The Coming of the Kingdom
20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” 
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.  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 will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— 30 so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife.33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. 35 There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.”  37 And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse  is, there the vultures  will gather.”
- Apocalypse now!!! Jesus brings up images of apocalypse when he refers to Noah and the Flood and Lott and Sodom. Why does Jesus recall these images?
- Look at verse 34, “one will be taken, the other left behind.” Recent best selling books would have us believe that this means that one will be taken up to heaven leaving the other behind to live in a frightening world where all Christians have been removed. This is not what Jesus meant. He meant the exact opposite. The one who is taken is the one who is in danger not the one left behind.
- It is possible that Jesus is warning the Pharisees (as he has done throughout Luke thus far) of the coming invasion of Jerusalem by Roman forces. He is not necessarily referring to a far off supernatural event at the end of times but may actually be referring to the near future. When the Romans come it will be both sudden and catastrophic.
- What does it mean when Jesus refers to “the days of the son of man” in verse 22? This could be a reference to Daniel 7 where the “one like the son of man” will be vindicated by God after suffering. The sign of this will be the destruction of the oppressor. This is the “fourth beast” in Daniel. What force has most oppressed Jesus and his ministry? The leaders of Israel, the Pharisees, and the scribes. Vindication will come when Jerusalem and the Temple are destroyed by Roman forces. The disciples and the Pharisees would be quite familiar with this prophecy in Daniel.
- The key to the passage is in verse 21, “God’s Kingdom is within your grasp.” Israel and the Pharisees could avoid destruction. The Kingdom of God was there for them to take hold of. They just had to do something about it. ”It is ‘within your grasp’; it is confronting you with a decision, the decision to believe, trust, and follow Jesus. It isn’t the sort of thing that’s just going to happen, so that you can sit back and watch. God’s sovereign plan to put the world to rights is waiting for you to sign on. That is the force of what Jesus is saying.” N.T. Wright
- In Ad 70, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans. However, the promise of God’s Kingdom still remains. It is within your grasp. Will you reach out and take hold of it or will you watch it pass by? Life is short, if you wait to long it may be too late.