Wesley's Notes on the Bible
Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
17:1 It is impossible but offences will come - And they ever did and do come chiefly by Pharisees, that is, men who trust in themselves that they are righteous, and despise others. Mt 18:6; Mr 9:42.
It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
17:2 Little ones - Weak believers.
Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
17:3 Take heed to yourselves - That ye neither offend others, nor be offended by others. Mt 18:15.
And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
17:4 If he sin against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day return, saying, I repent - That is, if he give sufficient proof that he does really repent, after having sinned ever so often, receive him just as if he had never sinned against thee. But this forgiveness is due only to real penitents. In a lower sense we are to forgive all, penitent or impenitent; (so as to bear them the sincerest good will, and to do them all the good we can;) and that not seven times only, but seventy times seven.
And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
17:5 Lord, increase our faith - That we may thus forgive, and may neither offend nor be offended. Mt 17:20.
And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
17:6 And he said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed - If ye had the least measure of true faith, no instance of duty would be too hard for you. Ye would say to this sycamine tree - This seems to have been a kind of proverbial expression.
But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
17:7 But which of you - But is it not meet that you should first obey, and then triumph? Though still with a deep sense of your utter unprofitableness.
And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
17:9 Doth he thank that servant - Does he account himself obliged to him?
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
17:10 When ye have done all, say, We are unprofitable servants - For a man cannot profit God. Happy is he who judges himself an unprofitable servant: miserable is he whom God pronounces such. But though we are unprofitable to him, our serving him is not unprofitable to us. For he is pleased to give by his grace a value to our good works, which in consequence of his promise entitles us to an eternal reward.
And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
17:20 The kingdom of God cometh not with observation - With such outward pomp as draws the observation of every one.
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here, or lo there - This shall not be the language of those who are, or shall be sent by me, to declare the coming of my kingdom. For behold the kingdom of God is within or among you - Look not for it in distant times or remote places: it is now in the midst of you: it is come: it is present in the soul of every true believer: it is a spiritual kingdom, an internal principle. Wherever it exists, it exists in the heart.
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.
17:22 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.
And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.
17:23 They shall say, See, Christ is here, or there - Limiting his presence to this or that place. Mt 24:23.
For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
17:24 So shall also the Son of man be - So swift, so wide, shall his appearing be: In his day - The last day.
But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
17:26 The days of the Son of man - Those which immediately follow that which is eminently styled his day. Mt 24:37.
They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
17:31 In that day - (Which will be the grand type of the last day) when ye shall see Jerusalem encompassed with armies.
Remember Lot's wife.
17:32 Remember Lot's wife - And escape with all speed, without ever looking behind you. Luke 9:24; John 12:25.
Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
17:33 The sense of this and the following verse s is, Yet as great as the danger will be, do not seek to save your life by violating your conscience: if you do, you will surely lose it: whereas if you should lose it for my sake, you shall be paid with life everlasting. But the most probable way of preserving it now, is to be always ready to give it up: a peculiar Providence shall then watch over you, and put a difference between you and other men.
I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.
17:37 Mt 24:28.