Today’s text touches on several important themes. But the one overall theme is the Kingdom of God. What will God’s kingdom look like? When will it come? As we study the scriptures, we discover that most questions like this have layers of answers and cannot be answered simply. For instance, the Old Testament promised that the Messiah would have certain characteristics. (Isaiah 35:5-6) The scriptures clearly spoke of the Messiah in two different ways. First as a suffering Messiah (Psalms 22, Isaiah 53, etc.) But also, as the conquering king (Daniel 7:13-14, Isaiah 9:6-7, etc.). The Old Testament saints couldn’t see that there were two comings of their Messiah. First as the suffering Messiah and second at His second coming, the conquering king. In the same way, the scriptures speak of the kingdom of God in several different layers or phases that many get confused about today. We will begin to explore this concept in today’s text.
As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.” One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.” Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see the day when the Son of Man returns, but you won’t see it. People will tell you, ‘Look, there is the Son of Man,’ or ‘Here he is,’ but don’t go out andfollow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so it will be on the day when the Son of Man comes. But first the Son of Man must suffer terribly and be rejected by this generation.” (Luke 17:11–25, NLT)
An important lesson that I hope you all get from today’s study is that suffering often comes before a reward and we must all be busy serving the Lord rather than just sitting around debating theology or eschatology. We need to be serving Him so that we are not caught off guard when He returns.
Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him (Jesus), saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”” (Acts 1:6–8, NKJV)
May He find us properly occupying when He returns.