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Lu 17:1-10. OFFENSES--FAITH--HUMILITY.
1, 2. (See Mt 18:6, 7).
4. seven times--not a lower measure of the forgiving spirit than the "seventy times seven" enjoined on Peter, which was occasioned by his asking if he was to stop at seven times. "No," is the virtual answer, "though it come to seventy times that number, if only he ask forgiveness in sincerity."
5. Lord--(See on
6. sycamine--mulberry. (See on Mr 11:22-24.)
7-10. say unto him by and by--The "by and by" (or rather "directly") should be joined not to the saying but the going: "Go directly." The connection here is: "But when your faith has been so increased as both to avoid and forgive offenses, and do things impossible to all but faith, be not puffed up as though you had laid the Lord under any obligations to you."
9. I trow not--or, as we say, when much more is meant, "I should think not."
10. unprofitable--a word which, though usually denoting the opposite of profit, is here used simply in its negative sense. "We have not, as his servants, profited or benefited God at all." (Compare Job 22:2, 3; Ro 11:35.)
Lu 17:11-19. TEN LEPERS CLEANSED.
11-13. through the midst of Samaria and Galilee--probably on the confines of both.
13. they lifted up--their common misery drawing these poor outcasts
nay, making them forget the fierce national antipathy of Jew and
14. show yourselves--as cleansed persons. (See on
Thus too would the Samaritan be taught that "salvation is of the Jews"
17, 18. Were there not ten cleansed--rather, were not the ten cleansed? that is, the whole of them--an example (by the way) of Christ's omniscience [BENGEL].
18. this stranger--"this alien" (literally, "of another race"). The language is that of wonder and admiration, as is expressly said of another exhibition of Gentile faith (Mt 8:10).
19. Arise--for he had "fallen down on his face at His feet"
and there lain prostrate.
Lu 17:20-37. COMING OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND OF THE SON OF MAN.
20-25. when, &c.--To meet the erroneous views not only of the
Pharisees, but of the disciples themselves, our Lord addresses both,
announcing the coming of the kingdom under different aspects.
21. Lo here! . . . lo there!--shut up within this
or that sharply defined and visible geographical or
22. The days--rather "Days."
23. they shall say, See here . . . go not, &c.--a warning to all so-called expositors of prophecy and their followers, who cry, Lo there and see here, every time that war breaks out or revolutions occur.
24. as lightning . . . so . . . the Son of man--that is it will be as manifest. The Lord speaks here of His coming and manifestation in a prophetically indefinite manner, and in these preparatory words blends into one the distinctive epochs [STIER]. When the whole polity of the Jews, civil and ecclesiastical alike, was broken up at once, and its continuance rendered impossible by the destruction of Jerusalem, it became as manifest to all as the lightning of heaven that the kingdom of God had ceased to exist in its old, and had entered on a new and perfectly different form. So it may be again, ere its final and greatest change at the personal coming of Christ, and of which the words in their highest sense are alone true.
25. But first . . . suffer, &c.--This shows that the more immediate reference of Lu 17:23 is to an event soon to follow the death of Christ. It was designed to withdraw the attention of "His disciples" from the glare in which His foregoing words had invested the approaching establishment of His kingdom.
26-30. eat . . . married . . . planted--all the ordinary occupations and enjoyments of life. Though the antediluvian world and the cities of the plain were awfully wicked, it is not their wickedness, but their worldliness, their unbelief and indifference to the future, their unpreparedness, that is here held up as a warning. Note.--These recorded events of Old Testament history--denied or explained away nowadays by not a few--are referred to here as facts.
31-33. to take it away . . . Remember, &c.--a warning against that lingering reluctance to part with present treasures which induces some to remain in a burning house, in hopes of saving this and that precious article till consumed and buried in its ruins. The cases here supposed, though different, are similar.
32. Lot's wife--her "look back," for that is all that is said of her, and her recorded doom. Her heart was in Sodom still, and the "look" just said, "And must I bid it adieu?"
33. Whosoever, &c.--(See on Lu 9:23-27).
34. two in one bed--the prepared and unprepared mingled in closest intercourse together in the ordinary walks and fellowships of life, when the moment of severance arrives. Awful truth! realized before the destruction of Jerusalem, when the Christians found themselves forced by their Lord's directions (Lu 21:21) at once and for ever away from their old associates; but most of all when the second coming of Christ shall burst upon a heedless world.
37. Where--shall this occur?