Our Suffering

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”
(Luke 17:20-25)

Scripture Study

17:20 when the kingdom of God would come The Pharisees likely are envisioning a political and military kingdom that would be established by overthrowing Judaea’s Roman overlords. cannot be observed Such as acts of worldly power.

17:21 the kingdom of God is among you Refers to Jesus’ ministry (see Luke 11:20; Matt 12:28).

17:22 the days will come Refers to the day of Jesus’ appearing. Luke uses the plural form to correspond with the later references to the days of Noah and Lot (Luke 17:26, 28). the Son of Man This title, used frequently by Jesus in reference to Himself, comes from Dan 7:13–14, where it describes an enigmatic figure associated with an everlasting kingdom. but you will not see it Jesus indicates that the disciples will not see His return at the time when they desire it. This is not necessarily referring to a postponement of Jesus’ return but likely is related to His statement about God’s kingdom arriving in ways that cannot be observed (Luke 17:20).

17:24 as lightning flashes Indicating that Jesus’ coming will be sudden and apparent to everyone.

17:25 must suffer greatly Alludes to the fate that awaits Jesus in Jerusalem—His death on the cross.

Scripture Reflection

A recent graduate was getting frustrated with his inability to land a job, despite going to dozens of interviews. Finally, he dashed off the following letter to one of the companies that had rejected him:

Dear Hiring Manager,
Thank you for your letter of March 1. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me a position in your department.
This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.
Despite your companies outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at this time.
Therefore, I will assume the position in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then. Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.

That’s one way to handle rejection! Rejection is a fact of life. Rejection can leave us with dashed hopes and broken dreams, or it could leave us frustrated, angry or bitter.

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln received more votes than Stephen A. Douglas in the race for the Illinois US Senate seat, but the Illinois legislature used some questionable legal maneuvering to send Douglas to Washington instead. Someone asked Lincoln how he felt, and he reportedly replied, “Like the boy who stubbed his toe: I am too big to cry and too badly hurt to laugh.”

The fear of rejection sometimes chains us in a prison of fear, preventing us from seeing our true value and purpose. We need to hold fast to the hope of Christ that the kingdom of God is among us. We are all created for a wonderful purpose. We are all joyfully accepted by our suffering Savior if we but turn to Him.

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.