Ministry along Border between Samaria and Galilee

Therefore, Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the Jews. Instead He withdrew to a region near
the desert, to a village called Ephraim, along the border between Samaria and Galilee, where he stayed
with His disciples.

Ten Healed of Leprosy (Luke 17:11-19). This miracle turns into a solemn lesson of ingratitude. But for
Jesus, the ten lepers condition was hopeless; they were all perfectly healed of the most loathsome disease,
and yet, nine of the ten did not trouble themselves to return and say, “Thank you,’ to their Benefactor.
The one who did was the only one who might have been excused had he not done so, for he was a
Samaritan, a foreigner. Jesus literally says to him, “Rise and go; your faith has saved you.” The
Samaritan received salvation of his soul; the other nine only received physical healing. The point of the
miracle is that many will cry to Christ when they are in distress, who forget him when there are delivered.

The Coming of the Kingdom of God (Luke 17:20-37). Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when
the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful
observation, nor will people say, `Here it is,’ or `There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is entov (entos,
within, among) you.” The Pharisees were looking into the future, but Jesus calls their attention to the
present. What they were looking for was there, but they were too blind to see it. Israel rejected the
King’s coming the first time so He tells them what it will be like when the Son of Man comes the second
time (Luke 17:22-37).

His second advent will not be under the peaceful circumstances of His first coming. The last days will be
like the “days of Noah” and the “days of Lot.” Both men lived just before great judgments: The Flood
(Genesis 6-8) and the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19). What will the world be like before the final
judgment and the coming of the Lord? It will be “business as usual” with little concern for the warnings
of the Lord—just like in Noah’s day. There will be wickedness, violence and unnatural lusts upon which
God will pour out His wrath—just like in Lot’s day.

Jesus sees human society at the end of the age like a rotten corpse that invites the eagles and vultures (cf.
Luke 17:37 with Revelation 19:17-19), which pictures the last battle before Jesus establishes His
kingdom.

Instruction on Prayer and Justice (Luke 18:1-8). Jesus teaches the disciples the Parable of the
Persistent Widow to show them that they should always pray and not give up. At the end of the parable,
He speaks of God the Judge, who will bring about justice for His chosen ones and asks an important
question, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

This parable must be understood in the light of our Lord’s previous teaching about the postponement of
the kingdom. The disciples had been taught to pray, “Your kingdom come.” Yet in spite of their prayer,
the kingdom did not come; and Christ had revealed that it would not come in their day. But they were to
persist in prayer, for God would hear their prayer and grant them their request. One day the kingdom will
come. Delay is not denial, and so, delay should not discourage. Never give up!

Instruction on Justification (Luke 18:9-14). The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector teaches
that prayer is not what comes out of the mouth, but out of the heart. Jesus states that the Pharisee stood
up, but the tax collector stood far back. Here attitudes are symptoms. The Pharisee’s face was so swollen
with pride that his eyes could not see God. The tax collector was poor in spirit and acceptable to God.
Study the two prayers, and then, pray to please God.

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