The Coming Day of the Son of Man (Part 2)

Luke 17:20-37

“Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

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. And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. 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. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 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. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 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. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.” And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”

Last week we learned several truths about the kingdom of God. We began by defining the term “kingdom of God” as the rule of God in the hearts of men. Throughout the ages, people have wanted to know when to expect the kingdom of God, and we discovered that there is a dual component to kingdom chronology: the kingdom of God is already here in our midst, but it is not yet fully here. Full consummation has been delayed until the coming day of the Son of Man. Once a person understands the terminology and chronology of the kingdom, the natural question that follows is how can I enter the kingdom of God? The Word of God tells us a man enters the kingdom of God by being born again. You must receive Jesus into your heart by faith (John 1:12-13; Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 10:9-10.) Entrance into the Kingdom of God comes by faith (John 3:3, 7; Matthew 7:13-14). Have you truly entered the Kingdom of God?

In this devotion, we will analyze and unpack four key characteristics that describe The Coming Day of the Son of Man. The first characteristic is that the coming day of the Son of Man will be visible to everyone as opposed to the arrival of the kingdom of God, which came quietly and wasn’t visible to everyone. The disciples were some of only a few who actually saw and entered it, but their understanding was still lacking. For this reason, Jesus explained to them that His kingdom had an “already-but-not-yet aspect” to it. It was already here, but there was much more to come. Jesus explained to them that He would have to suffer many things and be rejected before the kingdom could be fully established on earth, and many days would pass. Additionally, there would be days when people longed for the coming kingdom of God on earth and they would grow impatient. In the meantime, many would appear claiming to be the Messiah. Therefore, Jesus warned them not to get side tracked; He said not to go and follow them when they say, “Look, there He is” or “Look, here He is.”

The “days of the Son of Man” is a very important phrase in the Bible. This phrase is a reference to the Second Coming of Christ. When Jesus used this phrase, His Jewish audience most likely would have recognized it is as a reference to the seventh chapter of Daniel. Daniel was given a vision of the future — specifically of the Second Coming. Daniel writes, “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14). This is the first reference to the Messiah as the Son of Man. It is further interesting to note that “son of man” was Jesus’ favorite title for himself. One day, Jesus will be enthroned as ruler over the entire earth, and his kingdom will never be destroyed. 

In Matthew 26, when Jesus was arrested by the Pharisees and brought before the Sanhedrin on the night before He was crucified, the high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus replied, “Yes, it is as you say. But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” With those words, His journey to the cross was set in motion.

One day, in the very near future, the Son of Man will return to earth, an event that will be visible to everyone. John writes in Revelation 1:7, “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.” The “people of the earth” is a phrase that I believe refers to unbelievers. Remember, the Bible declares that the believer’s citizenship is in heaven. Therefore, we are the people of heaven, not the people of the earth. It is the people of the earth who have something to fear when the Son of Man returns, and tragically, they will mourn when they realize the opportunity to be saved has passed. The coming day of the Son of Man will be visible to everyone! Verse 24 states, “For as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.” 

I believe that Jesus is coming back soon. Are you ready? The coming day of the Son of Man will be witnessed by the entire world. Don’t be caught off guard. Stay tuned as we continue to examine the four characteristics of this coming day. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen!