Hold on Jesus, I Need to Get My iPhone: A Look at Luke 17:20-37

For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you

Read Luke 17:20-37


“Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation;

In other words, when the kingdom comes it’s arrival will not be visible to the eye.

nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

I absolutely love the original Greek word for kingdom. When I first learned it’s definition, it blew my mind. The original word is basileia and it means royal power, kingship, dominion, rule. Did you notice that each of the words of the definition do not describe a place? Pretty interesting, right? Instead, the kingdom of God in this passage refers to the authority that Christians submit to — and this submission happens in the heart, making this a heart issue, not a locality issue. In order to come into the kingdom, one must lay down his or her will and submit to the Father’s, which is why Jesus said “the kingdom of God is within you.” And the reason this blows my mind? Because we can enter the kingdom of God right now!!! Right here on earth! There is no waiting for admittance through the Pearly Gates, we can be citizens of the His kingdom right now! Pretty amazing stuff, right?

Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.

Life is going to get the point, and for most of us we are already to that point, where we will desperately desire for the return of Jesus Christ. However, we will need to be patient. We don’t always get what we want, right? Not to worry though, God knows what He is doing and He will return in His own perfect timing.

And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them.

Beware, false messiahs will come. In fact, we have already seen a few, haven’t we? Ok, there have actually been quite a lot. David Koresh immediately comes to my mind when I think of people claiming to be Jesus. But did you know there are four different people (at least according to Wikipedia) walking around out there right now claiming to be Jesus? Don’t believe me, just google it.

For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.

There will be no doubt when the real Jesus actually returns. The sky will light up and His glory will be seen in every corner of the earth. So if you are wondering if that guy (or gal) down the street claiming to be Jesus is legit, ask yourself How’s the weather today? Any unexplained lightning phenomenons going on?

But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

Jesus is referring to the cross here. His disciples did not yet understand that He would come twice. First to preach the gospel and set the captives free. Then again to shine light into all dark places (1 Corinthians 4:5) and to judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1).

And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

Just before the flood, life was moving along as usual. They had no warning. Well… They had the prophet Noah, but they chose not to listen. Other than that, nothing out of the ordinary was going on.

Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.

Once again, business as usual for the citizens of Sodom. Lot tried to warn a few, but no one would listen.

Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

When Jesus returns, we will have no warning. Unless, you’ve been reading your Bible, of course, and have choosen to believe it. But even then, we will not know the exact time or the hour (Matthew 24:36). Life will be moving right along as usual — people will be getting married, having babies, going to work, attending softball games, dinner parties, and movies. And all of a sudden Jesus will be here!

In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away.

And really, who would want to!?! I mean, come on, it’s Jesus we are talking about here! I can’t imagine doing anything but running out to see Him. I promise I won’t be like, “Just a minute Jesus, I need to go grab my iPhone.”

And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.

No regrets here, people! No mourning the loss of our earthly things. No mourning how your life will change because Jesus is here to set up a brand new and beautiful heaven and earth. If there is even one possession that you think you’ll miss, even one aspect of your lifestyle that you can’t imagine going without, you need to be praying this verse over and over and over again. I myself pray it often.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:23-24‬

I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left.

Why? Because even though life will be business as usual, some will be ready and some will not. Those that are ready and excited for the Lord’s return will be caught up to meet Him in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). And those who are not ready? Those clinging to life here on earth? Well, they will be left for judgement. The judgement that will be due to them (due to all of us really) because they did not accept — they would not believe — that Jesus already took the judgment and the punishment for their sins.

So what do we do with all this information about the kingdom of God and the second coming of Christ? We prepare. We get our hearts ready by simply accepting and believing that the gospel is truth. That we are sinners deserving death and in need of a Savior. That Jesus is that Saviour — He is the only Savior! That He died for our sins and resurrected, conquering sin and death so that we could spend eternity knowing and being known by Him.

But what else? Is there more to be done to prepare for His second coming? Yes! Before I go I on I want to be clear: we do not earn salvation, it a gift freely given and a gift only accepted through faith. That said, there is more to be done. We have been commanded by Jesus Himself to go out and give the good news to those still suffering in darkness.

Freely you have received, freely give. ~Matthew 10:8b

Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. ~Mark 16:15

Imagine yourself sitting at a picnic table in the park. You have just eaten your lunching and, because we tend to make extra large portions here in America, you have leftovers sitting in front of you. Now imagine a small child, dirty and alone coming near you. She doesn’t say anything. She doesn’t look you directly in the eye, but she notices that you have something that she needs. You see the hunger in her eyes. Maybe you hear her stomach growl. You know what she needs. You have what she needs. What do you do? Do you pack up the abundance of your lunch and go about your day – business as usual? Or do you offer her what she needs?

We have neighbors and family members and co-workers hungry. You, Christian, have what they need. You have Jesus and there is plenty of Him to go around. Are you going to share? Are you going to tell them about the One who will satisfy their spiritual thirst and hunger completely? Or will you pack Him up in your lunch box and walk away?

One will be taken and the other left.

Don’t let it happen because you wouldn’t share the gospel. Don’t let it because you were too busy to let your daily schedule be interrupted. Don’t let it be because you were too tired, or too shy, or too worried about what others might think of you.

Just go! And preach! Let the Holy Spirit lead! And go!

And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?” So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.””

Ok, honestly, when I first read this I was like what? And I’m still a little like what? But I did read one commentary that explained this verse as a well known proverb of the day. The meaning, that all things happen in their proper time. Yeah. I know. I don’t get that meaning from the verse either, but we’ll just go with it for now.

In the meantime, be praying friends. Be praying that the Lord prepare your heart for His return. Be praying that He opens doors for authentic ministry and sharing of the gospel. Pray for your unsaved friends and loved ones. Pray with thanksgiving that God the Father has everything under control and all things will happen according to His timeline. Be praying, friends. Be seeking Him. Be listen to the Holy Spirit and, by His grace, be obedient to His command to go and preach the gospel.


Friends,

Please remember that I am human and flawed and my thoughts on this passage and others may not always be right. Please hold what I write up against the Word of God and listen to the Holy Spirit as He speaks to you directly.

Only by grace,

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