World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
17. Sin, Faith, Duty
1And he said unto his disciples, It is impossible but that occasions of stumbling should come; but woe unto him, through whom they come! 2It were well for him if a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother sin, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 4And if he sin against thee seven times in the day, and seven times turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. 5And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. 6And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye would say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou rooted up, and be thou planted in the sea; and it would obey you. 7But who is there of you, having a servant plowing or keeping sheep, that will say unto him, when he is come in from the field, Come straightway and sit down to meat; 8and 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? 9Doth he thank the servant because he did the things that were commanded? 10Even so ye also, when ye shall have done all the things that are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which it was our duty to do. 11And it came to pass, as they were on their way to Jerusalem, that he was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee. 12And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off: 13and they lifted up their voices, saying, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go and show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, as they went, they were cleansed. 15And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, with a loud voice glorifying God; 16and he fell upon his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17And Jesus answering said, Were not the ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18Were there none found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger? 19And he said unto him, Arise, and go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. 20And being asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God cometh, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you. 22And 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. 23And they shall say to you, Lo, there! Lo, here! go not away, nor follow after them: 24for as the lightning, when it lighteneth out of the one part under the heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall the Son of man be in his day. 25But first must he suffer many things and be rejected of this generation. 26And as it came to pass in the days of Noah, even so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28Likewise even as it came to pass in the days of Lot; they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29but in the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all: 30after the same manner shall it be in the day that the Son of man is revealed. 31In that day, he that shall be on the housetop, and his goods in the house, let him not go down to take them away: and let him that is in the field likewise not return back. 32Remember Lot's wife. 33Whosoever shall seek to gain his life shall lose it: but whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34I say unto you, In that night there shall be two men on one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35There shall be two women grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 36There shall be two men in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 37And they answering say unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Where the body is, thither will the eagles also be gathered together.
Lu 17:1-10. Offenses—Faith—Humility.
4. seven times—not a lower measure of the forgiving spirit than the "seventy times seven" enjoined on Peter, which was occasioned by his asking if he was to stop at seven times. "No," is the virtual answer, "though it come to seventy times that number, if only he ask forgiveness in sincerity."
5. Lord—(See on Lu 10:1).
increase our faith—moved by the difficulty of avoiding and forgiving "offenses." This is the only instance in which a spiritual operation upon their souls was solicited of Christ by the Twelve; but a kindred and higher prayer had been offered before, by one with far fewer opportunities. (See on Mr 9:24.)
6. sycamine—mulberry. (See on Mr 11:22-24.)
7-10. say unto him by and by—The "by and by" (or rather "directly") should be joined not to the saying but the going: "Go directly." The connection here is: "But when your faith has been so increased as both to avoid and forgive offenses, and do things impossible to all but faith, be not puffed up as though you had laid the Lord under any obligations to you."
9. I trow not—or, as we say, when much more is meant, "I should think not."
10. unprofitable—a word which, though usually denoting the opposite of profit, is here used simply in its negative sense. "We have not, as his servants, profited or benefited God at all." (Compare Job 22:2, 3; Ro 11:35.)
Lu 17:11-19. Ten Lepers Cleansed.
11-13. through the midst of Samaria and Galilee—probably on the confines of both.
13. they lifted up—their common misery drawing these poor outcasts together (2Ki 7:3), nay, making them forget the fierce national antipathy of Jew and Samaritan [Trench].
Jesus, &c.—(Compare Mt 20:30-33). How quick a teacher is felt misery, even though as here the teaching may be soon forgotten!
as they went, were cleansed—In how many different ways were our Lord's cures wrought, and this different from all the rest.
17, 18. Were there not ten cleansed—rather, were not the ten cleansed? that is, the whole of them—an example (by the way) of Christ's omniscience [Bengel].
18. this stranger—"this alien" (literally, "of another race"). The language is that of wonder and admiration, as is expressly said of another exhibition of Gentile faith (Mt 8:10).
19. Arise—for he had "fallen down on his face at His feet" (Lu 17:16) and there lain prostrate.
faith made thee whole—not as the others, merely in body, but in that higher spiritual sense with which His constant language has so familiarized us.
Lu 17:20-37. Coming of the Kingdom of God and of the Son of Man.
20-25. when, &c.—To meet the erroneous views not only of the Pharisees, but of the disciples themselves, our Lord addresses both, announcing the coming of the kingdom under different aspects.
It cometh not with observation—with watching or lying in wait, as for something outwardly imposing and at once revealing itself.
21. Lo here! … lo there!—shut up within this or that sharply defined and visible geographical or ecclesiastical limit.
within you—is of an internal and spiritual character (as contrasted with their outside views of it). But it has its external side too.
22. The days—rather "Days."
will come—as in Lu 19:43, when, amidst calamities, &c., you will anxiously look for a deliverer, and deceivers will put themselves forward in this character.
one of the days of the Son of man—Himself again among them but for one day; as we say when all seems to be going wrong and the one person who could keep them right is removed [Neander in Stier, &c.]. "This is said to guard against the mistake of supposing that His visible presence would accompany the manifestation and establishment of His kingdom" [Webster and Wilkinson].
23. they shall say, See here … go not, &c.—a warning to all so-called expositors of prophecy and their followers, who cry, Lo there and see here, every time that war breaks out or revolutions occur.
24. as lightning … so … the Son of man—that is it will be as manifest. The Lord speaks here of His coming and manifestation in a prophetically indefinite manner, and in these preparatory words blends into one the distinctive epochs [Stier]. When the whole polity of the Jews, civil and ecclesiastical alike, was broken up at once, and its continuance rendered impossible by the destruction of Jerusalem, it became as manifest to all as the lightning of heaven that the kingdom of God had ceased to exist in its old, and had entered on a new and perfectly different form. So it may be again, ere its final and greatest change at the personal coming of Christ, and of which the words in their highest sense are alone true.
25. But first … suffer, &c.—This shows that the more immediate reference of Lu 17:23 is to an event soon to follow the death of Christ. It was designed to withdraw the attention of "His disciples" from the glare in which His foregoing words had invested the approaching establishment of His kingdom.
26-30. eat … married … planted—all the ordinary occupations and enjoyments of life. Though the antediluvian world and the cities of the plain were awfully wicked, it is not their wickedness, but their worldliness, their unbelief and indifference to the future, their unpreparedness, that is here held up as a warning. Note.—These recorded events of Old Testament history—denied or explained away nowadays by not a few—are referred to here as facts.
31-33. to take it away … Remember, &c.—a warning against that lingering reluctance to part with present treasures which induces some to remain in a burning house, in hopes of saving this and that precious article till consumed and buried in its ruins. The cases here supposed, though different, are similar.
32. Lot's wife—her "look back," for that is all that is said of her, and her recorded doom. Her heart was in Sodom still, and the "look" just said, "And must I bid it adieu?"
33. Whosoever, &c.—(See on Lu 9:23-27).
34. two in one bed—the prepared and unprepared mingled in closest intercourse together in the ordinary walks and fellowships of life, when the moment of severance arrives. Awful truth! realized before the destruction of Jerusalem, when the Christians found themselves forced by their Lord's directions (Lu 21:21) at once and for ever away from their old associates; but most of all when the second coming of Christ shall burst upon a heedless world.
37. Where—shall this occur?
Wheresoever, &c.—"As birds of prey scent out the carrion, so wherever is found a mass of incurable moral and spiritual corruption, there will be seen alighting the ministers of divine judgment," a proverbial saying terrifically verified at the destruction of Jerusalem, and many times since, though its most tremendous illustration will be at the world's final day.