The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Mark Taylor. Mark married to Kat and has been a member of the St Mary's family for almost two years. During quarantine, he enjoys going for his one allotted walk per day and begrudgingly learning new TikTok dances.

Luke 17:20-37

The Coming of the Kingdom of God

20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is in your midst."

22 Then he said to his disciples, "The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 People will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

26 "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

28 "It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

30 "It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. 32 Remember Lot's wife! 33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left."

37 "Where, Lord?" they asked.

He replied, "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather."

Reflection

How amazing is it that God is with us everywhere we go?

This wasn't something that the Jews agreed with, so for Jesus to say "the kingdom of God is in your midst" would have completely baffled the Pharisees. Did Jesus care? Pah!

What I think Jesus initially means here is that he has brought the kingdom of God to earth with him, but the Pharisees are so blind that they have completely missed it.

Then when he turns to his disciples, he is talking about the second coming, which he makes seem much more dramatic and cool.

He then predicts his crucifixion again in verse 25, not that any of those listening would have had any idea what he was referring to.

Jesus uses some of the most shocking examples from the Old Testament to reinforce just how important what he's saying is.

The story of Noah's Ark is one which we often reflect on positively, but God wiped out virtually the whole human race because their ways had become so wicked. That's a pretty drastic step!

I remember the first time I heard the story of Lot's wife, all of us in our little youth church were like "WHAAAAAAT!?"

Basically, to me at least, this is a direct call to action from Jesus.

The Bible often talks about earthly possessions and how little they should mean to us, but how often do we get caught up on things we know are actually so insignificant?

The thing we have to remember is we haven't been given a life to lead how we please, we have been placed on this earth to share his good news. So let's do it!

As Jesus says, "Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it."

He will return in glory to judge everyone, and how silly will it feel to be left waiting on the sidelines when Jesus comes back?

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Lord, I pray that I will not be blind like the Pharisees to your kingdom, and that I will build the faith to give up everything for the good of your kingdom. Amen!

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