Daily Readings and Thought for March 25th. “So will the Son of man be in his day “


 Our reading in Luke ch.17 intrigued us with the answers of Jesus to a question by the Pharisees as to “when the Kingdom of God would come?” [v.20]  Jesus gives two apparently different answers – first to the Pharisees and then “to the disciples” [v.22]  

He tells the Pharisees “the kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” [v.20,21] What does he mean?  We concluded, after comparing these words to what he said to the disciples, that he means, in effect, don’t expect to see signs that will alert you – because the kingdom will come so suddenly to be dramatically unexpected in your midst.

He explains to his disciples that first there will be a long period “when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.” [v.22] He warns them, “they will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’  Do not go out or follow them. 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.” [v.23,24]  He likens this event to the suddenness of the flood (for the ungodly) in the days of Noah (v.27) and the dramatic overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah when only Lot and his daughters escaped because the angels came.  His wife could have escaped too – but she tarried too long! Note how Jesus says (v.32,33) “Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it” 

What does Jesus mean?  In the parallel passage in Mark there is an explanation so that we understand that those who are intent on preserving their lives, lacking faith in God’s word, as Lot’s wife did to God’s words through the angels, they will lose eternal life. In Mark’ gospel we read, “whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.  For what does it profit a man (or woman) to gain the whole world and forfeit his (eternal) life? … whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him (or her) will the Son of man also be ashamed when he comes …” [8 v.35-38]   Let us not be ashamed!  3

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