Luke 17:22
And he said to the disciples, The days will come, when you shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and you shall not see it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) When ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man.—The words express both the backward glance of regret, and the forward look of yearning expectation. The former feeling had been described before, when the disciples were told that the children of the bride-chamber should fast when the Bridegroom should be taken from them (Luke 5:34; Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19). The latter was expressed by-one of those who were now listening, when he spoke of men as “looking for and eagerly hasting” the coming of the day of God (2Peter 3:12); by another, when he recorded the cry of the souls beneath the altar, “How long, O Lord?” (Revelation 6:10). It is, we must re member, the disciples, and not the Pharisees, who are now addressed. In the long, weary years of conflict that lay before them, they would often wish that they could be back again in the pleasant days of friendly converse in the old Galilean life, or that they could be carried forward to the day of the final victory. Analogous emotions of both kinds have, of course, been felt by the successors of the disciples in all ages of the Church. They ask, Why the former days were better than the latter? (Ecclesiastes 7:10); they ask also, in half-murmuring impatience, “Why tarry the wheels of His chariots?” (Judges 5:28); sometimes, even in the accents of unbelief, “Where is the promise of His coming?” (2Peter 3:4).

Luke 17:22-25. The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man — One day of mercy, or one day wherein you might converse with me, as you do now. Having spoken to the Pharisees, he now addressed his disciples, and in the hearing of the Pharisees prophesied concerning the destruction of the Jewish state, whose constitution, both religious and civil, was the chief obstacle to the erection of his kingdom; for the attachment which the Jews had to their constitution was the spring of all their opposition to Christianity, and of their cruelty to its abetters. A prediction of this nature, delivered as the continuation of his answer to the Pharisees, who desired to know when Messiah’s kingdom should come, plainly signified, that it would first become conspicuous in the destruction of the Jewish commonwealth. But because love and compassion were eminent parts of our Lord’s character, he spake of that dreadful catastrophe in such a manner as might be most profitable to his hearers. He told them, first of all, that they and the whole nation should be in the greatest distress before the destruction of their constitution, and the full establishment of Messiah’s kingdom; and that they should passionately wish for Messiah’s personal presence to comfort them under their afflictions, but should not be favoured with it. Next he cautioned them against the deceivers which, in that time of universal distress, would arise, pretending to be the Messiah, and promising to deliver the people from the powers which oppressed them. He told them, that these deceivers would lurk a while in private, till, by the diligence of their emissaries spreading abroad their fame, and exhorting the people to go out to them, they had gathered a force sufficient to support them. They shall say to you, See here, or see there; go not after them — Do not go forth to them, nor follow them, for by this mark you shall know them to be deceivers. For as the lightning, &c., shall the Son of man be in his day — So manifest, so swift, so wide, so irresistible, so awful in its consequences shall his coming be. He shall come, indeed, but in a manner very different from that in which the generality of this people expect him, even to execute a sudden and unavoidable destruction upon his enemies, and establish his religion and government in a great part of the world. See notes on Matthew 24:23-27. But first he must suffer many things — See on Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:33. 17:20-37 The kingdom of God was among the Jews, or rather within some of them. It was a spiritual kingdom, set up in the heart by the power of Divine grace. Observe how it had been with sinners formerly, and in what state the judgments of God, which they had been warned of, found them. Here is shown what a dreadful surprise this destruction will be to the secure and sensual. Thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. When Christ came to destroy the Jewish nation by the Roman armies, that nation was found in such a state of false security as is here spoken of. In like manner, when Jesus Christ shall come to judge the world, sinners will be found altogether regardless; for in like manner the sinners of every age go on securely in their evil ways, and remember not their latter end. But wherever the wicked are, who are marked for eternal ruin, they shall be found by the judgments of God.(The days will come He here takes occasion to direct the minds of his disciples to the days of vengeance which were about to fall on the Jewish nation. Heavy calamities will befall the Jewish people, and you will desire a deliverer.

Ye shall desire - You who now number yourselves among my disciples.

One of the days of the Son of man - The Son of man here means "the Messiah," without affirming that "he" was the Messiah. Such will be the calamities of those times, so great will be the afflictions and persecutions, that you will greatly desire "a deliverer" - one who shall come to you in the character in which "you have expected" the Messiah would come, and who would deliver you from the power of your enemies; and at that time, in the midst of these calamities, people shall rise up pretending "to be" the Messiah, and to be able to deliver you. In view of this, he takes occasion to caution them against being led astray by them.

Ye shall not see it - You shall not see such a day of deliverance - such a Messiah as the nation has expected, and such an interposition as you would desire.

22. The days—rather "Days."

will come—as in Lu 19:43, when, amidst calamities, &c., you will anxiously look for a deliverer, and deceivers will put themselves forward in this character.

one of the days of the Son of man—Himself again among them but for one day; as we say when all seems to be going wrong and the one person who could keep them right is removed [Neander in Stier, &c.]. "This is said to guard against the mistake of supposing that His visible presence would accompany the manifestation and establishment of His kingdom" [Webster and Wilkinson].

Our Lord spendeth his further discourse in this chapter in a forewarning of his disciples of those great troubles which should follow His departure from them. At present the Bridegroom was with them, and they could not mourn; for many years after that he was departed from them

the days of the Son of man continued, that is, gospel days, times wherein the gospel of Christ was freely preached to them. But (saith he) make use of that time, for it will not hold long; there will come a time

when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and shall not see it. These evil days began when false Christs and false prophets rose up, which was most eminently a little before the destruction of Jerusalem, which happened about forty years after. Every factious person that had reputation enough to make himself the head and leader of a faction, taking his advantage of the common error of the Jews, that a Messiah, a Christ, was to come, who should exercise a temporal kingdom over the Jews, would pretend to be, and give out he was, the Messiah, to draw a faction after him. This is that which our Saviour saith in the next words. And he said unto his disciples,.... Who also were expecting a worldly kingdom, and external honours, and temporal emoluments, and riches; and therefore to take off their minds from these things, and that they might not have their expectations raised this way, but, on the other hand, look for afflictions and persecutions, he observes to them,

the days will come when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the son of man; , "the days of the Messiah", a phrase frequently used in Jewish writings; that is, when they should be glad to enjoy one such a day in the personal presence of Christ, as they now did; and instead of looking forward for happy days, in a temporal sense, they would look back upon the days they have enjoyed with Christ, when he was in person among them, and wish they had one of those days again; when besides his corporeal presence, and spiritual communion with him, and the advantage of his ministry and miracles, they bad much outward peace and comfort: whereas in those days nothing but afflictions and persecutions abode them, wherever they went; so that by these words Christ would have them to understand, that they were not to expect better times, but worse, and that they would be glad of one of the days they now had, and in vain wish for it:

and ye shall not see it, or enjoy it. Moreover, days and opportunities of public worship, of praying to the Lord, of singing his praise, of hearing his word, and of attending on his ordinances, may be called days of the son of man, or Lord's days; see Revelation 1:10 even the first days of weeks, on which days the apostles, and primitive churches, met together for religious worship: and these may very well be called days of the son of man, since, on those days, he first appeared to his disciples, after his resurrection, John 20:19 and on the same days his disciples and followers met together to preach in his name, to hear his Gospel, and to commemorate his sufferings and death, Acts 20:7 and still continue to do so; and seeing he often meets with his people at such seasons and opportunities, fills them with his Spirit, communicates his grace, and indulges them with fellowship with himself, which make those days desirable ones: but sometimes so violent has been the persecution of the saints, that they have not been able, for a long time, to enjoy one of those days openly, and with freedom, though greatly desired by them; which may be considered as a fulfilment, at least in part, of this prediction of our Lord's: and therefore, whenever this is the case, it should not be thought strange; it is no other than what Christ has foretold should be: and it may teach us to prize, make use of, and improve such days and opportunities, whilst we have them, we know not how soon our teachers may be removed into corners, when we shall wish in vain for them; and seasons of hearing them, as is here suggested: sad it is to know the worth of Gospel opportunities, by the want of them!

{8} And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see {d} one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.

(8) We often neglect those things when they are present which we afterward desire when they are gone, but in vain.

(d) The time will come when you will seek for the Son of Man with great sorrow of heart, and will not find him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 17:22. The Pharisees have got their answer. But Jesus does not allow the point of their question to be lost thereby, but turns now to His disciples (probably after the departure of the Pharisees, as they do not appear again in what follows, and as the discourses themselves bear an unreserved character, wholly different from Luke 17:20 f.), in order to give to them instructions in reference to the question raised by the Pharisees, and that not on the temporal development of the kingdom of the Messiah wherewith He had despatched them, but on the actual solemn appearing of the Messiah in the Parousia. “Calamities will arouse in them the longing after it, and false Messiahs will appear, whom they are not to follow; for, like the lightning, so immediately and universally will He reveal Himself in His glorious manifestation,” Luke 17:22-24. See further on Luke 17:25. We have here the discourse of the future from the source of the account of the journey. This and the synoptic discourse on the same subject, Luke 21:5 ff., Luke keeps separate. Comp. Weizsäcker, pp. 82 f., 182, and see the remark after Luke 17:37.

μίαν τῶν ἡμερῶν τοῦ υἱοῦ τ. ἀνθρ. ἰδεῖν] i.e. to see the appearance of a single day of the Messianic period (of the αἰὼν μέλλων), in order, to wit, to refresh yourselves by its blessedness. Comp. Grotius, Olshausen, de Wette, Lange, Bleek. Your longing will be: Oh, for only one Messianic day in this time of tribulation!—a longing indeed not to be realized, but a natural outbreak under the pressure of afflictions.

Usually, yet not suitably in accordance with Luke 17:26 : “erit tempus, quo vel uno die meo conspectu, mea consuetudine, qua jam perfruimini, frui cupiatis,” Kuinoel; comp. Ewald.

καὶ οὐκ ὄψεσθε] because, to wit, the point of time of the Parousia is not yet come; it has its horas et moras.Luke 17:22-25. The coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:26-28).—πρὸς τ. μαθητάς: so in Mt., but at a later time and at Jerusalem; which connection is the more original cannot be decided.—ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι, there will come days (of tribulation), ominous hint like that in Luke 5:35.—μίαν τ. ., etc., one of the days of the Son of Man; not past days in the time of discipleship, but days to come. Tribulation will make them long for the advent, which will put an end to their sorrows. One of the days; why not the first, the beginning of the Messianic period? Hahn actually takes μίαν as = first, Hebraistic fashion, as in Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:2.—οὐκ ὄψεσθε, ye shall not see, not necessarily an absolute statement, but meaning: the vision will be deferred till your heart gets sick; so laying you open to temptation through false readers of the times encouraging delusive hope.22. The days will come, when ye shall desire, &c.] Compare Matthew 9:15, “The days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast, in those days.” See, too, John 12:35; John 13:33; John 17:12. They were looking forwards with no realization of that rich present blessedness for which they would one day yearn. Revelation 6:10.Luke 17:22. Μαθητὰς, the disciples) who were likely to comprehend that saying, rather than the Pharisees.—ἐλεύσονται, shall come) Jesus intimates hereby that the present time of the kingdom of God [the time of its being present] will have passed away [will become past], whilst the Pharisees are seeking and inquiring when it is to come. His reply embraces events further off, Luke 17:24, et seqq., as well as nearer events, Luke 17:31, et seqq.ἐπιθυμήσετε, ye shall desire) A hypothetical statement;[190] for afterwards the Paraclete allayed that desire, but only in the case of the Christians: see ch. Luke 24:49; Luke 24:52. [Avail yourself of present privileges.—V. g.]—μίαν) one of such days, as ye have now in great numbers,[191] Matthew 9:15 : inasmuch as ye now see Me with your eyes (See on the appellation, “Son of man,” the note, Matthew 16:13): and the “heaven open,” John 1:51. After His ascension, but one such day, and that the greatest of all days, still remains, namely, the last day: see Luke 17:30.

[190] i.e. If ye were to desire, or when ye shall desire, to see a day of the Son of Man, ye could not see it. The Pharisees had no such desire. The disciples would have it, when Jesus left them: Matthew 9:15; John 16:6.—E. and T.

[191] See Amos 8:11.—E. and T.Verse 22. - And he said unto the disciples. The Master now turns to the disciples, and, basing his words still upon the question of the Pharisees, he proceeds to deliver a weighty discourse upon the coming of the kingdom which will be manifest indeed, and externally, as well as internally, exceeding glorious, and for which this kingdom, now at its first beginning, will be for long ages merely a concealed preparation. Some of the imagery and figures used in this discourse reappear in the great prophecy in Matthew 24. (a shorter report of which St. Luke gives, Luke 21:8-36). Here, however, the teaching has no reference to the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish polity, but only to "the times of the end." The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. In the first place, our Lord addressed these words to the disciples, who, in the long weary years of toil and bitter opposition which lay before them, would often long to be back again among the days of the old Galilaean life, when they could fake their doubts and fears to their Master, when they could listen without stint to his teaching, to the words which belonged to the higher wisdom. Oh, could they have him only for one day in their midst again l But they have a broader and more far-reaching reference; they speak also to all his servants in the long Christian ages, who will be often weary and dispirited at the seemingly hopeless nature of the conflict they are waging. Then will these indeed long with an intense longing for their Lord, who for so many centuries keeps silence. These will often sigh for just one day of that presence so little valued and thought of when on earth.
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