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Christ Cleanses Ten Lepers
Luke 17:11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
Luke did not explain the reason for such a circuitous route, but a comparison of the gospels yields several clues. It appears that time elapsed between v. 10 and v. 11. The raising of Lazarus at Bethany, near Jerusalem (Jn 11) appears to fit into this timeframe. John 11:54 states that after raising Lazarus, to avoid the authorities who were seeking to kill Him, Christ went to “a city called Ephraim”— N of Jerusalem near the border of Samaria. From there He apparently traveled N through Samaria and Galilee one more time, possibly to join friends and family from Galilee who would be making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover. From there He would have traveled S by the conventional route, which would have brought Him through Jericho (18:35) to Jerusalem.
Luke 17:12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.
Leviticus 13:45 “Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ :46 He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.
Luke 17:13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
Luke 17:14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
The healing was sudden and immediately visible, but occurred after they obeyed His command.
Luke 17:15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, :16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
Luke 17:17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?
Luke 17:18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”
Luke 17:19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
Only the grateful ten percent inherit Christ’s true riches.
Jesus meets our turning back (v. 15) and our giving thanks (v. 16) with fresh blessings. “Your faith has made you well” suggests that whereas the nine were cleansed from leprosy, the tenth was also saved from sin!
Christ Teaches on the Second Coming
Luke 17:20 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;
They may have asked the question mockingly, having already concluded that He was not the Messiah. not coming with signs to be observed. The Pharisees believed that the Messiah’s triumph would be immediate. They were looking for Him to come, overthrow Rome, and set up the millennial kingdom.
Christ’s program was altogether different. He was inaugurating an era in which the kingdom would be manifest in the rule of God in men’s hearts through faith in the Savior. Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
That kingdom was neither confined to a particular geographical location nor visible to human eyes. It would come quietly, invisibly, and without the normal pomp and splendor associated with the arrival of a king. Jesus did not suggest that the OT promises of an earthly kingdom were hereby nullified. Rather, that earthly, visible manifestation of the kingdom is yet to come.
Luke 17:21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
The Lord Jesus could not have meant that the kingdom was actually inside the hearts of the Pharisees, because these hardened religious hypocrites had no room in their hearts for Christ the King.
But He meant that the kingdom of God was in their midst. He was the rightful King of Israel and had performed His miracles, and presented His credentials for all to see.
But the Pharisees had no desire to receive Him. And so for them, the kingdom of God had presented itself and was completely unnoticed by them.
Luke 17:22 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.
Speaking to the Pharisees, the Lord described the kingdom as something that had already come. When He turned to the disciples, He spoke about the kingdom as a future event which would be set up at His Second Coming. But first He described the period that would intervene between His First and Second Advents. The days would come when the disciples would desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but would not see it. In other words, they would long for one of the days when He was with them on earth and they enjoyed sweet fellowship with Him. Those days were, in a sense, foretastes of the time He would return in power and great glory.
Luke 17:23 And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them. :24 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.
Many false christs would arise, and rulers would announce that the Messiah had come. But His followers were not to be deceived by any such false alarms. Christ’s Second Advent would be as visible and unmistakable as the lightning which streaks from one part of the sky to the other.
Luke 17:25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
Luke 17:27 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.
Turning back to the subject of His coming to reign, the Lord taught that the days immediately preceding that glorious event would be like the days of Noah. People ate, they drank, they married, and were given in marriage. These things are not wrong; they are normal, legitimate human activities. The evil was that men lived for these things and had no thought or time for God.
After Noah and his family entered the ark, the flood came and destroyed the rest of the population. So the Second Coming of Christ would mean judgment for those who reject His offer of mercy.
Luke 17:28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
Judgment came suddenly, destroying people in the midst of their everyday activities. Genesis 19:24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. :25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
None of the things Jesus cited with regard to Noah’s day or Lot’s day were inherently sinful. But people were so absorbed in the things of this life that they were utterly unprepared when the time of judgment came.
Luke 17:29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
Luke 17:30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
Hindson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 121). Nashville: Thomas Nelson. MacArthur, J. F., Jr., MacDonald, Farstad, Believers Bible; Hindson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 2195). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.