This segment begins with Luke’s mention of Jesus’ journey. As in 9:51, Luke makes the Lord’s final destination and purpose clear to the reader: “Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem…” (11). After healing ten lepers, the Lord responded to the Pharisees’ question about when the kingdom of God would come. His response then led to a series of teachings on God’s kingdom. Throughout this and the following lessons, we sense the imminence of the coming of God’s kingdom in view of the mission Jesus was about to fulfill in Jerusalem.
Did You Know...?
1. “Show yourselves to the priests” (17:14): The law required a person to show himself to the priest after a cure (Lev 13:2-3; 14:2-32).
- Healing of Ten Lepers (17:11-19)
- The Coming of the Kingdom of God (17:20-37)
- The Unjust Judge and the Persistent Widow (18:1-8)
At what point were the lepers cleansed? What does this teach us about the effect of God’s command?Hide Answer
When they went to the priest as the Lord commanded them (14). If we only hear the word of God but do not do it, we cannot benefit from it. But if we carry it out with faith, we will be blessed in what we do (Jas 1:25).
Why did Jesus comment on the fact that the one who returned was a foreigner (18)?Hide Answer
The gratitude of the foreigner was truly remarkable since none of the other lepers, who were most likely Jewish, returned to give thanks. As in the parable of the good Samaritan (10:30-37), the foreigner pleased God and received His commendation while the chosen people neglected God’s will and forfeited His blessings.
What makes a person thankful? What does his thankfulness say about his relationship with God?
In your life, how do you express your thanks to God?
What did the Lord Jesus mean by “the kingdom of God is within you”? How is this reality different from the Pharisee’s view of God’s kingdom?Hide Answer
The Pharisees probably expected God’s kingdom to be an earthly political entity. But the Lord told them that the kingdom of God is within them (also translated “among you”). In other words, God’s kingdom was already among the people through the ministry of Jesus Christ (11:20). A person must enter this spiritual kingdom by accepting the Lord Jesus.
Explain the phrase “one of the days of the Son of Man” (22). Why will the disciples not see this day?Hide Answer
The word “days” in 26 (“the days of Noah”) and 28 (“the days of lot”) refers to a generation. Therefore, the days of the Son of Man may refer to the period between the Lord’s first and second coming. If this is the case, one of the days of the Son of Man would refer to the Lord’s second coming, also known as the day of the Lord Jesus Christ (1Cor 1:8; 2Cor 1:14; Phil 1:6). While the disciples may have expected the end time to arrive soon, the Lord told them that they would not see it in the near future. In fact, the Son of Man must first go through many sufferings and be rejected by the people (25).
Based on the following verses, explain what the day of the Son of Man will be like: a. 24 b. 26-30 c. 31 d. 34-35Hide Answer
a. The coming of the Son of Man will be visible to all. Thus, the disciples do not need to respond to people’s rumors and go after them to look for the Lord’s coming (23).
b. He will come suddenly at an hour when people do not expect Him and are still busy with their daily activities (12:40).
c. That day will be so sudden that there will not be time to gather our possessions.
d. There will be sudden separation of the saved and the unsaved, and it may occur unexpectedly at any time of the day.
According to 32-33, how should we prepare for that day?Hide Answer
We should not set our minds on earthly possessions. Rather, we need to deny ourselves (“whoever loses his life”) and make use of our earthly life to accomplish our Master’s will (Rom 13:11-14).
How does Lot’s wife serve as a warning for us?
How does Jesus’ response in 37 answer the disciples question, “Where, Lord?”?Hide Answer
The disciples’ question was concerning where the separation, as recorded in 34 36, would take place. In response, the Lord pointed out that this separation will be where the body is and where the eagles gather together. While the image of the body and the eagles immediately brings to mind a scene of carnage, the word “body” does not necessarily refer to a dead body. In fact, the NT usage of this word usually refers to the living body, and the same word is used for “the body of Christ,” the assembly of believers. Likewise, “eagles” do not necessarily represent something negative. The Bible often speaks of the eagle as a swift and powerful heavenly creature, a symbol of divine nature. Therefore, one of the four living creatures has the face of an eagle (Eze 1:10; 10:14; Rev 4:7). In conclusion, if we understand “body” as referring to the body of believers, and “eagles” to believers in the church, then Jesus’ obscured reply means that the judgment and separation will take place in the church of God (1Pet 4:17).
What is the purpose of this parable?Hide Answer
See verse 1.
Why does the Lord use an unjust judge in the parable?Hide Answer
The unjust judge serves as a both a comparison and a contrast to God, the righteous judge. The point is that if even an unjust judge avenges the widow because she wearies him, how much more will God, who loves us so dearly, quickly avenge his people.
What do verses 7-8 teach about God’s faithfulness versus men’s lack of faith?Hide Answer
a. God is eager to deliver his people from sufferings, but He has to “bear long” with His people because the time has has not come. God is patient, but also zealous. However, by the time the Lord Jesus comes and God avenges His people, many will have given up waiting for God’s deliverance.
How does this passage encourage you when it seems as if God does not seem to care about your sufferings?