Not looking back

Posted by admin on 8 January 2017 in Luke |

Luke 17:20 – 37

Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come (20a).

Jesus taught them based on how people tend to misunderstand about the kingdom of God (20b-24).

The prerequisite of it is the Passion of the Christ (25).

People may miss it out because of wrong priority in life because the coming of the kingdom of God will be …

    I. Just as it was in the days of Noah (26- 27)

See v26-27.

26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

 

Jesus reminds us of the days of Noah because the days of the Son of Man will be likewise (26).

 

In the days of Noah, they didn’t prepare for the Flood that was to come. Only Noah was building the Ark of Salvation. They were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, but the Flood came and destroyed them all on the day Noah entered the Ark (27).

 

Nowadays people’s entire focus seems the present life on the earth. As expressed in v27a, they are busy eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage.

 

This paragraph teaches us to prepare for the days of the Son of Man.

 

Noah’s preparation looked 'out of spec' behaviour in the view point of people in the world because they thought everything was going well as usual.

 

But building the Ark was absolute necessity and wisest choice in life.

 

Let us be like Noah who diligently built the Ark of salvation.

 

    II. It was the same in the days of Lot (28 – 37)

See v28.

28 “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

Jesus reminds us of the days of Lot because the days of the Son of Man will be likewise (28a).

In the days of Lot, they didn’t prepare for the Fire & Sulfur that was to come. Only Lot was a righteous man among villains in Sodom and Gomorra cities. They were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building (28), but the Fire & Sulfur came and destroyed them all on the day Lot left the Sodom city (29).

 

Relevant story is written in Genesis 19.

 

When the two angels urgently brought Lot, his wife and two daughters out of the city leaving their possessions behind, they told the family “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” (Genesis 19:16, 17)

 

Despite of their warning, Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26).

 

This background knowledge helps us understand v30 – 33.

 

30 “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.

32 Remember Lot’s wife!

33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.



Jesus said “Remember Lot’s wife” (32), who disobeyed and became a pillar of salt. The interpretation on v30-32 is found in v33.

33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.

 

Lot’s wife probably looked back because she might miss her city life of convenience, comfort or luxury. Maybe she was simply curious, too. Her looking back could be because of her possession she left behind. Anyways she disobeyed and became a pillar of salt.

 

Looking back of Lot’s wife was like “tried to keep their life” (33a).

 

“will lose it” (33b) explains the fate of Lot’s wife.

 

Another verse on ‘not to look back’ is Luke 9:62.

62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

 

A verse on ‘salt” is Matthew 5:13.

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.



Normal salt is sodium chloride that is salty and dissolved in water.

 

A pillar of salt Lot’s wife became might be limestone (calcium carbonate), which is a water insoluble salt and does not have saltiness.

 

See v37.

37 “Where, Lord?” they asked.

He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”

 

Disciples wanted to know where the judgement would take place in the days of the Son of Man.

 

His answer was “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.” (37b)

 

A dead body represents incurable moral and spiritual corruption [1].

The vultures represent judgement.

 

References

[1] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 118). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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