The Gospel According to St Luke: Luke Chapter Seventeen: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/luke/17?lang=eng
Considering Offenses: Luke 17:1-2:
Then said he unto the disciples,
“It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! 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.”
We should realize that these types of offenses are ones that would impede the happiness and progression of one of God’s children.
Forgiving Trespasses: Luke 17:3-4:
“Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 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.”
It is truly a difficult for us as humans to find the love to continue to be forgiving when we feel that we are being taken advantage of. But Jesus tells us to just keep forgiving. That requires a pure heart. We might even think that there is no way for us to do it. And without the Lord that is probably true. No wonder the apostles responded how they did in the following verse, when they asked for an increase in faith.
Small Faith Yields Great Promises: Luke 17:5-10:
And the apostles said unto the Lord,
“Increase our faith.”
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.’
“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. 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. 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.’”
To show that we are faithful, we should be willing to do some things of our own initiative without having to wait for a command. Exercising faith, like all types of exercise, must of necessity take some exertion.
“I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and ispreserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
“And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you” (Mosiah 2:21-22).
Jesus Heals Ten Lepers: Luke 17:11-29:
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.”
All ten did as Jesus commanded and started their journey to the priests. For their unquestioning obedience, all ten were cleansed of their leprosy while on their journey.
One, seeing that he was cleansed, turned back to thank Jesus and to give glory to God. He alone was cleansed from sin and made whole. How important is it that we show gratitude! This man went beyond being obedient; he went beyond wanting to be free from His leprosy; this man acknowledged His need for the Savior’s tender touch in healing Him, and He was made whole.
Jesus Will Come Again: Luke 17:20-37:
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: Neither shall they say,
‘Lo here! or, lo there!’
“for, behold, the kingdom of God has already come unto you” (JST in italics).
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 they shall say to you,
‘See here; or, see there’:
“go not after them, nor follow them.
“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.
“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. 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.
“Remember Lot’s wife.
“Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
“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 shall they be taken?”
And he said unto them,
“Wheresoever the body is gathered; or, in other words, whithersoever the saints are gathered, thither
will the eagles be gathered together; or, thither will the remainder be gathered together.”
This he spake, signifying the gathering of his saints; and of angels descending and gathering the remainder unto them; the one from the bed, the other from the grinding, and the other from the field, whithersoever he listeth.
“For verily there shall be new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. And there shall be no unclean thing; for the earth becoming old, even as a garment, having waxed in corruption, wherefore it vanisheth away, and the footstool remaineth sanctified, cleansed from all sin” (JST in italics).
The Pharisees made demands of Jesus. Are we ever guilty of the same, or do we trust in His judgment and His timing?
Remember Lot’s wife! When we are called to follow Jesus, we should not look back. If we think that we can hold onto the things of the world, if we don’t allow repentance to make its due course of change in our lives, we will certainly lose our Christian footing and lose the Spirit in our lives, and lose our lives.
Today there are many Christians that are holding to their values, to the ideals Jesus taught. They are not trying to keep a footing in the ever increasingly wicked world, but they are trying to please God.
We find a great example in the florist who will not sell her Christian values, even to save her business or her home. She is not letting the unrighteous dominion of the government intimidate her into acting otherwise, because she believes in Christ’s righteous and eternal dominion.