:
but woe [unto him], through whom they come!
2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck,
and he cast into the sea,
than that he should offend one of these little ones.
An 'offence' {GK=skandalon, occasion for stumbling, stumblingblocks} is not a mere difference of opinion, but rather, a cause of spiritual damage which might lead a child of God into sin, or to turn back from the faith. cp. Rom 14:13,20-21; 16:17; 1Cor 8:11-13
     God will severely judge those who harm His children. cp. 2Pet 2:1-3; Mat 26:24
3 Take heed to yourselves:
If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him;
and if he repent, forgive him.
4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day,
and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent;
thou shalt forgive him.
5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed,
ye might say unto this sycamine
{sycomore} tree,
Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea;
and it should obey you.
More important than moving trees, the prayer of faith can move the stubborn hearts of men (such as those of offending brothers, v.1-4). cp. Jam 5:16-20; 1Joh 5:14-17
     The answer to such prayer depends upon the Lord, in whom we place our confidence. Nothing is impossible for Him. He is no less powerful, when our faith is small (like a tiny mustard seed). His ability to change hearts is demonstrated in the man whom He plucked out of a sycomore tree (in Luk 19:1-10).
  A parable of service.
7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle,
will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field,
Go and sit down to meat?
8 And will not rather say unto him,
Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself,
and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken;
and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
9 Doth he thank that servant
because he did the things that were commanded him?
I trow
{think, suppose} not.
10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done
all those things which are commanded you,
say, We are unprofitable servants:
we have done that which was our duty to do.
A 'servant' {GK=doulos, slave, bond-servant} occupies a humble position, in obedience to his master (1Pet 5:5,6). A servant, who dutifully fulfills every commanded responsibility, has done nothing exceptional or praiseworthy, for he has merely met his obligation.
     Likewise, believers are obligated to observe the Lord's command (eg., v.3,4; Joh 13:34,35) and commission (Mat 28:18-20; cp. 1Cor 9:16,17).
     Yet, our gracious Lord will reward His faithful servants, beyond what they deserve. Luk 12:42-44
Ten lepers healed.
(Cf. Mat 8:2-4; Luk 5:12-14)
11. And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem,
that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
12 And as he entered into a certain village,
there met him ten men that were lepers,
which stood afar off:
{cp. Lev 13:45,46}
13 And they lifted up [their] voices,
and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
14 And when he saw [them], he said unto them,
Go shew yourselves unto the priests.
{Book Notes at Mat 8:4}
And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back,
and with a loud voice glorified God,
16 And fell down on [his] face at his feet, giving him thanks:
and he was a Samaritan.
17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed?
but where [are] the nine?
18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God,
{except} this stranger {foreigner}.
19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way:
thy faith hath made
{GK=sozo, delivered, saved} thee whole.
Jesus' supernatural power to heal all kinds of illnesses, including leprosy, has been recorded in many places in the Gospel accounts. This is the only occasion where He healed ten lepers at once, with His spoken word.
     Each of these afflicted men believed His word, because they obeyed His command to "Go show yourselves unto the priests," before they experienced the healing, for "as they went, they were cleansed."
     On this occasion, the cause for wonder is the unthankfulness of the human heart. All ten lepers believed Jesus could heal them. But apparently, the nine took their healing for granted (as something to be expected, rather than as an undeserved gift of God's grace). Psa 107:17-22
     The one, who "returned to give glory to God," was a Samaritan, whose people and religion were "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel" (Eph 2:12,19). The Lord's statement: "Thy faith hath made {saved} thee whole," probably indicates spiritual as well as physical deliverance. cp. Psa 50:23
The kingdom in its spiritual aspect.
(Cf. Luk 19:11,12; The physical aspect of the Kingdom awaits the Lord's return.)
20. And when he was demanded {questioned} of the Pharisees,
when the kingdom of God should come,
he answered them and said,
The kingdom of God cometh not with observation
{with outward show}:
21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!
for, behold, the kingdom of God is within
{GK=entos, in the midst of} you.
The Pharisees (and other national religious leaders) had already rejected their Messiah, the Davidic King (ie., Jesus Christ). Therefore, the Kingdom would not be visibly established, at that time, even though the King was standing 'in the midst' of His enquirers. It is obvious that the Kingdom could not be "within" the unbelieving Pharisees (cp. Luk 16:14,15; Mat 5:20).
     Christ's physical Kingdom is not "now" on the earth (Joh 18:36), but it will come, when Israel recognizes and receives their King, at His second coming (Zech 12:8-10). Meanwhile, the Lord's spiritual Kingdom is being populated by individuals who are born-again of God's Spirit (Joh 1:11-13; 3:3-8). This work of God's Spirit, which cannot be observed by the eyes of men, will continue during Christ's physical absence.
     Nevertheless, the King, who was then 'in the midst' and is today at the Father's right hand, will return to earth to judge His enemies and establish His Millennial Kingdom, in the day of Christ's appearing in power and great glory.
Jesus foretells His second coming.
(Deu 30:3-6; Acts 1:9-11; Also see the Book Notes to Matthew ch.24 references, cited below.)
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].
{Luk 5:35; Joh 16:5-7}
23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there:
go not after [them], nor follow [them].
{Mat 24:23-27; Luk 21:8}
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.
{Mal 3:1,2; 4:1,2; 1The 5:2-4; 2The 1:6-10}
25 But first must he suffer many things,
and be rejected of this generation.
{Luk 9:20-22,44}
26 And as it was in the days of Noe
so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
{Gen 6:5-13}
27 They did eat, they drank,
they married wives, they were given in marriage,
until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
{Mat 24:37-39; Heb 11:7; 2Pet 2:5}
In Noah's day, the human race had become totally corrupt. Noah preached righteousness for 120 years, while building the ark. Yet, sinful men heedlessly pursued life on their own terms. Only Noah's immediate family believed and was saved. When God's judgment fell, the wicked perished in the flood. But the believers, inside the ark, were kept alive to repopulate the earth. In this, they foreshadow the believing remnant which the Lord will preserve, through the Tribulation period, to enter the Millennial Kingdom.
28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; {Gen 13:13; 18:20,21; 19:1-15}
they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold,
they planted, they builded;
29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom
it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all.
{Gen 19:16-26}
30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
In Lot's day, the whole of society was pervaded with perversion. Although Lot sought to warn his family members of the coming judgment, they did not believe him. Lot's deliverance, from God's wrath, foreshadows the Rapture of the Church, just prior to the Tribulation period. In the days of both Noah and Lot, judgment came suddenly and unexpectedly upon the unbelieving world.
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.
{Mat 24:15-22}
32 Remember Lot's wife.
{Gen 19:26}
If Lot's deliverance, from the judgment of Sodom, foreshadows the Rapture of the Church prior to God's closing judgments upon the earth, it is a sad picture of a Church comfortable in the midst of moral corruption, reluctant to part with worldly treasures, and composed of true and false believers. Lot's wife was among the latter (like the tares growing among the wheat, until the harvest, Mat 13:24-30,36-43). According to 2Pet 2:7,8, Lot's heart was right with God, though he spent years in Sodom. Today, true believers should be living to please our Lord, and watching for His coming (Heb 9:28).
     But the suddenness of the future judgment is also instructive to Jewish people living in Israel, when the Antichrist is revealed (see v.31 and reference).
33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it;
and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
{Mat 16:26}
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.
35 Two [women] shall be grinding together;
the one shall be taken, and the other left.
36 Two [men] shall be in the field;
the one shall be taken, and the other left.
{Mat 24:40-42}
37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord?
And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body [is],
thither will the eagles
{vultures} be gathered together. {Mat 24:28}
Two... one shall be taken... the other left.
Some mistakenly think the one 'taken' is taken in the Rapture of the Church. However, this is contradicted by the Lord's answer, to the disciples' question:
Where, Lord?
The dead bodies, of those 'taken,' would become food for birds, during the battles at the close of the age. cp. Zech 13:8,9; 14:2; Rev 19:17,18
     Those who are 'left' {sent away, left untouched}, having survived the calamities of the Tribulation, will be alive to enter the earthly Kingdom of Christ. Zech 14:2-21

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