Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 17:22

And He said to the disciples, "The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   The Topic Concordance - Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Teacher;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - King, Christ as;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Eschatology;   Tribulation, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Luke, Gospel of;   Son of Man;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Matthew, Gospel According to;   Parousia;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Desire;   Discourse;   Foresight;   Luke, Gospel According to;   Lust;   Obedience (2);   Son of Man;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Eschatology of the New Testament;   Parousia;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Christianity in Its Relation to Judaism;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

When ye shall desire to see one of the days - As it was our Lord's constant custom to support and comfort the minds of his disciples, we cannot suppose that he intimates here that they shall be left destitute of those blessings necessary for their support in a day of trial. When he says, Ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, he either means, ye of this nation, ye Jews, and addresses his disciples as if they should bear witness to the truth of the declaration; intimating that heavy calamities were about to fall upon them, and that they should desire in vain to have those opportunities of returning to God which now they rejected; or, he means that such should the distressed state of this people be, that the disciples would through pity and tenderness desire the removal of those punishments from them, which could not be removed because the cup of their iniquity was full. But the former is more likely to be the sense of the place.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-17.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

(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.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-17.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And he said unto the disciples, 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.

This verse is a reference to the present dispensation, during which Christians, oppressed by temptations and tribulations, will, like the Pharisees of old, desire to see just such cataclysmic events as they wanted to see, and which they erroneously understood would usher in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus shows here that those great physical, cataclysmic disorders and cosmic signs shall indeed come to pass (at the Second Coming,) but not now. Like the martyred saints, Christians who find themselves a conscious, hated minority in society, reviled, and set at naught by a hostile secular world, will cry, "How long?" (Revelation 6:10); but the end is not yet.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-17.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

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; ימות המשיח, "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!

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-17.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/luke-17.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The days — rather “Days.”

will come — as in Luke 19:43, when, amidst calamities, etc., 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, etc.]. “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].

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-17.html. 1871-8.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

OUR LORD’S SECOND COMING

Luke 17:22; Luke 18:8. “And He said to the disciples, The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and shall not see it.” Having answered the captious question of those critical Pharisees, informing them that the kingdom of God, which comes by the silent, invisible work of the Holy Ghost in the heart, is already among them, though in their gross spiritual blindness they are utterly unapprehensive of the fact, He now turns and addresses His disciples with reference to Himself, stating to them that the days will soon come when they will desire to see one of the days of the Son of man and shall not see it. As this is only about eight or nine days before His crucifixion, He notifies them that, having been with them three years, He is going to leave them, and they will desire to see Him and be with Him as hitherto, but shall not be able; this idea of His departure and return now running on into a beautiful and sublime revelation and exposition of His return back to the earth, where they will see Him again.

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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/luke-17.html.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he said unto the disciples, 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.

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.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-17.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it2.

  1. And he said unto his disciples. Giving them instructions suggested by the question of the Pharisees.

  2. 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. If the Pharisees looked eagerly for a sensuous external Messianic kingdom, so also would the disciples be tempted in the days to come to cherish a somewhat similar yearning. Knowing that Jesus was to come again to rule in power and in great glory, they would, under the stress of persecution, hunger to see one of the days of his rule. The longing for the coming of the Christ is frequently expressed (Philippians 4:5; Titus 2:13; James 5:7-9; Revelation 22:20).

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-17.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Scofield's Reference Notes

Son of man

(See Scofield "Matthew 8:20").

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Luke 17:22". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/luke-17.html. 1917.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

A DAY OF THE SON OF MAN

‘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.’

Luke 17:22

Two kinds and sets of days are here contrasted: the coming days, and the days that are now.

I. The days of the present.—‘Days of the Son of Man,’ He calls them. There was much to make the days of that present anxious, unrestful, perplexing. The disciples were slow to learn, and were always disappointing their Master by some expression which betrayed ignorance, or by some proposal which threatened inconsistency. Before them, already casting its shadow, was a closing scene of ingratitude, desertion, or denial of their Master, as the case might be, which must have made, we should have thought, the very memory of those days of the Son of Man a bitterness rather than a comfort. Yet our Lord looked upon these as in some sense happy days for them. ‘The days will come, when ye will desire to see one of them, and sorrow because ye cannot.’ The personal presence of the loved Master and Lord made those happy days for them. In that one respect they would be losers even by the accomplishment of the redemption. Let us take one of these days of the Son of Man—Sabbath. It opened with a service in the synagogue, when the hearers were astonished at His doctrine. Then He spoke the healing word to a man possessed with an unclean spirit, and as He enters a friendly dwelling as if for repose, even then a case of sickness meets Him, and He must heal it. At even they brought to Him all that were diseased, and the whole city was gathered together at the door. Such was a day of the Son of Man, followed by a night of devotion. Ministry with Him was no substitute for prayer.

II. The coming days.—Can we not picture one of those coming days, after the great Easter, far on, perhaps, into evening of the apostolic ministry, when the wearied Apostle may have cried, ‘O that I could hear the Voice of the loved and loving Lord, “Go ye into the desert and rest awhile,” or could I be taken up by Him into the holy mount to behold His transfigured countenance, and have the prophetic word confirmed in the Voice from the excellent glory, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!”’ We have had no such personal experiences, none of these companyings with Jesus. But we can live, realising the days of the Son of Man by seeking out and ministering to the wants and woes of humanity, as He loved to do. The days of the Son of Man are wherever Christ and misery stand face to face. Whosoever tries to bring Jesus into one lodging-house of sinning, suffering London, is realising to himself and to others the ministry of the Saviour—‘a day of the Son of Man.’

—Dean Vaughan.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/luke-17.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

22 And he said unto the disciples, 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.

Ver. 22. And he said unto his disciples] q.d. This doctrine concerns you also, as well as the perverse Pharisees. You shall be ere long at a great loss for me; look to it, therefore, and bestir you.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-17.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

In the remaining part of this chapter, our Saviour acquaints his disciples with what days of tribulation and distress were coming on the Jewish nation in general, and on Jerusalem in particular. "Days of sufferings (as if our Saviour had said) are not far off, when you will wish for my bodily presence again among you, to support and comfort you; and when many seducers will rise up, pretending to be deliverers, but go not you after them; for after this generation have rejected and crucified me, my coming (says Christ) to execute vengeance upon my enemies and murderers at Jerusalem by the Roman soldiers, will be sudden, and like the lightning that shines in an instant from one part of the heavens to the other."

From this coming of Christ to judge Jerusalem, which was an emblem of the final judgment, we may gather this instruction, that the coming and appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the judging of wicked and impenitent sinners, will be a very certain, sudden, and unexpected appearance.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/luke-17.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

22.] This saying is taken up from ἐντὸς ὑμῶν ἐστίν. ‘He is among you, who is the Bridegroom,—the Son of Man;’—during whose presence ye cannot mourn, but when He shall be taken from you, you shall wish in vain for one of these days of His presence.

Stier (iii. 362) thinks this addressed to the Pharisees also, and to apply to their recognizing too late in their future misery the Messiahship of Jesus:—but this does not appear from the text.

Meyer tries to prove this interpretation altogether wrong, from the ἐν τ. ἡμέραις τ. υἱ. τ. ἀνθ., Luke 17:26. But the words have the general meaning of the days of the Son of Man’s presence, and this extends on to His future presence, or παρουσία, as well. Of course, if they hereafter desired to see one of the days of His presence, it would be a second or future presence.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-17.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

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.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/luke-17.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 17:22. ΄αθητὰς, 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.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-17.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

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.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 17:22". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-17.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

придут дни Здесь включается краткая беседа, которая имеет некоторые сходства с беседой на Елеонской горе в Мф. 24 и 25.

пожелаете видеть хотя один из дней Сына Человеческого Т.е. пожелаете Его физического присутствия. Здесь говорится о сильном желании Его возвращения для установления справедливости (ср. Отк. 6:9-11; 22:20).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-17.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

One of the days of the Son of man; he refers to the awful calamities about to come on the Jewish nation for their rejection of himself, when the unbelieving multitudes, who had rejected their true Messiah, would in vain wait and pray for the Messiah of their own imaginations; and even his disciples would desire the return of one of those blessed days when their Master was with them. At that time false Christs would appear, and they might be tempted to follow them; but he warned them not to do it.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-17.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And he said to the disciples, “The days will come, when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and you will not see it.” ’

Then Jesus turned and spoke to His disciples. He did not want them to think that it was all quite as simple as that. While the Kingly Rule of God was here among them as He had just declared, it did not mean that the King would continue to be permanently among them as He now was. It did not mean that success was just around the corner, and that the going would be smooth (like it on the whole appeared to be at the moment) and that the whole world would respond. These were exciting days, ‘the days of the Son of Man’ on earth, but He was not now introducing ‘the days of the Son of Man’ on a continuing basis. There was to be a break in ‘the days of the Son of Man’. The Son of Man (note here the clear association of the Son of Man (Luke 17:22) with the Kingly Rule of God (Luke 17:20-21) for it is the Son of Man Who receives the Kingly Rule of God - Daniel 7:13-14) was to be taken from among them, for His days among them would cease. Soon they would look around and would not see Him. ‘His days’ among them will then no longer be enjoyed. Normality will have been disrupted. And thus in the future there were to be many days when they would long to see Him, and He would not be there. They would even begin to doubt whether He really was ruling, and even possibly be in danger of following impostors because they so yearned for His presence.

This warning was necessary. The disciples were already building up the picture in their own mind of His soon coming triumph. They probably believed that by means of His extraordinary powers, of which they had only had a glimpse, He would shortly act in order to establish His Kingly Rule, after which they would then take up their places under His Kingly Rule, seated at His side and sharing His authority (Mark 10:35-41). But if they thought like that their confidence would soon be shattered. For it would not happen. So He wanted them to recognise that those ideas were not based on a sound foundation. Rather they must realise that days of uncertainly lay ahead, days of trial, days when they will find things difficult to understand, days when the Son of Man has been taken from among them (Luke 17:25) and they will long for the days when He had been among them. They would long for the outward manifestation of His Rule by His presence among them and would not see it. They were not to look for a snug establishment of His Kingly Rule.

‘The days will come --.’ Compare Isaiah 39:6 where it refers to uncertain future times some time in the distance.

‘The days of the Son of Man.’ These will shortly be compared with ‘the days of Noah’ and ‘the days of Lot’ (Luke 17:26-27). In both the latter cases everyday affairs like eating and drinking were carrying on, and then suddenly all came to a climactic end. And ‘the days’ took place before the climactic end. It will be like this with the days of the Son of Man. Here He was eating and drinking with them, but the days will end equally climactically, first in His suffering (Luke 17:25) and then in His glorious appearing (Luke 17:24). And in between those two events would be days when they looked back wistfully and longed for the days of the Son of Man that they had enjoyed, and they would look forward to the day of the Son of Man that was coming. And hopefully it would spur them on. But those days could never be retraced.

For what they will miss is Him. They would never forget the days that they had spent with Him, and their hearts would delight in that day when once more they would see Him face to face, but meanwhile they would have to go on. And the grave danger was that in their desire to have Him again they might fall prey to a false Messiah. So let them remember His words now, that no Messiah who appears on earth can be the true Messiah, for when He does return it will be unmistakable. It will not be as a Messiah on earth. It will be like the transfiguration a hundred times over.

By this Jesus is preparing them for the hardness of the future. It needed to be made clear to them that in future they must not look for normal days or days of straightforward living like those enjoyed by the majority of men, nor even like those who enjoyed such lives in the days of Noah and the days of Lot. And sometimes in the hardness of the future they will look back and long for one of ‘the days of the Son of Man’, one of these days when He walked with them on earth and they enjoyed His fellowship and love, days that they will remember so vividly, days when all seemed to be going forward so smoothly, but they must recognise that they will not again see such days, for He is not coming back in that way. Rather they must look on ahead and recognise that their lives in the future are to be anything but smooth and normal, awaiting His coming in glory. They must thus serve on against all odds until suddenly and climactically the Son of Man will come. The road ahead is going to be tough.

Had we not had the comparison with the days of Noah and the days of Lot, which are vividly described in their normality (Luke 17:26-27), we might have seen ‘the days of the Son of Man’ as referring either to the judgment on Jerusalem (see Luke 17:31) or to the period after His coming in glory. But the comparison with the days of Noah and Lot makes clear that that cannot be so. It must thus refer to the present days in which He is among them, the days in which they have settled into a period of contentment with things as they are. These are ‘the days of the Son of Man’, the days of His powerful and successful ministry on earth, when He forgives sins (Luke 5:24), lives among them eating and drinking (Luke 7:34), establishes the new Laws of His Kingly Rule and declares the principles of the Sabbath (Luke 6:5), and has nowhere to lay His head (Luke 9:58). Days that they share with Him. And when inevitably in days to come they look back on these days in their worst moments, and say, ‘If only we could get back to things as they were then’, they must remember His words now.

Note on The Days of the Son of Man.

If we are to take Luke seriously this phrase must be interpreted in its context, and not just as suits our theories. Let us consider what we know about them.

o The first thing we know about them is that they will not go on permanently, for the disciples will one day long to see one and will not see it. Thus there will be a period in the disciples’ lives which will not be the days of the Son of Man. They will be either looking back to them, or looking forward to them. The ‘days of the Son of Man’ are thus not just all the days leading up to His second coming.

o We know also that He has revealed to them that He will be away from them and will return at His second coming as the Son of Man (Luke 12:35-48).

o We know from the comparison with the days of Noah and the days of Lot that the days of the Son of Man will be before the final climactic event (Luke 17:26-29).

o The climactic events connected with the days of the Son of Man are His coming suffering (Luke 17:25) and His coming in glory (Luke 17:24).

The only days which fit in with all these facts are His days with them on earth. In the excitement of second coming teaching the days of Jesus’ life on earth can seem almost secondary, but of course they were not. They were huge. They were in a sense the most primary days of all. For it was during those days that He fulfilled the Father’s will to the uttermost (Hebrews 10:5-10) and accomplished the redemption of mankind and gave His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). These were the days of the Son of Man supreme as He forgave sins, re-evaluated and expanded on the Laws of Moses, and went on to offer Himself, as the Son of Man, as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). They were also the days in which He ‘ate and drank’ among us as the Son of Man (Luke 7:34), ideas connected with both ‘the days of Noah’ and ‘the days of Lot’. They were the days of endurance which the son of man in Daniel 7 had to undergo prior to His approach to the throne of God.

But why then does He speak of them in the future tense in Luke 17:26? The answer is that He does not. It is the climax of those days that He speaks of in the future tense, a climax that has not yet come. The climax of His days of suffering which will be the foundation of all the rest.

Other suggestions for the meaning of the term are:

o That they signify the same thing as ‘the days of the Messiah’ signifying the period after His return. But there is a great deal of difference between what the Scriptures say about the days of the Son of Man and the days of the Messiah. For in Daniel 7 the days of the son of man are days of suffering, when with His people He suffers under the hand of the beasts, days which then lead up to His approaching the throne of God and receiving His Kingly Rule. Furthermore such an interpretation would not meet the criteria mentioned above, and thus can only be held if the phrase is taken totally out of its context and we assume that Luke was simply throwing phrases together without thinking about them.

Some would support this position by translating ‘the first of the days when the Son of Man is revealed’, which is undoubtedly a possible translation, but that ignores the clear parallel in Luke 17:26. It also raises the question, 1) why in that case Luke does not use the singular, and 2) as to why they will not see it, for surely the point of Luke 17:24 is that they will see it.

o Some see it as indicating the days immediately preceding His return ‘in which the signs of His imminence are made clear’. These would fit all the criteria but there is no obvious reason why these should be specifically called ‘the days of the Son of Man’ in contrast with any other days prior to His coming, for He was present with them as the Son of Man in His days on earth as He makes very clear, and He would promise that He would continue with them to the end, ‘lo, I am with you always’ (Matthew 28:20). Nor is it clear what kind of signs would indicate His imminence. There has been so much tribulation in the world that it is difficult to see what kind could indicate the time of the end.

Some see ‘the days of the Son of Man’ as indicating His special days of Messianic revelation such as the transfiguration, the resurrection, the ascension, the appearances to Stephen and Paul, etc. but that is surely being too technical.

End of note.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-17.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

22.The days will come—After his ascension the national commotions, the Roman invasion, the anarchy and the downfall of the state are to ensue. Deceivers, false prophets, and false Christs should appear. How would those disciples look back to those halcyon days when the blessed Jesus was protecting them by his present divinity, and guiding them, by his infallible counsel, into the paths of truth and safety.

One of the days—Trials may come when, should Jesus for but one day revisit them, they would esteem it a most wondrous happiness. So it is said that the Venetians, when their power declined, used to recall the name of one of their most victorious admirals in the words, “O for one day of brave old Dandolo!” The connection here shows that the days of the Son of man, unlike the same words in Luke 17:26, refer to the days of the first advent.

Ye shall not see it— What is this but a clear and decisive intimation that the second coming of the Son of man would not take place in their day?

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-17.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 17:22. Unto the disciples. The Pharisees had probably withdrawn. In what follows there is no reference whatever to the destruction of Jerusalem, as in the later discourse. The one subject is the Lord’s future coming, the sudden personal appearance of the Son of man. Some, to escape this view, maintain the groundless conjecture that Luke has inserted here a part of the discourse on the Mount of Olives, which referred to the destruction of Jerusalem.

Days will come, etc. The connection with the answer to the Pharisees is close. The kingdom has already begun, for the King, the Bridegroom, the Son of man, is here, but He will be taken away. From the answer to the Pharisees the disciples might have inferred, as they were wont to do, that our Lord would now establish a temporal kingdom on earth, but he discourages such false hopes.

When ye shall desire. They would have tribulation, which would make them long for Christ’s presence.

One of the days of the Son of man. The future coming or presence of the Lord is meant, since it is implied that at that time He would be absent. They might also long for the former days, for such intercourse with him as they were now enjoying.

Shall not see it. Because the hour had not yet come, because the Lord still asked for patient waiting.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-17.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

To see one day, &c. Hereafter, when I shall be no longer visibly among you, you shall heartily wish for one day's conversation with me. (Witham) --- This verse is addressed to the disciples. He insinuates that he will take from them this corporeal presence, and they shall be exposed to persecution and affliction: then they shall wish to see one day of the Son of man, and shall not be able to obtain it. They shall wish ardently to see him, to entertain themselves with him, and consult him, but shall not have that happiness. This was meant to excite the disciples to profit more of his presence whilst they enjoyed it. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-17.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the disciples. Note the change. one of the days, &c. Such as they were then seeing, i.e. have another opportunity. the Son of man. See App-98.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-17.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he said unto the disciples, 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.

And he said unto the disciples - for they needed light on this subject, as well as the Pharisees,

The days will come, [ Eleusontai (Greek #2064) heemerai (Greek #2250)] - rather, 'There shall come days,'

When ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it - that is, one day of His own presence among them, such as they now had. See Matthew 9:15. 'So far will the kingdom I speak of be from bringing with it My personal presence, that amidst the approaching calamities and confusion, and the anxiety ye will be in for the infant cause-which will then be felt to lie all upon your own feeble shoulders-ye will be fain to say, O that we had the Master among us again but for one day! But ye shall not have Him?' He was to make other and more suitable provision, in the mission of the Comforter, for their fluttering hearts; but of that it was not now the time and place to speak.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-17.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(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 (2 Peter 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?” (2 Peter 3:4).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-17.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he said unto the disciples, 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.
when
5:35; 13:35; Matthew 9:15; John 7:33-36; 8:21-24; 12:35; 13:33; 16:5-7; John 16:16-22; 17:11-13
Reciprocal: Jeremiah 30:3 - the days;  Matthew 23:39 - Ye shall not;  Luke 17:26 - the days of the Son;  John 7:34 - GeneralHebrews 8:8 - the days

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 17:22". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-17.html.