Wis 7:22b—8:1 / Psa 119
For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so will the Son of Man be (in His day).
Jesus said, ‘Seek first God’s kingdom’,
Make it our goal, constantly in mind.
Let our hope be the day will come
When this greatest treasure we will find.
Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, and no one will announce, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is’. For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.” 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. Men will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so will the Son of Man be (in His day). But first He must suffer greatly many things and be rejected by this generation.” (Luke 17: 20-25)
As usual the Pharisees wanted to trap Jesus with their question about the coming ‘kingdom’. This was one of the questions asked by Pilate during His interrogation at the former’s palace, where they brought charges against Jesus: “Are you the king of the Jews?” (Lk.23:3) The Pharisees were accusing Him of being a political “messiah”, who was trying to incite the Jews to rebellion to establish His own kingdom. But Jesus did not answer their question directly. Instead, He explained to the Pharisees that they had not understood the real nature of God’s kingdom. It was not something that they could observe arising from some direction or from among the people. The kingdom was already there in their midst. Jesus was simply referring to Himself. He was the embodiment of God’s kingdom on earth.
Then Jesus addressed 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. (His Second Coming would not be in their generation.) Men will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them.” When He was no longer with them, false prophets would arise to proclaim their false kingdoms. They should take care not to be deceived. When Jesus comes back, all of His disciples will see Him, as everyone sees lightning flashing in the sky. In the Book of Revelation, it says, “Behold, He is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him. All the peoples of the earth will lament Him.” (Rev 1:7) But before His glory, Jesus would have to suffer greatly, and true enough, according to His prophecy, His legacy would be rejected by the Jews, but would spread throughout the whole world.
Jesus was/is really God Who became man, because all of His prophecies have been fulfilled. Since the early Church history up to the present, false prophets have arisen, claiming to be God’s prophet, or the son of God Himself. One who is based here in Davao city who has more than a million followers has actually “established” his own “kingdom” at the base of a mountain, which has been attracting a great number of people. The Bible never mentioned any other son of God aside from our Lord Jesus Christ, but sadly, many Christians continue to be deceived.
Jesus said, “Behold, the kingdom of God is among you.” It is in every Christian who lives the Gospel ideals that Jesus has taught. It is in our renewal communities where we practice Christian fellowship, charity, forgiveness and compassion for one another. It is in our own domestic church, our homes, where Christ’s love and values are formed in our children.
Father God, we hold on to the truths that our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us in the Bible, and to the hope that one day, your power will be manifested in the punishment of the false prophets in our midst who continue to deceive Your children. May His Word keep us true to the teachings of His Church and steadfast in our faith until His Second Coming. Amen.