What does Luke 17:28 mean?
ESV: Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building,
NIV: It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.
NASB: It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, and they were building;
CSB: It will be the same as it was in the days of Lot: People went on eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building.
NLT: And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business — eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building —
KJV: Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
NKJV: Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
Verse Commentary:
Jesus has compared the days before His second coming with the time before the flood. In both cases, people eat, drink, and marry. They live normal lives and plan for their futures. The emphasis of this point is on how people do not suspect the coming judgment (Luke 17:26–27).

Now, He compares the coming time of judgment to the days before God destroyed Sodom. Again, they will be living as if nothing is going to happen. "Eating and drinking" are normal, everyday activities but are also associated with celebration. "Buying and selling" are also normal, but suggest the people have a desire for riches of the world. "Planting and building" describe people who expect to be around for a long time. All these together reveal people who are intensely involved in earthly affairs; no one is thinking about God.

Revelation 18 records the fall of the economic systems of Babylon at the end of the tribulation. In the context of all that will be lost, we see what the trading ships carry:
"cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls." (Revelation 18:12–13)
Like the rich fool, the people of Sodom and the people of Babylon only think of the worldly wealth and ease their work earns them. They don't realize they will die and their earthly lives will mean nothing (Luke 12:13–20). "So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:21).
Verse Context:
Luke 17:22–37 may create confusion for two reasons. The first is where to place the events in relation to the end times. Are they before the rapture or at the end of the tribulation? The second complication is the placement of Jesus' teaching. Did He deliver this message while traveling through Galilee and Samaria, or outside of Jerusalem during the final week prior to His crucifixion? Ultimately, neither question is as important as the clear message: Jesus' return will be unmistakable, and those who are not ready will suffer greatly. This passage covers similar material to Matthew 24 and Mark 13.
Chapter Summary:
In his gospel, Luke has often arranged events by theme rather than by strict time order. That seems likely here with a series of teachings about living as Christ followers and ambassadors of God. Christians ought to be careful not to poison the faith of others. Faith is powerful. God's servants should not demand extravagant treatment in return. After healing ten lepers—only one of whom offers thanks—Jesus discusses the state of the world at His future second coming.
Chapter Context:
Luke 17 continues Jesus' teaching about how to live as citizens and ambassadors of the kingdom of God. Luke 15 describes God's love for the lost. Chapter 16 teaches earthly blessings are far inferior to heavenly rewards. Here, He exhorts His followers to lead well, serve humbly, give thanks, and watch for His second coming. In Luke 18, Jesus gives a series of comparisons to show how we are to approach God—as He approaches Jerusalem and the cross.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
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