What About The Kingdom      Luke 17:20-37      01-02-05

The text of this lesson immediately seems rather self explanatory, but on a more detailed study several verses are complicated. We must seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit; check several commentaries, and then take our position as we feel led. All of us are interested in asking What about the Kingdom?

1.    The . . Inquisitiveness About the Kingdom. 17:20-21

    A.    The . . When of the Kingdom. 17:20
        20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God will come, He answered them, "The kingdom of God is not coming with something observable;

    B.    The . . Where of the Kingdom. 1:21
        21 no one will say,'Look here!' or 'There!' For you see, the kingdom of God is among you."

        Everyone inquires in one way or another about the kingdom. In the text; the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come. Basically Jesus told them the kingdom is spiritual and internal, not external and material. A person cannot say the kingdom is here or over there as an observable entity. The kingdom resides where the King reigns and that means within those who believe. Very few, if any, Pharisees at this time knew King Jesus so the kingdom did not reside in them.

2.    The . . Instructions About the Kingdom. 17:22-23

    A.    Instructed about . . Longing. 17:22
        22 Then He told the disciples: "The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you won't see it.

    B.    Instructed about . . Looking. 17:23
        23 They will say to you, 'Look there!' or 'Look here!' Don't follow or run after them.

    C.    Instructed about . . Lightening. 17:24
        24 For as the lightning flashes from horizon to horizon and lights up the sky, so the Son of Man will be in His day.

    D.    Instructed about . . Loathing. 17:25
        25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

        Note these teachings are not to the Pharisees, but to Jesus' disciples. He refers to Adays of the Son of Man@ plural, and different interpretations can be given. One interpretation takes this to mean the disciples will look back to the days when the Messiah was with them here on earth, and will long to see Him. Others suggest this refers forward to the actual Messianic days related to the second coming of Christ. They may long for those days but are told not to believe those who say look here or look there. Jesus gave instructions using the lightening as a tool for learning about the coming of the Son of Man; for His coming will be significant, and seen by all. Jesus then instructs that a time of loathing and rejection will take place before His Day. In our recent elections and the Christmas season we could see several people rejecting Christ.

3.    The . . Illustrations About the Kingdom. 17:26-32

    A.    Illustration of Noah. 17:26-27
            26 "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man:  27 people went on eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage
until the day Noah boarded the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

    B.    Illustration of Lot. 17:28-31
        28 It will be the same as it was in the days of Lot: people went on eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building. 29 But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 It will be like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, a man on the housetop, whose belongings are in the house, must not come down to get them. Likewise the man who is in the field must not turn back.

    C.   Illustration of Lot's Wife. 17:32
        32 Remember Lot's wife!

        Jesus used several illustrations to teach about the days of the Son of Man. His first illustration likens the days of Noah to these days. Certainly we could say today we live in similar days. Lot's day has many similarities in the practices of sin. Both Illustrations have life going on with little reference to the godly, but then judgment comes. Christ indicates a time of judgement during the days of the Son of Man. Concluding this section Jesus tells us to remember Lot's wife as she disobeyed and was judged.

4.    The . . Incompatibility About the Kingdom. 17:33-37

    A.    Division . . and Incompatibility. 17:33-36
        33 Whoever tries to make his life secure will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed: one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together: one will be taken and the other left. [36 Two will be in a field: one will be taken, and the other will be left."]

    B.    Disposition . . and Incompatibility. 17:37
        37 "Where, Lord?" they asked Him. He said to them, "Where the corpse is, there also the vultures will be gathered." (HCSB)

        There is incompatibility related to a knowledge of the kingdom. Some are compatible with Christ and some are not this causes a division because of their spiritual condition. The reference to vultures simply indicates where the spiritually dead are found; judgement follows. The disposition of vultures makes them go chasing after their natural desires, as do the lost. Just as people know what vultures do; Jesus indicates everyone will know when the Son of Man returns. This lesson guides many to ask What About The Kingdom?  Amen? Amen!