1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
After telling about the gulf between those safely in Abraham’s bosom and those suffering, Jesus told His disciples, “It is impossible”! Sometime we may read from chapter to chapter without a break. This is not one of those times! Luke 16 and Luke 17 address differing subjects!
Here, Jesus tells His followers that “offences (Gr. skandalon-σκάνδαλον/temptation to sin) will come”! Temptation to sin is an situation that cannot be avoided! The fact is that (with the lone exception of Christ Jesus) all humans are born is a fallen condition and we act accordingly! Human abilities will not overcome spiritual realities!
Satan is the accuser of the brethren! He continually tempts us to sin! However, Christ’s forgiveness is far superior to Satan’s power to tempt!
Christ Jesus spoke to the position of those being used to tempt others, “Woe to him, through whom the temptations come!”
The fact is that Satan and his minions tempt, but Christ overcomes all temptations! That “woe” is directed to Satan!
Christ warned His followers, “It would be better for him if a millstone was hanged about his neck, and he was cast into the sea, than that he would offend one of these little ones.”
In that statement, Christ was, as is normally taught referring to youngsters who seek to learn more about Christ! He was also speaking of those immature adults who are tempted through false teachings!
Christ warns, “Be careful! If your brother trespasses against you, rebuke him to bring about repentance! And, forgive him!
“If he trespasses against you seven times in a day, and seven times a day turns and repents, forgive him!”
As you read that please understand that Christ is not telling you to do anything that He has not already done! Christ has taken responsibility for all our sins!
1b And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
As I sat in Synagogue one Sabbath, the Rabbi told the congregants that the Scriptures were filled with God’s pleading for Israel to come back, to repent! Jesus admonished those who listened to Him to have that same attitude!
In order to turn to Christ, we must turn away from sin! Repentance is a turning away from Satan’s lie and toward the truth, Christ Jesus, Yahshua haMeshiach!
At that the Apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith! To which, Christ replied, “ If you all have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you all may say to this mulberry tree (Gr. sukaminos-συκάμινος), ‘Be plucked up, and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey.
“Which of you, would tell his servant to stop working and go eat without also telling that servant to fix your meal, and after I have finished, you may eat?
“Does a man thank a servant because he did that which he was commanded to do? I don’t think so!
“Likewise, when you all have done all that you were commanded to do, which of you will say, ‘We are useless servants and have only done what we were commanded to do.’”
Christ Jesus does not waste His salvation on unprofitable servants! Each of us has a mission! It may seem great or small, but even the least mission is valuable in the plan of God! The teaching of the above verses is simple: first things first!
Many years ago an Indy 500 driver led for much of the race, but in the final few laps lost when a $6 bearing failed. That small, seemingly insignificant, part spelled the difference between victory and defeat!
God’s plan for the ages does not depend on human effort. He has placed it in the hands of His Son Christ Jesus, God the Son, Who cannot fail!
11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
As Jesus and His followers walked to Jerusalem, they passed through Samaria and Galilee. While there ten men, who were lepers, happened to see Him as He passed by.
When they realized that Jesus was walking by they shouted to him, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
Jesus did not tell them that they were healed! He did not mention their faith! Instead, He simply told them, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”
Doesn’t that seem odd for One Who was accused of breaking the Law by Jewish Priests?
Showing the Priests was done in order to testify to the validity of their healing!
As they went to show the Priests, they were cleansed of the leprosy.
As the ten realized that they were healed, only one turned back to Christ! That one shouted praises to God, and fell down on his face at Jesus’ feet! That one was a Gentile Samaritan! Salvation is the most wonderful healing that man can receive! We should than God in the name of Christ each and every day for His wondrous salvation!
At that Jesus asked, “Weren’t there ten who were cleansed? So, where are the others?”
Thankfulness is a way of life for Christians! Christ took upon Himself the sins of the world, but only a few are thankful! Salvation is not ours by right of birth, but it is the result of re-birth!
Then, Jesus pointed out that only a “foreigner,” one whom the Jews of that day would have referred to as a dog had been thankful enough to come back and glorify God. The Jews who were healed treated the healing as their just due! After all, they were the “chosen”!
As the Gentile bowed worshipping Christ Jesus, He told him, “Get up and go your way! Your faith made you whole!” Now, faith is mentioned!
The others had also been healed, but Christ never mentioned their faith!
The fact is that “their” faith had nothing to do with the healing they experienced! The Jews who were healed because God the Son had the faith to believe and override any doubt in their hearts!
Today, we who have experienced His salvation do so as the result of Jesus’ faith imputed to us!
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Very few of today’s Bible translations point to the faith OF Christ Jesus, because the translators are unwilling to translate the Bible accurately! Galatians 2, verse 16 is not the only verse that directly refers to the faith OF Jesus!
20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.
23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.
24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.
26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
32 Remember Lot's wife.
33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.
As we begin this section we will find one of the most twisted of Jesus’ statements!
Do you recall that just prior to Christ’s ascension to heaven the Apostles wanted to know when Jesus would establish His kingdom on earth so that they could assume positions of royal dominion over all those heathen unbelievers! The faces and names may have changed, but the desire to rule among men seems everlasting! Dominionists today still seek positions of power on earth! In fact that teaching has infected the Church!
This time, it was not the Apostles who would ask to know when! This time, the Pharisees who did not actually believe that Jesus was The Messiah, and they did not simply ask, they “demanded” (Gr Emperooteetheis-EmperwthqeiV), or interrogated Christ seeking the answer!
His response was not what they wanted and has been greatly twisted by many Preachers in an attempt to placate their desire to rule!
Christ’s answer was simple and to the point, but hidden from those who are not led by the Holy Spirit!
Jesus said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation!
In this age, the Kingdom does not come to men so that others may openly see it!
The Kingdom of God comes within those who have been set aside, called out, chosen for citizenship in His Kingdom!
Phil 3:20 For our conversation (Gr. politeuma-πολίτευμα/citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
For those of us who trust Christ, the Kingdom has arrived! We live and work in the earth due to a spiritual green-card!
We are now Ambassadors of Christ!
2 Cor 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
In the days when Christ Jesus told the Jews that the Kingdom did not come with “observation”, the Holy Spirit would come upon certain people, but today he dwells within those who have been chosen to be part of the body of Christ!
Christ Jesus continued, “Neither shall they say that the Kingdom is here, or there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
With that Christ announced that when the Comforter came following His ascension He would dwell within Christians!
Some may dispute that because they have not been given the gift of “discerning of spirits” and cannot rightly divide the Word of God!
And Jesus told the disciples, “The days will come, when you shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and you all shall not see it.”
Notice that Jesus said that to the Apostles! They would think back about the days when they walked with Christ be sigh and longed for the time when once again they would see Him face to face and hear His voice! The desire to see Christ and to hear His voice is a normal Christian desire!
The quote from Haggai 2:7 “and the desire of all nations shall come” is misunderstood, because the word “nations” is translated from the Hebrew “Goyim” meaning Gentiles! “[A]nd the desire of all Gentiles shall come!”
There is another verse that we should look at!
Psalms 86:9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
Again, “nations” comes from Goyim!
“All Gentiles whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name!”
In that verse, the only question we should consider is, how many Gentiles did He make?
By the way, the he is Christ Jesus! He is the Creator! Without Him nothing was made that was made! One day, all Gentiles shall glorify His name!
At that Christ continued, “And they shall say to you, look here, or there! Don’t do as they tell you or follow them. Because, as the lightning that flashes from one part of the sky to another, so shall the Son of man be in his day!
“But, first He must suffer many things, and be rejected by this generation!
“And, as it was in the days of Noah so shall it be in the days of the Son of man!”
That prophecy describes the Day of Christ’s return, the Day of the Lord, the Lord’s Day!
Christ further told them, “People shall do all of the normal social things! They shall eat, drink, and get married…as they did in those days! Life was normal until the day that Noah entered the ark! On that day destruction overcame them, and the flood came destroying them all!
“Likewise, as it was in the days of Lot, they ate, drank, bought, and sold! They planted, and built!
“But, the very same day that Lot left Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven destroying all who remained there!
“So shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed!
“In that day, he who shall be on the housetop and his stuff in the house shall not let come to take what he owns away! He that is working in the field shall also not return to get any possession!”
Christ admonished the world, “Remember Lot's wife!”
The old adage applies here that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it! The Bible is, among other things, the greatest history book ever written!
Further, Jesus said, “Whoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it! And whoever shall lose his life shall preserve it!”
Those who have died in Christ are actually alive forevermore!
He died vicariously for us so that we may life in Him!
He cautioned His followers, “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed, the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left! Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left! Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left!”
That speaks of the suddenness that shall be His second coming! Many shall be taken unaware at His second advent!
At that his followers asked, “Where, Lord?”
And Jesus replied, “Wherever the body is, there will the vultures gather!”
You will notice that I used the word “vultures” instead of “eagles.” Eagles (Gr. aetos-ἀετός) are vultures! However, instead of feeding on dead animals, they feed on living animals!
If you study Revelation you will find birds feeding on those who have been gathered for judgment and to fight against Christ at Armageddon!
Rev 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.