Opening Prayer

Father, whatever this day holds for me, thank you that everything will unfold according to your plan and purposes. Help me to sense your presence, to experience your working, and to trust in your faithfulness.

Read LUKE 17:20–37

The Coming of the Kingdom of God

20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”[a]

22 Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day[b] will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

28 “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

30 “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. 32 Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.” [36] [c]

37 “Where, Lord?” they asked.

He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”

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  1. Luke 17:21 Or is within you
  2. Luke 17:24 Some manuscripts do not have in his day.
  3. Luke 17:36 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Matt. 24:40.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’1 Reflect on Jesus’ Lordship over your past and your future. Commit to being fruitful in the present.

Think Further

Speculation is growing. On the way to Jerusalem, both the disciples and the Pharisees want to know what this all means for the kingdom of God.2 Jesus is challenged about when and where the kingdom will come.

Jesus answers the Pharisees by saying that the kingdom cannot be either diagnosed or located by careful observation. Instead, Jesus insists that the kingdom of God is already present in their midst. We have earlier seen Jesus driving out demons ‘by the finger of God.’3 When that happens or people are healed (v. 14), the kingdom of God has come. In that sense, the kingdom is already present in our midst as the power of the Holy Spirit at work among us.

Jesus then tells the disciples (probably privately), that there’s also so much more of the kingdom that is not yet present. There’ll be times when they long for its coming (v. 22) and people will imagine its presence (v. 23), but the disciples are not to be deceived. The ‘not yet’ of the kingdom won’t come in a hidden way: when the Son of Man comes,4 his coming will light up the sky and there will be no doubt at all (v. 24). Before that can happen, Jesus himself has to choose the kingdom by choosing the cross (v. 25).

So the disciples are to live ready. They’re to rely on the kingdom present in their midst, even as they wait for it to come in its fullness (facing travails in that waiting). When the day comes, we must not look back, as did Lot’s wife, but must run toward Jesus, revealed in his glory.


Speculation about the Lord’s return isn’t fruitful.5 Instead, you can ask for more of God’s ‘already’ kingdom to come in your life and that of your community.

Closing prayer

King of Kings, as I long for your return, help me to wait expectantly and obediently, invested in the expansion and growth of your kingdom.

Last Updated on January 11, 2024 by kingstar

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