Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Wednesday after the Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on October 31, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Luke 17:20-37 (NKJV)
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; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
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. 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. 25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
26 “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 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.
28 “Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
30 “Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”
37 And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?”
So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
When Jesus says “The kingdom of God does not come with observation,” He means that it doesn’t come by clever analysis of obscure “signs.” Some examples today would be Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code, or Michael Drosnin’s The Bible Code, in which he proposes that there are secret messages in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. But more common are the host of neo-evangelical preachers on television who observe events in the news and coordinate them with the Bible, trying to predict the second coming of Christ.
Just like today, there was no end of such prognosticators in Jesus’ day. Jesus rejects them all. The kingdom comes with Him and with the preaching of the Gospel, nothing more. Even after Jesus is ascended to Heaven, the believers should not look for Him with any cabbalistic or alchemical schemes. His return will be obvious, “as the lightning that flashes…” It will also be sudden. No one knows the day or the hour of His return, so we should live in anticipation of the second advent of Christ every day. We often do not think about this because we are busy and the world has always gone on this way, and we assume it always will. But we should always be saying little two second prayers during the day that our Lord would make us mindful, faithful, and repentant.
We pray: Lord, help me to be ready for Your return. Keep my heart repentant and faithful. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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