Luke 10:24

ESV For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
NIV For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.'
NASB for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see the things that you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things that you hear, and did not hear them.'
CSB For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see the things you see but didn't see them; to hear the things you hear but didn't hear them."
NLT I tell you, many prophets and kings longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.'
KJV For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

What does Luke 10:24 mean?

Seventy-two of Jesus' disciples prepared towns for His ministry (Luke 10:1–12). They were given the authority to heal, cast out demons, and declare that the kingdom of God is near. Even so, it was clear many would not listen to their message even when faced with miracles (Luke 10:13–16). After their return, Jesus refocused the disciples' attention from miracles back to the kingdom. The crucial issue is not that they can heal and cast out demons, but that God the Father has chosen them to know the truth and experience His kingdom (Luke 10:17–23). As a last comment, Jesus reminds the disciples that many faithful Jews throughout history have longed to see what they are witnessing.

The first Old Testament characters who longed to see God's kingdom were Adam and Eve: sinful, shamed, and covered in hastily assembled fig leaves. They heard God promise that Eve's offspring would defeat the deceitful serpent, but they did not know when or what that would look like (Genesis 3:14–15).

The king who most exemplified a desire for God's kingdom was David. Many psalms attest to his love of and devotion to God. Despite his egregious sins, he remained the man after God's own heart because of his readiness to repent.

The prophet who most wanted to see God's kingdom was probably Jeremiah. He had to stay in Jerusalem as it burned around him. Unlike Ezekiel who only learned of the destruction of the temple, Jeremiah witnessed it. Then he was kidnapped and likely murdered in Egypt (Hebrews 11:37).

The last Old Testament-era prophet to long for the kingdom of God was John the Baptist. While in prison, he sent messengers to ask Jesus, "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?" (Luke 7:20).

Countless others in the disciples' past longed to see God fulfill His promises (Hebrews 11). They heard of the coming salvation and they had faith in God. Yet they did not see God the Son incarnate and understand what He represents. They did not see in Him the authority over sickness, the destruction of Satan, or the judgment of blind, hard-hearted cities. And they were never able to look at Him and see "the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15).

It is said that John the Baptist is the last of the Old Testament-era prophets. Simeon and Anna may be the first of the New Testament prophets. They took one look at the infant Jesus and knew they had found the Messiah. Many prophets longed to see the coming of the kingdom of God. Simeon and Anna lived to see and had the hearts to understand (Luke 2:25–38).
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