Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 17:12-37

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Luke 17:12

lepers. See note on 5:12. far away. Because of their condition, these lepers had to live outside the city (Num. 5:2-4). They were declared ritually unclean. If anyone came with fifty paces, the lepers had to warn others by announcing: Unclean! Unclean! (Lev. 13:45-46). If touched by a leper, the healthy person would also be considered ritually unclean.

Luke 17:13

Master. More than an address of respect. This was a title only used by the disciples (5:5; 8:24, 45; 9:33, 49). The lepers recognized Jesus' authority and trusted he could give mercy. They were taking turns at taking a first step toward being disciples.

Luke 17:14

show yourselves. Jesus upheld God's word. Only when examined by a priest and found to be clean could a leper re-enter society (Lev. 13:9-17; 14:1-20). cleansed. They were healed and made ritually clean. This came from Christ's mercy (v. 13).

Luke 17:15

Praising God is always the appropriate response of those who have received mercy from his hand (5:25; Eph. 1:4-6; Heb. 13:15).

Luke 17:16

giving . . . thanks. The only place in the New Testament where this phrase is used of Jesus, not God. Together with his posture, this could be seen as an act of worship. As the Son of God in the human form, Jesus was worthy of worship (Matt. 28:9; Col. 1:15, 19; 2:9). Samaritan. A surprise for Luke's readers (see note on 9:52).

Luke 17:17-18

The Samaritan was considered a foreigner and apostate, and despised by the Jews (see note on 9:52). Yet, he understood better than the Jews who Jesus was and how he should respond to him (see 13:30; Rom. 9:2-5).

Luke 17:19

Jesus sent the healed leper away with a blessing. faith has made you well. This could also be translated as your faith has saved you. Jesus' acts of physical healing were metaphors for spiritual salvation. Jesus spoke these words to needy sinners who came to him for help (7:50; 8:48; 17:19; 18:42). Trusting Jesus rather than our righteousness or religious works brings us to God.

Luke 17:20-37

Jesus taught that God's kingdom was present in ministry (vv. 20-21; 11:20). However, the kingdom has not yet fully arrived. The fullness of the kingdom will come when he returns for his people (vv. 33-35; 19:11-12).

Luke 17:20-21

Pharisees. See note on 5:17. kingdom of God. See notes on 4:43; 81. careful observing. Many in ancient Israel expected a kingdom of military force that would bring liberation from Rome. They looked for supernatural signs of the kingdom's presence. But Pharisees failed to see the sign that was already before them — Jesus, the king (see 14:15). within you. Or, "among you." Jesus did not mean that God's kingdom was merely a condition of the heart (see notes on 4:43; 81). God's reign was present in Jesus and his offer of forgiveness through faith and repentance. See BC 27.

Luke 17:22

After Jesus' ascension back to heaven (24:50-53), there will be days when his people will long for his return. Son of Man. See notes on 5:22-24.

Luke 17:23-24

Some will claim to have seen Jesus return in a manner not obvious to the rest of the world. However, Jesus warned not to follow after such people. When Jesus returns, it will be as obvious as lightning flashing across the sky. Thus, his disciples wait patiently and confidently for his return (1 Thess. 4:16-18; 2 Pet. 3:8-9).

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