“How many more days ‘til Christmas?” I can still hear my boys repeating that question, sometimes more than once a day, when they were very young. They knew something wonderful was coming, but they had no idea exactly when it would occur. As the season lit up, so did their eyes—they were just hoping it wouldn’t be much longer.
- Is there anything you still look forward to, but are not sure when it will come?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 17:20-37 (ESV)
20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
22 And 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. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. 24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— 30 so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. 35 There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.” 37 And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- When did Jesus tell the Pharisees the kingdom of God would come (vss. 20-21)?
- Jesus spoke of his return to his disciples. How obvious would it be?
- As in the times of Noah and Lot, what would people be doing at his return? What will happen to those who are not looking for him?
- What was the significance of the warning not to put up goods or turn back from the field?
- How can you cultivate a heart that is expectant and ready for Jesus’ return?
RESPOND TO GOD
The Pharisees wanted to pin Jesus down regarding his claim that the kingdom of God was at hand. They expected a Messiah who would defeat the Romans and set up a mighty, earthly kingdom. They failed to perceive that before them stood the kingdom of God, one who would suffer the cross so that the kingdom might continue in the hearts of believers until his return. Those who were not looking for him—those caught up in their godless living—would be taken away to judgment. But Jesus’ return would be obvious to those with expectant, ready hearts.
- Ask God to reveal what you focus on in this world.
- Ask God to fixate your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith.