Summary: Believers are called to be ready for the: 1) Desired Coming (Luke 17:22-24),the 2) Delayed Coming (Luke 17:25-33), and the 3) Divisive Coming (Luke 17:34–37).

In the 1966 classic cartoon, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, Every who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch who lived just north of Who-ville did NOT! So the cuddly as a cactus Grinch (with termites in his smile and garlic in his soul) tried to wipe out Christmas for the cheerful Who-villains. That one interesting thing about this story is how the Grinch came not to give but to take. The townsfolk expected gifts but had their gifts taken away. (

In regards to the coming of the messiah, the people of Israel expected Him to give them all the blessings of the kingdom. He in fact came to give His life as a ransom for many. In the prophecies of the coming of Christ, His first coming is theologically linked to His second coming. To understand the first, we must live considering the second. One of the most underexamed and confused actions that Christ promises to take in His second coming is the removal of people.

When people don’t get what they expect they often become upset. We will sometimes soften the blow for folks by trying to adjust their expectations. How important do you think it would be for people to know that the forthcoming of Christ is not about rewarding people’s best efforts, but an eternal separation based on those who are either in or out of the kingdom of God.

The coming of Christ that we consider in Advent must regard the first coming with the theological link to the second. Christ calls us to be ready for His coming. Believers are called to be ready for the: 1) Desired Coming (Luke 17:22-24),the 2) Delayed Coming (Luke 17:25-33), and the 3) Divisive Coming (Luke 17:34–37).

Believers are called to be ready for the:

1) Desired Coming (Luke 17:22-24)

Luke 17:22-24 [22]And he said to the disciples, "The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. [23]And they will say to you, 'Look, there!' or 'Look, here!' Do not go out or follow them. [24]For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. (ESV)

As was usually the case, the crowd listening to Jesus consisted of both the hostile Pharisees and His disciples. Having addressed the Pharisees in the preceding section (verses 20–21), the Lord now instructed His true disciples, those who are in the kingdom, about His return. Jesus said that His disciples would desire to see one of the days coming. This desire/longing translates a form of the verb epithumeō, which signifies a strong, driving, consuming passion, whether for evil (e.g., Matt. 5:28) or as in this case, for the greatest good (cf. Matt. 13:17). This same desire is expressed in “your kingdom come” (11:2) and in “Maranatha.”254 No major event of salvation history is seen as intervening between the disciples’ time and the Son of Man’s coming (Stein, R. H. (1992). Luke (Vol. 24, p. 438). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.)

Let’s be honest with ourselves right now. Advent is the busiest time of year. What are you most longing for? To complete your shopping, get to all the expected events, or just get through what is for many the most painful time of year. Christ calls us at this time to put our hope and affections on Him. Only He will make things right, and when our desire is for Him and His glory, then the greatest outcomes will prevail.

The singular “day” (vv. 24, 30) refers to the epoch of Christ’s return, while the plural days, as it does in v. 26, refers to the sequence of events within that epoch (cf. Amos 8:11, 13). The time will come when believers will passionately yearn for the Lord to return, like the tribulation martyrs who cried out, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev. 6:10). Like the apostle John they will say, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20). What will prompt those exclamations will not merely be their desire for relief, but that Christ would be glorified. Like David, who said, “Zeal for Your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me” (Ps. 69:9), believers will not be able to bear seeing Christ dishonored.

They would desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man. His description here of Himself as the Son of Man is a messianic term connected with the coming of Messiah to establish His kingdom (Dan. 7:13-14).

The title Son of Man, which emphasizes His humanity, was the Lord’s favorite designation of Himself, appearing eighty-four times in the Gospels.

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