for this week: John 16:33 These things
I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world
ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the
We continue our study of
the book of Luke this week as we continue in chapter 17. Last
weeks lesson began with the parable of the unjust steward. Later
Jesus taught on divorce and pointed out how it is God’s desire for
us to stay with our mate once we are married. The chapter closed
with the account of Lazarus and the rich man who went to hell.
This is an actual account, not a parable as some teach. Proper
names are never used in a parable.
17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that
offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his
neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of
these little ones.
Jesus warns that
stumbling-blocks will surely come. He declares that men will be
guilty of leading others to sin and that it would be better for that
person who lead another astray to have a millstone hung about his
neck and be cast into the sea. We should do our best to not offend
others or do anything that will lead a young Christian to do the
17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee,
rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and
seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou
shalt forgive him.
Jesus does some
serious and direct teaching on forgiveness in verse 3 and 4. He
says that if someone trespasses against us, we are to go to that
brother or sister who has offended us and tell him of the wrong he
has done. Many times church members may go and tell a lot of other
church members about being offended and yet not say a word to the
true offender. It is easier to talk about other people’s failures
than to try and rectify the issue. This is not right. In Matthew
Chapter 18, we are given the exact order in how we are to deal with
18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and
tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear
thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two
more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be
18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the
church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee
as a heathen man and a publican.
18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth
shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth
shall be loosed in heaven.
18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth
as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them
of my Father which is in heaven.
The teaching is
clear and we should really follow this in order as the rules were
given. And once things are lined out, we should not say anything
else about it. If you let a fire die, it goes to embers and totally
goes out. However, if you keep fanning the flames as many do when
problems come up, issues will not go away. Jesus gives instructions
that if we are offended and the other person repents and comes back
and makes another mistake, we are to continue to forgive them. He
says even if this happened seven times in one day, we are to
forgive. Most likely, this would never happen. But we are not to
slow in rectifying issues that divide us.
17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed,
ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the
root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
Just as the
apostles asked the Lord to increase their faith, we should also do
this. God can help us with our unbelief, and as we draw closer to
the Lord, the greater our faith will become. Dan Halog sent me an
email this week where in a certain presentation, it said “He who is
richest is not the man who has acquired the most, but the one who
has learned to live with the least.” When we totally trust our
lives to God, there is nothing that we have to have. We can be
like Paul and accept whatever comes our way and be content in
that. Jesus says here that we could cause a tree to be uprooted
and thrown into the sea if we had the faith of a mustard seed. A
mustard seed is perhaps the smallest of all seeds, yet that little
bit could move trees and mountains. And I truly believe that some
of those mountains we move are obstacles that we face in life that
appear too large for us to manage.
11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this
mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall
not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he
saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when
ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
II. A Parable
17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle,
will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and
sit down to meat?
17:8 And 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?
17:9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were
commanded him? I trow not.
17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things
which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have
done that which was our duty to do.
This is a lesson
in humility that God desires all Christians to master. It is so
easy to over estimate our devotion to the Lord and think our value
of service is beyond what it really is. Jesus uses a parable of a
farm hand to illustrate the duty of a servant of the Lord. If we
hired a servant to go and work with us in the field, and we came in
to eat, would the master tell the servant to go and sit to eat, or
would he command him to serve the master and then eat? Of course
the servant is not greater than the master, and he would be the one
to serve. We should never get caught up in our service to the Lord
and think we are very special. We are bought with the blood of
Jesus and we should work and serve with gladness. It is not only a
duty that we continue to serve God, but it is an honor that we have
been called. And then, after we have done all we could do, we need
to acknowledge that we are nothing. As verse 10 says, “We are
unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to
do.” As I told a family the church helped a few weeks ago, we
would not even care about others if it was not for the difference
Christ has made in our lives. All honor and glory goes to the Lord
in our work.
Cor 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy
Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your
Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in
your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
J. Vernon McGee
had a good comment on these verses.
There are people who
believe that because they try to follow the Sermon on the Mount and
are good neighbors and try to love people, that someday God is going
to pat them on the back and say, “What a fine person you are. You
have earned your way to heaven.” If you keep the Ten Commandments
and the Sermon on the Mount, which you cannot, you are doing only
what you are supposed to do. Do you think you would receive
salvation for that? My friend, that’s what you are supposed to do as
one of His creatures. We need to recognize that salvation is a
gift; you cannot work for it. Keeping God’s Law is a duty.
III. The Ten
17:11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed
through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
17:12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten
men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
17:13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master,
have mercy on us.
It says that as
Jesus journeys towards Jerusalem, he passes through Samaria and
Galilee and comes into a certain village where ten lepers lived.
These men stood afar off it says. There were rules laid down in the
Mosaic Law that lepers had to abide by. If a man was found to be a
leper, he had to leave his home and friends and dwell apart from
them in the wilderness. When others approached him, he was to cry
out “Unclean.” Note that these men cried out something different
when Jesus came… they sought mercy from Jesus. These men were
seeking help sincerely from the Lord. The great trouble with many
today is that they acknowledge their need of a savior and admit they
are sinners, but they don’t earnestly seek the Lord for salvation.
They men cried out “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” They came to
the right one to get help.
17:14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves
unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were
We know from
prior accounts that Jesus typically healed others immediately.
Perhaps what Jesus said to them was discouraging as he told them to
show themselves to the priests. Under the law, when a man had
leprosy, he was to go show himself to the priest. Then the priest
would offer sacrifices for him in order that he might be officially
cleansed and restored in the congregation of the Lord. All ten of
these men do not hesitate, but go forth. Perhaps they knew the law
well enough to know that they would have to be cleansed to be
restored into the congregation. As they turned, acting in
obedience to the word of the Lord, it says they were cleansed. Why
did Jesus want them to go to the priest? For 1500 years after the
law had been written, not one example was ever given of a leper in
Israel being cleansed. This would be a great testimony to the
religious leaders to see 10 lepers cleansed from leprosy. The only
lepers we have record of being cleansed were Miriam and Naaman.
Miriam was leprous for only a short time. Perhaps the priests
wondered what value Chapter 14 of Leviticus had since no Jew had
been cleansed up to this point.
said this about the Lord’s Instructions.
Christ sent them to
the priest, to be inspected by him, who was the judge
of the leprosy. He did not tell them positively that they should be
cured, but bade them go show themselves to the priests,
v. 14. This was a trial of their obedience, and it was fit that it
should be so tried, as Naaman’s in a like case: Go wash in
Jordan. Note, Those that expect Christ’s favors must take them
in his way and method. Some of these lepers perhaps would be ready
to quarrel with the prescription: "Let him either cure or say that
he will not, and not send us to the priests on a fool’s errand;’’
but, over-ruled by the rest, they all went to the priest. As
the ceremonial law was yet in force, Christ took care that it should
be observed, and the reputation of it kept up, and due honour paid
to the priests in things pertaining to their function; but,
probably, he had here a further design, which was to have the
priest’s judgment of, and testimony to, the
perfectness of the cure; and that the priest might be awakened, and
others by him, to enquire after one that had such a commanding power
over bodily diseases.
III. As they went,
they were cleansed, and so became fit to be looked upon by the
priest, and to have a certificate from him that they were clean.
Observe, Then we may expect God to meet us with mercy when we
are found in the way of duty. If we do what we can, God will not be
wanting to do that for us which we cannot. Go, attend upon
instituted ordinances; go and pray, and read the scriptures: Go
show thyself to the priests; go and open thy case to a faithful
minister, and, though the means will not heal thee of themselves,
God will heal thee in the diligent use of those means.
17:15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back,
and with a loud voice glorified God,
17:16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and
he was a Samaritan.
17:17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but
where are the nine?
17:18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save
17:19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made
One of the men
turned back and glorified God with his voice. The man realized
that he had a miraculous cure, and wanted God to receive the honor
for it. Jesus asks him “Were there not 10 cleansed? But where are
the nine?” It is really bad when God does good things for people
that they fail to even acknowledge the Lord. The Samaritan
realized that only God could heal a leper and he turned back to
Jesus acknowledging Him as God.
Pharisees Demand to Know When the Kingdom Should Come
17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom
of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God
cometh not with observation:
17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold,
the kingdom of God is within you.
17:22 And 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.
17:23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not
after them, nor follow them.
17:24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part
under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall
also the Son of man be in his day.
demand to know when the kingdom of God would come. Jesus tells
them that you can’t just observe and find the kingdom, but in
reality the kingdom of God is within you. When we are saved, the
Holy Ghost come and dwells within us. Verses 22-24 speak of the
tribulation time when we will be coming to a close of time. During
the tribulation many rumors will spread that certain ones are Christ
and that he is in a certain place. The comment about the lightning
coming from one part is speaking of the close of the tribulation at
the second phase of His coming.
17:25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this
17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the
days of the Son of man.
17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given
in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the
flood came, and destroyed them all.
Jesus tells them
of how He must suffer man things and be rejected of the people of
this particular time. This of course speaks of what He must face
there on Calvary when He would pay the sin debt of all mankind. He
warns how that things will be like they were in the days of Noah.
Many in that day were eating, drinking, and being married. Even as
Noah and his family entered into the ark, many did not realize that
destruction was about to come. Yet the flood came and only those
inside the ark were saved. Jesus is our ark, and only those who
know Him as Lord and Savior will be saved from the tribulation that
awaits the lost here on earth. And greater than the tribulation,
we are saved from the wrath to come of those who will have to pay
the debt of sin in the flames of hell one day.
17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat,
they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire
and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is
17:31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his
stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he
that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
17:32 Remember Lot's wife.
examples from the Old Testament of Noah and Lot were given to warn
the people that if they did not listen, they too would perish like
those who rejected God in those days of old. Verse 31 speaks of the
tribulation period when those that need to flee go back and try to
take their things with them. He says remember Lot’s wife, who
perished as she looked back to all the things they had as they were
being destroyed. God had warned them to not look back, and when
she did, she turned into a pillar of salt.
17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and
whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
17:34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed;
the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
17:35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken,
and the other left.
17:36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and
the other left.
17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said
unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be
The first verses
in this section speak of the initial coming of the Lord. Some will
be taken and some left behind. Two women will be grinding together
and one will be taken and the other left. Only those who have
accepted Christ will be taken.
The days of
tribulation will be really a horrible time. Verse 37 speaks of
the Battle of Armageddon.
14:17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven,
he also having a sharp sickle.
14:18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power
over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp
sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters
of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
14:19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and
gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress
of the wrath of God.
14:20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood
came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space
of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
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4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.
e-mail at: email@example.com
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will
McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file],
electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas
Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.
Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible,
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.