Advent Day 17
Dec 9, 2019
In chapter 17, after His discussion with the Pharisees about mammon, Jesus makes it clear He does not despise the Pharisees as people, only what they teach. He then teaches three lessons on offending and forgiveness. Sometimes in life offending is unavoidable, but we must always remain thankful for the eternal truths pertaining to us as believers. We must have faith in His working in us and that this is part of a servant’s job. We are to involve ourselves in the Lord’s works and this increases our faith. While traveling through Galilee and Samaria, Jesus cleansed ten lepers, nine were Jewish, one a Gentile. Caiaphas, the high priest, was suddenly faced with a tenfold witness of the Messiahship of Jesus. Only one leper returned thanks. Jesus has just told them the Kingdom is with them, but they didn't understand because He had started teaching in parabolic form after being accused of doing His miracles by the power of Beelzebub. He says the second coming will not be like the first. The Son of Man will be rejected and Israel will suffer many things; He describes a period of tribulation in veiled form; and then people taken off to judgment. This is not the rapture, as the context shows that unbelievers are taken off to judgment, not believers. Just like in Noah's day, it was the unbelievers taken off the earth; the believers were left on the earth. Questions for Reflection: The ability to forgive others comes out of a heart of gratitude for what you've been forgiven. Where in your life and/or with what people do you struggle with forgiveness? Ask God to reorient your heart towards gratitude, thereby increasing your ability to more freely forgive (v. 5-6).