12 November 2010

Luke 17:26-37

"Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man." (v.26)


Today we continue to think about the return of Jesus Christ. Click here to read yesterday's notes.

In this passage, Jesus underlines two of the facts concerning his return: that it will be unmistakable and it will be sudden. To show how sudden and unexpected the coming will be, the Gospel-writer Luke refers to the Old Testament stories of Noah (Genesis 6-9) and Lot (Genesis 19:1-23)to make the point that it will burst upon people's ordinary life as did the flood, or the destruction of Sodom.

In verses 26 and 30 Jesus is referred to as the "Son of Man". As well as being a term of greeting in New Testament times, the title is taken from the Old Testament Book of Daniel, where the Son of Man is a symbol for Israel and is represented coming with the clouds of heaven to receive royal dignity. This heavenly figure will overthrow the early powers and establish the kingdom of God.

Jesus spoke of himself as being called to fulfil this vision of Israel's destiny, but he introduced into it two modifications:

  • The Son of Man's path to glory lay through rejection and suffering.
  • His ultimate vindication by God would mean judgement for humankind.


To Ponder

How is glory seen in rejection and suffering?

What do you understand by 'judgement'?

Bible notes author

The Revd Richard Teal

Richard Teal is a Methodist minister currently serving as chair of the Cumbria Methodist District. He has a deep interest in ecumenical relationships, Church growth and liturgy.