Luke Ch17:11-37

This study of Luke 17:11-37 was given by pastor Barry Forder on 4th June 2023 at Calvary Portsmouth. 

In this study we see 10 lepers healed by Jesus, as yet a further demonstration that He was indeed the long-awaited Messiah of Israel. The lepers were then sent to the High Priest, according to the Law of Moses to confirm their healing and to offer the sacrifices prescribed by the law. Throughout Israel’s history there had never been a case where leprosy ad been healed, the priests had never had to turn to Leviticus 13 and follow the instructions. Now, a single leaper had been healed back in Luke 5:12 – that had been remarkable enough! But now ten more lepers turn up at Caiaphas’ door for him to inspect and pronounce clean! You have to wonder at the hardness of Caiaphas’ heart to still reject Jesus as the Messiah in the face of such amazing evidence! 

Then, on the back of these healings, Jesus answers a question put to him by the pharisees regarding the coming Messianic kingdom. Maybe these healings had prompted the question as to whether Jesus really could be the Messiah? If so, what did HE have to say about their current predicament under Rome, and the Old Testament promises of a restoration of David’s throne?

The Jews were expecting the Messiah to establish His throne, overthrow the oppression of Rome and rule the nation from Jerusalem. Thier expectation was not wrong! Even the disciples were expecting Jesus to do the same – remember Peter’s boldness in the garden of Gethsemane, as he reaches for his sword? Was this to be the moment the insurrection against Rome would begin? Peter clearly jumped the gun! But it was exactly what the Messiah was to do, as confirmed by the Spirit-inspired words of Zechariah:  

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel;
for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David;
As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets,
which have been since the world began:
That we should be saved from our enemies,
and from the hand of all that hate us;
To perform the mercy promised to our fathers,
and to remember his holy covenant;
The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies
might serve him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before him,
all the days of our life”.   Luke 1:68-75  (emphasis added)

Even the Angel Gabriel declared to Mary that her Son “shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:32-33 (emphasis added)

[Even after the Resurrection – in Acts 1:6-7 – the disciples asked if finally now was the time for the kingdom to be restored to Israel? Jesus doesn’t say ‘Guy’s you’ve got it all wrong’! He confirms it will happen, but just not yet!]

So it is, here in Luke 17, Jesus explains that the kingdom was already there and among them. He was ‘with them’, although they did not recognise Him, but it was also to come – a real physical kingdom on Earth, centered in Jerusalem, with the Messiah ruling and reigning over the whole earth (Daniel 2:35 / 2:44-45), and Jesus also reveals that, whist they were curious about the coming kingdom now, the days would come when they would long to see the days of the Messiah’s deliverance and rule – but they would not see it, because two things must first happen:

  1. The Messiah must suffer and be rejected by that generation (according to God’s plan that the Messiah must first give His life as a ransom for many),
  2. Deception must also come, to the would world (2 Thes 2:11) but particularly to the Jews (John 5:43).

Jesus then makes it clear that when the kingdom does finally come, it will obvious to the whole world, just as lightning flashing across the sky. However, that time will also be accompanied with great trial. The world will carry on pursuing their ungodly lives and lifestyles but then, just as suddenly as destruction came on the world in Noah’s day, and as it was in Lot’s day, ‘sudden destruction will come upon them as labour pains upon a pregnant woman’ (1 Thess 5:2-3).

“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh,
cruel both with wrath and fierce anger,
to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light:
the sun shall be darkened in his going forth,
and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
And I will punish the world for their evil,
and the wicked for their iniquity;
and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease,
and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible”. (Isaiah 13:9-11)

For the Jews living in Israel in those days it will be unimaginable! Zechariah records:

“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.  And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God”. (Zech 13:8-9)

Jeremiah records: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” (Jeremiah 30:7)

The amassed armies of Antichrist will gather together at Armageddon ready to march against and destroy Israel (Rev 16:16). But then, in their greatest hour of need, Israel will cry out to Yeshua (Jesus), their Messiah whom they will, by then, acknowledge – with repentant tears – to be their Messiah (Zech 12:9-14), and He will return from Heaven and take vengeance on His (and Israel’s enemies). (see Isaiah 63:1-6).

Whlie all of this is unfolding on earth, the Church will be safely with the LORD in heaven: (John 14:1-3 / 1 Thes 4:16-18)

“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers,
and shut thy doors about thee:
hide thyself as it were for a little moment,
until the indignation be overpast.
For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place
to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity:
the earth also shall disclose her blood,
and shall no more cover her slain.” (Isaiah 26:20-21)

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:9)

However, rather than simply enjoying the wonder and joy of Heaven, it seems from the book of Joel that we (the Church) will be called upon to interceed for Israel during this time of Tribulation. We read:

“Blow the trumpet in Zion [Heaven?],
sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders [cf Rev ch4:4  / 5:8],
gather the children, and those that suck the breasts:
let the bridegroom [Jesus] go forth of his chamber, and the bride [Church] out of her closet.
Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar,
and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord,
and give not thine heritage to reproach,
that the heathen should rule over them:
wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?”  (Joel 2:15-17)

The Jews will be preserved, Jesus the Messiah will return to establish and rule in the throne of David forever, and the Church will rule and reign with Him!

To be continued…


May you be blessed and encouraged by this study.

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