Luke 17 Bible study

Living Word Magazine

Stumbling Blocks


17:1  Jesus said to his disciples, "Stumbling blocks are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!


Jesus knew what human sinful nature was like and so he warns His disciples that it is impossible that no stumbling blocks

should come in the way of their walk of faith with Him.  But how terrible it will be for the one from whom they come!


17:2  It would be better for him to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these

little ones to sin.


It would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a heavy stone tied around his neck than he should cause any of these

young in the faith to stumble.


17:3  Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him.


So be very careful that you do not offend or take offence (1 Cor. 10:32). If another believer sins against you, reprove him and if he says sorry and repents then forgive.


17:4  Even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times returns to you saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him."


No matter how many times he may sin against you in a day or how many times he says that he is sorry and asks for your forgiveness you must forgive him (Eph. 4:31-32).


Faith and Duty


17:5  The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"


The disciples were very conscious of how little faith they had and so they ask Jesus if He would increase their faith.


17:6  So the Lord replied, "If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this black mulberry tree, 'Be pulled out by the roots and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.


In reply He tells them how much can be accomplished with just a small amount of faith. He likens it to the small size of a mustard seed that grows into a large tree.  So faith no matter how small it is will increase as it is but into use.


17:7  "Would any one of you say to your slave who comes in from the field after plowing or shepherding sheep, 'Come at once and sit down for a meal'?


Turning from faith to service, the practical, (James 2:18) Jesus asks His disciples who amongst them would ask his hard working servant to come and sit down and eat after he had done a hard days work.


17:8  Won't the master instead say to him, 'Get my dinner ready, and make yourself ready to serve me while I eat and drink. Then you may eat and drink'?


This would be an absurd thing to say to a mere servant.  Rather a master would tell his servant to go and prepare his supper and to serve him first and then afterwards he go and have his own food.


17:9  He won't thank the slave because he did what he was told, will he?


The master of that servant would not thank him for doing those things that were his duty to do.


17:10  So you too, when you have done everything you were commanded to do, should say, 'We are slaves undeserving of special praise; we have only done what was our duty.' "


So it is when the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ has done everything that He has commanded them to do they should say (NLT) "we are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty" (Romans 12:1).


Giving Thanks


17:11-13  Now on the way to Jerusalem, Jesus was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten men with leprosy met him. They stood at a distance, raised their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."


One time when Jesus was going up to Jerusalem He went through Samaria and Galilee.  As he entered a village he met ten men who were lepers who stood at a distance. They cried out for Jesus to have mercy upon them.


17:14  When he saw them he said, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went along, they were cleansed.


The remarkable thing about this healing is that Jesus did not say to them "you are healed your faith as made you whole." He told them to do what would be required by the law for anyone who had been leprous, "go, and show yourselves to the priests" (Leviticus 14:1- 4). Although the leprosy was still upon them they did as Jesus told them to.   As they went in obedience they were healed!


17:15-16  Then one of them, when he saw he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He fell with his face to the ground at Jesus' feet and thanked him. (Now he was a Samaritan.)


One of these ten men when he saw that he had been healed praised God and went back to Jesus. Falling down on his face at the feet of Jesus he expressed his gratitude and thanks for He had done for him. It is noted that this man was a Samaritan who was despised by the Jews, the other nine men were Jews.


17:17  Then Jesus said, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?


Jesus asked the man if it were ten lepers that had been healed so where were the other none.


17:18  Was no one found to turn back and give praise to God except this foreigner?


None of the nine men were found to return and recognize what had been done for them or to give thanks to God except this foreigner.


17:19  Then he said to the man, "Get up and go your way. Your faith has made you well."


He told the man to get up and go on his way his faith and trust in God had restored him to full health.


How things will be before Christ's Impending Return


17:20-21  Now at one point the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was coming, so he answered, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is in your midst."


The Pharisees questioned Jesus as to when the Kingdom of God would come. He answered them that the Kingdom of God cannot be  seen by the eye. Nor will anyone say "here it is" or "there it is" for the Kingdom of God will be within the heart.


17:22  Then he said to the disciples, "The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.


To His disciples Jesus reveals what it will be like in the last days before His coming again.  Those days will be marked by such excessive self-indulgence and moral decay that they will long to see the day when He will return but it will not happen just then.


17:23  Then people will say to you, 'Look, there he is!' or 'Look, here he is!' Do not go out or chase after them.


There will be many false prophets who will say that Jesus Christ has come again.  But Jesus warns do not be taken in by them or follow after them.


17:24  For just like the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.


When the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth be seen by everybody as the lightening that flashes across the sky is seen by all (Rev. 1:7).


17:25  But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.


The Lord Jesus Christ again tells His disciples that before any coming in glory He will have to suffer rejection by His own people and cruel scourging, mocking and being crucified.


17:26  Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man.


Before His coming and at His coming it will be just as it was in the days of Noah before the flood.


17:27-28  People were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage — right up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot, people were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building.


In spite of all the warnings that Noah gave the people continue in their wild and immoral living and getting married right up to the time of the flood (Gen. 6:5-12). It was exactly the same in the days of Lot regarding Sodom and Gomorrah they continued on in daily business, they planted and built houses.


17:29 But on the day Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.


The moment that Lot and his family left Sodom God poured out His judgment upon both cities and destroyed them and all the people living in them by fire and brimstone from heaven.


17:30  It will be the same on the day the Son of Man is revealed.


It will be the same in the day when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back to the earth (Rev. 1:7).


Note.  There are various interpretations of the following verses. Some consider that Jesus is referring to the time of the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. Others that He is referring to the Rapture of the Church when believers will be caught up to meet Him in the air and unbelievers left behind. However it does not seem feasible that in the previous verse He is talking about His return to the earth in great power and glory and then suddenly change to another period. I would say that the Lord Jesus Christ is referring to the time of "The Great Tribulation" and to the 144,000 Jews who were sealed (see Derek R Williams commentary on Revelation chapter 12).


17:31-32  On that day, anyone who is on the roof, with his goods in the house, must not come down to take them away, and likewise the person in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot's wife!


In that day when the Lord Jesus Christ comes it will be no use anyone worrying about their possession or fleeing for their lives for there will be no escape from judgment. Look what happened to Lot's wife because she looked back ?


17:33 Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.


In those days whoever tries to preserve his life will lose it but whoever is prepared to lose his life will have eternal l


17:34-36  I tell you, in that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left."


It is these verses that has been interpreted to refer to the Rapture and it is easy to see why. But this does not seem in keeping with the previous words of Jesus. From verse 33 to 36 there is a distinction made between the faithful and unfaithful. The ones that are taken away to safety are believers those who are left behind unbelievers.


17:37 Then the disciples said to him, "Where, Lord?" He replied to them, "Where the dead body is, there the vultures will gather."


His disciples ask Him a simple question "Where, Lord?" but who or what did they mean? From His answer to them they must have been asking what happens to those who are left behind.   Where there are dead bodies left unburied the vultures will gather to eat the carcasses (Rev. 19:17-21).


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Chapter 17

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