Tuesday 4 September, 2012

Luke 17:20-37

20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” 22 Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 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. 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. 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. 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35[36] Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.” 37 “Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”

Dodgy questions.  I love the language Jesus uses when responding to dodgy questions.  So direct and yet still makes you think.  And getting the question wrong doesn’t seem to matter to Him.  He gives the answer we need despite getting the question wrong.

In Luke 17:37 Jesus was talking to the disciples about when He would come back and that some would go to be with Him and some that didn’t choose to believe would be left behind.  Heartbreaking.  The disciples stammer out the dodgy question “where is this going to happen?”

The dodgy question/awesome answer that gets to me though is the one at the start of this passage…

Pharisees – “when will the Kingdom of God come?”

Jesus – “It is so close – it is inside of you”

I sometimes think that my family and friends are so far from God – so far from believing in Jesu

s but in reality they are so close – the potential is inside them.  Their salvation is on a hair trigger.  It’s a grace and love deluge from God that is ready to pour into their lives and is held back by the tiniest twig.

I wonder if I could help break the twig.

What would happen if I ask them a ‘dodgy’ question i.e. the unusual, slightly awkward question?

“what’s your take on Jesus?”

“where are you at with God?”

“has anyone taken the time to explain how to become a Christian?”

“what’s stopping you from believing in Him right now?”

Oh God, my heart breaks for those I love that will be left behind.  Grant me the wisdom to know what to say to them and the courage to say it.  Please break the twig and may your love and salvation flood their lives.

Written by B van Noppen

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