For the Son of Man in His Day
Will Be Like Lightening

Luke 17: 22-37

DIG: What did Jesus mean by one of the days of the Son of Man? How will those days be like the days of Noah and Lot? Why will the apostles long to see the Lord’s return? What will happen at that time? Why must the Great Tribulation come before the Second Coming? What is meant by the warning about Lot’s wife (verses 32-33)? Verse 37 was a common proverb, implying that something will happen in its proper time. Why does Yeshua answer like this? What will be the difference between the sheep Gentiles and the goat Gentiles? How will unbelievers be judged during the thousand year millennial Kingdom?

REFLECT: When you think about Jesus Christ returning as the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David (Revelation 5:5), are you excited or frightened? Why? Why not? In light of the unexpected nature of His coming, how are His followers to live?

Throughout Christ’s ministry in Perea heading toward Jerusalem, He sought to teach His disciples what it meant to follow Him and to allow His life to penetrate their hearts. Part of Jesus’ teaching not only centered on His approaching death, but also upon the promise that He would come again at the end of the age to establish His Kingdom. In a sense, everything Messiah said and did was meant to prepare us for the end of time. His greatest desire is to gather us all together in Him and establish us in His Father’s presence forever.1155

Having answered the question about when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus thenturned to His apostles (and to us) and spoke to them (us) directly about the Second Coming (see my commentary on Isaiah Kg – The Second Coming of Jesus Christ). He said: The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man (Luke 17:22a). One would expect it to read the day of (like verses 24 and 30), but plural may be used to parallel in the days of Noah and Lot (like verses 26 and 28). This expression means in the days when the Son of Man returns and reigns.1156 The Twelve would long to see the Lord’s return because the messianic Kingdom will begin immediately afterwards. The righteous of the TaNaKh will be rewarded and the wicked will be judged.

But He told them: You will not see it because the Great Tribulation (see my commentary on Revelation Cg – The Great Tribulation) must come before the Second Coming (see Gn – Conflict at the Feast of Booths). So while the apostles were living out their lives after Messiah ascended back to the Father: If men will tell you, “There He is!” or “Here He is!” Do not go running after them. For the Son of Man in His day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. Lightning cannot be hidden, it shows itself across the sky. So whenever the Messiah returns, the whole world will see Him. This verse warns against believers’ being misled into thinking that the Son of Man’s coming will be concealed from the world or that He has already come in some secret or mysterious way, a warning all too frequently ignored in the Church’s history. But before the Second Coming would ever occur, first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation (Luke 17:22b-25).

Just as it was in the days of Noah (see my commentary on Genesis Cg – Noah and His Wife and Sons Entered the Ark to Escape the Waters of the Flood), so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People will be eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. And they knew nothing about what would happen until the Flood came and destroyed them all. That is how it will be at the Second Coming of the Son of Man (Mattityahu 24:39 and Luke 17:26-27). This refers to how the antediluvian generation was unsuspecting and unprepared for the Flood, just like the unbelievers before the return of the Lord will be unsuspecting and unprepared.

Then Luke 17:28-29 tells us: It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building (see my commentary on Genesis Ez – The Two Men said to Lot: Don’t Look Back). But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all (see my commentary on Genesis Fa – The LORD Rained Down Burning Sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah). God’s judgment came swiftly, and there was no time to prepare.

It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:30). This message was so important, that Yeshua repeated it just two days before His crucifixion(see Jr – The Day and the Hour Unknown)? Jesus taught them that when the day comes for Him to return in glory, it will come quickly and powerfully. In every age, Yeshua Messiah calls His disciples to be prepared to go to the heavens without looking back. This is true whether it happens on the day the Lord returns, or at the time of our death.

Once the Great Tribulation ends and Yeshua returns, there will be no time left to make a decision for the Lord. On that day no one who is on the roof of their house, with their goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything (Luke 17:31). Jesus warned the Twelve (and us) that weshould not be attached to the material things of this world because they, like Lot’s wife, will be judged accordingly. Remember Lot’s wife (Luke 17:32)! She was reluctant to leave and in looking back, she came under divine judgment.

When Jesus returns at the end of the Great Tribulation, He will engage in a war against the antichrist and the armies of the world (see my commentary on Revelation Ex – The Eight Stage Campaign of Armageddon). The first casualty in this campaign will be the antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:8), after his death the slaughter of his army will continue. There actually is no fighting per se. It is really an execution. The Commander of the LORD’s army will continue marching through the Land in indignation, as if treading the winepress of His wrath, causing blood to be sprinkled on His garments. Zechariah 14:12-15 describes the manner in which this massive army will be destroyed. This carnage will continue all the way back to Jerusalem, coming to an end in the Valley of Jehoshaphat as Joel 3:12-13 states. The nations that have gathered against the Jews (Joel 3:9-11) will find themselves being slaughtered by the King of the Jews. The blood from this encounter with Jesus will run about one mile wide and one hundred and eighty miles long, from the Valley of Jezreel in the north of Isra’el, to Bozrah in the south and will literally reach to the horses’ bridles (Revelation 14:20). A sea of humanity will become a sea of blood. It will practically cover the length of Isra’el. So when His talmidim asked Him, “Where Lord?” Jesus said: Wherever there is a dead body, that’s where the vultures will gather (Luke 17:37 CJB).

At that time judgment will come for all unbelievers. Most will be killed during the Great Tribulation and the ensuing campaign of Armageddon. However, millions and millions of unbelievers will still be alive once the messianic Kingdom begins. Of those, whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will save it (Luke 17:33). Heaven may have a shine to honor God’s uncommon use of the common.

It’s a place you won’t want to miss. Stroll through and see Rahab’s rope, Paul’s bucket, David’s sling, and Samson’s jawbone. Wrap your hand around the staff that split the sea and struck the rock. Sniff the ointment that soothed Messiah’s skin and lifted His heart . . .

I don’t know if these items will be there. But I am sure of one thing – the people who used them will. The risk takers: Rahab who sheltered the spy. The brothers who smuggled Rabbi Sha’ul. The conquerors: David, slinging a stone. Samson, swinging a bone. Moses lifting a rod. The caregivers: Mary at Christ’s feet. What she gave cost much, but somehow she knew what He would give would cost more.1157

I tell you, on that night it will be like two people in one bed; one, the sheep Gentiles (see my commentary on Revelation Fc – The Sheep and the Goats) will be taken from judgment, and the other, the goat Gentiles will be judged (see my commentary on Isaiah Kq – The Wolf and the Lamb Will Feed Together, and the Lion Will Eat Straw Like the Ox). In the same manner, it will be like two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken from judgment and the other will be judged (Luke 17:34-36).

How, then, can we prepare ourselves for the Lord’s return? Through living faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of Man. As we turn to Him with all [our] heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30), He gives us the grace to live for Him and to be willing to let go of this life on earth. The Ruach HaKodesh gives us the power to lose our lives in Him so that we might be saved from the wrath to come (First Thessalonians 1:10). Consequently, we need to keep a light touch on the things of this world. It should not have a claim on our hearts. We belong to Yeshua, and we can trust that He will come for us and bring us into eternal life (see Ms – The Eternal Security of the Believer) with Him.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of faith through which we know You and are saved. Help us to let go of anything that binds us to the world so that we can live for You more each day.1158

 

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