Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
luk 17:1It 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. Mat 18:6; Mar 9:42.
luk 17:2Little ones - Weak believers.
luk 17:3Take heed to yourselves - That ye neither offend others, nor be offended by others. Mat 18:15.
luk 17:4If 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.
luk 17:5Lord, increase our faith - That we may thus forgive, and may neither offend nor be offended. Mat 17:20.
luk 17:6And 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.
luk 17:7But 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.
luk 17:9Doth he thank that servant - Does he account himself obliged to him?
luk 17:10When 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.
luk 17:20The kingdom of God cometh not with observation - With such outward pomp as draws the observation of every one.
luk 17:21Neither 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.
luk 17:22Ye 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.
luk 17:23They shall say, See, Christ is here, or there - Limiting his presence to this or that place. Mat 24:23.
luk 17:24So shall also the Son of man be - So swift, so wide, shall his appearing be: In his day - The last day.
luk 17:26The days of the Son of man - Those which immediately follow that which is eminently styled his day. Mat 24:37.
luk 17:31In that day - (Which will be the grand type of the last day) when ye shall see Jerusalem encompassed with armies.
luk 17:32Remember Lot's wife - And escape with all speed, without ever looking behind you. Luk 9:24; Joh 12:25.
luk 17:33The sense of this and the following verses 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.
luk 17:37Mat 24:28.