Luke – Doors Wide Open!
Jesus taught his disciples (and us) to pray,
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:9)
Jesus’ prayer teaches us reverence and respect of God, our Father, HIS Kingdom come, HIS will done. Now our will, not our Kingdom. We can ask our Father for provisions and help. We humbly ask for our Father’s forgiveness because no matter what we have done to others or to ourselves in our sin, it is ultimately God we have sinned against. It is HIS creation to whom we have sinned. But it is foremost all about God. God, through Jesus, has battle our enemy and won. So we go to HIM to deliver us from evil as our daily enemy with help to run from the enemy’s temptations to turn from God.
SO, it is no wonder a Pharisee wonders in and asks when God Kingdom will come? Jesus answers, as only He can, “The Kingdom of God is already among you.”
The I AM is standing right in front of you is what Jesus is really saying to those who do not recognize Him. Their hearts are too cold and hard to understand.
I AM will now explain and describe the “last call” of His disciples but Jesus does not know exactly when. God only knows when and where this will take place. In the meantime, humanity carries on business as usual until He comes in power like no other on earth can. Look for Jesus, not man.
Luke 17, New Living Translation
The Coming of the Kingdom
20 One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?”
Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. 21 You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.”
22 Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see the day when the Son of Man returns, but you won’t see it. 23 People will tell you, ‘Look, there is the Son of Man,’ or ‘Here he is,’ but don’t go out and follow them. 24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so it will be on the day when the Son of Man comes. 25 But first the Son of Man must suffer terribly and be rejected by this generation.
26 “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 27 In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all.
28 “And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building— 29 until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day a person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return home. 32 Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! 33 If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. 34 That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.”
37 “Where will this happen, Lord?” the disciples asked.
Jesus replied, “Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.”
WHAT DO WE LEARN? CONSIDER THIS…
The Jewish people lived in an excited atmosphere of expectancy, particularly at the Passover season when they commemorated their deliverance from Egypt. They longed for another Moses who would deliver them from their bondage. Some had hoped that John the Baptist would be the deliverer, and then the attention focused on Jesus (John 6:15). The fact that He was going to Jerusalem excited them all the more (Luke 19:11). Perhaps He would establish the promised kingdom!
The Pharisees were the custodians of the law (Matt. 23:2–3), so they had the right to ask Jesus when He thought the kingdom of God would appear. It was customary for Jewish teachers to discuss these subjects publicly, and Jesus gave them a satisfactory answer. However, He reserved His detailed lessons for His disciples.
The point Jesus made to his disciples was that God’s kingdom would not come with great “outward show” so that people could predict its arrival and plot its progress.
The Pharisees’ question was legitimate, but it was also tragic, for Jesus had been ministering among them for some three years, and these men were still in spiritual darkness. They did not understand who Jesus was or what He was seeking to accomplish. Their views of the kingdom were political, not spiritual; Jewish, not universal. Jesus did not deny that there would be a future earthly kingdom, but He did emphasize the importance of the spiritual kingdom that could be entered only by the new birth (John 3:1–8).
Jesus was saying, “Don’t look for the kingdom ‘out there’ unless it is first in your own heart” (see Rom. 14:17). At the same time, He may also have been saying, “The fact that I am here in your midst is what is important, for I am the King. How can you enter the kingdom if you reject the King?” (see Luke 19:38–40). The Pharisees were preoccupied with the great events of the future but were ignoring the opportunities of the present.
Having answered the Pharisees, Jesus then turned to His disciples to instruct them about the coming of the kingdom. He warned them not to become so obsessed with His return that they ended up doing nothing else but trying to track Him down. This is a good warning to believers who do nothing but study prophecy. Certainly we should look for His return and long to see Him come, but at the same time, we should be busy doing His work when He comes!
Even though the primary interpretation of these verses is for Israel in the end times, they do emphasize for the church the importance of being ready when Jesus returns. We must not be like Lot’s wife, whose heart was so in Sodom that she looked back in spite of the angels’ warning (Gen. 19:17, 26).
There are many professed Christians today whose plans would be interrupted if Jesus returned! Our Lord’s warning in Luke 17:33 finds parallels in Matthew 10:39; Luke 9:24; and John 12:25, and is a fundamental principle of the Christian life. The only way to save your life is to lose it for the sake of Christ and the gospel.
What is our “business as usual”?
Are we looking for His return, and do we really want to see Him come?
Jesus IS coming back, you know…
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Ready or not, You will come and claim us as your own if we love, believe, trust, obey and follow You with all our hearts, minds and souls. I am one of them. I believe. As I do the work you have invited me to do here, I will look for you to come in the middle of it all. I am your servant. I am watching, waiting and listening with your crazy love in my heart. May your Kingdom come, Your will be done. Yes, and Amen!