Luke 17

Various Episodes and Instructions

Chapter 17

Warning against Giving Scandal.[a] 1 Jesus said to his disciples, “Scandals are bound to occur, but woe to the man through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were fastened around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3 Be on your guard!

The Need To Forgive.[b] “If your brother should sin, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 Even if he wrongs you seven times a day, and comes back to you seven times to say, ‘I am sorry,’ you must forgive him.”

Faith Knows How To Make Miracles.[c] 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6 The Lord replied, “If you had faith as tiny as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

Unprofitable Servants.[d] 7 “Which of you, when your servant returns from plowing or tending sheep in the fields, would say to him, ‘Come right away and sit down to eat’? 8 Would you not rather say, ‘Prepare my dinner, put on your apron, and wait on me while I eat and drink, and then afterward you yourself may eat and drink’? 9 Would you be grateful to that servant for doing what he was commanded? 10 So should it be with you. When you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have only done our duty.’ ”

11 Jesus Heals Ten Men with Leprosy.[e] As he continued on his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 When he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Standing some distance away, 13 they called out to him, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us.” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

15 One of them, when he realized that he had been cured, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He prostrated himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. This man was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten made clean? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one except this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” 19 Then he said to him, “Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has made you well.”

20 The Coming of the Kingdom of God.[f] Once, the Pharisees asked him when the kingdom of God was coming. He answered, “The coming of the kingdom of God will not occur with signs that can be observed. 21 Nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’ For the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

22 The Day of the Son of Man.[g] Then he said to his disciples, “The time will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 People will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’ Do not go running after them. 24 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. 25 But first he must endure great suffering and be rejected by this generation.

26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed all of them. 28 “The same thing happened in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But on the day that Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained down from heaven and destroyed all of them.

30 “It will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, the one who is standing on the roof, with his possessions inside, must not come down to collect them, and someone who is in the field must not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever tries to preserve his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will save it.

34 “I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed. One will be taken and the other will be left. 35 And there will be two women grinding grain together. One will be taken and the other will be left. [ 36 Two men will be out in the field. One will be taken and the other will be left.]”[h]

37 They asked him, “Where, Lord?” He said in reply, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”


  1. Luke 17:1 Scandal is the snare that one extends to others in order to lead them into evil. It is especially grave when it is placed along the way of the “little ones.”
  2. Luke 17:3 Fraternal pardon is one of the best signs of the presence of the Gospel. Faults among brothers and sisters are continual; hence, openness to reconciliation must be constant.
  3. Luke 17:5 See note on Mt 21:18-22.
  4. Luke 17:7 The Pharisees and many religious people are more concerned about their reward than about what they can do for God. The disciple is subservient to his master in a work that is far greater than himself. That is his happiness and his recompense even here below.
  5. Luke 17:11 The episode of the ten people afflicted with leprosy illustrates first of all the ingratitude of Israel—which believes that the gifts of God are owed to it—and the faith of the Gentiles. For a Jewish author, it is odious to give an example containing a Samaritan, a heretic regarded as more disgraceful than a pagan. However, a stranger more open to the Lord’s call than the average believer would provide an example capable of inculcating admiration forever.
  6. Luke 17:20 As for when the kingdom will come, it is useless to wait for mysterious signs. The kingdom is already at work in the personal action of Jesus.
  7. Luke 17:22 This description of events must be read in light of the particular literary genre being used, but this does not lessen its urgency. The other two Synoptic Gospels place these exhortations in the “eschatological discourse.”
  8. Luke 17:36 Some manuscripts add this verse, probably taken from Mt 24:40.

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