Luke 17:31-32 (NIV)
31 On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.
32 Remember Lot’s wife!
On verses 31-32: What happened to Lot’s wife? In Genesis 19:26, when Lot and his family were fleeing from the city of Sodom as it was being destroyed, against God’s command Lot’s wife looked back. In focusing too much on the material things that she left behind, she was stopped in her tracks and became a pillar of salt. Similarly, Jesus warns that when he comes again, material possessions should be the least of our concerns.
Luke 17:33 (NIV)
33 Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
On verse 33: What does Jesus mean by this? If you keep hanging onto your life and happiness as your number one treasure, you will eventually lose your life and miss your God-given purpose. But if you give your life away for God’s purposes, you will discover and experience the life God always intended for you to enjoy.
Luke 17:34-35 (NIV)
34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.
35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.
On verses 34-35: When Jesus returns to earth, he will take his people back with him to heaven. The picture of two people being in bed and one being taken, or two women grinding grain and one being taken, is a picture of how not everyone will be taken by Jesus to heaven, but only those who placed their trust in Him.
Luke 17:36 (NIV)
On verse 36: Why is verse 36 missing? Apparently verse 36 originally said, “Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left” (which is consistent with Matthew 24:40). However, early on in the history of the Bible, upon examining the most reliable Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, scribes concluded that Luke’s Gospel probably did not include this phrase. In any event, whether or not this phrase was included does not change in any way the meaning and effect of this section. The point of this section remains that not everyone will be taken by Jesus to heaven.
Luke 17:37 (NIV)
37 “Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”
On verse 37: Jesus had already told the disciples not to worry so much about the location of Jesus’ return, since his return would be like lightning – seen by everyone and impossible to miss (v24). Still the disciples asked, “Where?” (v37), to which Jesus cryptically replies, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.” The meaning of Jesus’ reply is not very clear. Some scholars think this may have been Jesus’ way of saying that his death would be the beginning of people asking questions and positing theories about his return.
Lord Jesus, thank You that I find true life when I give my life away for Your purposes. Since You are coming back and will take back with You to heaven all those who have placed their trust in You, find me trusting in You today and every day. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!