Pastor's Blog

Matthew 24:42

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

Those are the words of Jesus in the context of what is called The Olivet Discourse. In Matthew 23 Jesus had been speaking in the Temple courts in Jerusalem. As chapter 24 begins, Jesus and the disciples were leaving the Temple when his disciples began talking to him about the splendor of the buildings. The Temple in Jerusalem was always one of the more splendid buildings of the era. While the temple at that time may not have been all that Solomon’s temple had been, it was still a very impressive work of architecture. To those who saw it, the Temple appeared to be strong and invincible. The Temple was the central symbol of Judaism – it was a building of national pride – it was the building that identified the Jews (in their eyes) as God’s special children.

Jesus shocked the disciples when he said to them that there was coming a time when not one stone would be left on top of another – that the Temple would be completely destroyed. They were so blown away by what he said that for a period of time they were speechless. But when Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives some of the disciples came to Jesus and asked a 3 part question.

Matthew 24:3

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"

The disciples wanted to know when the destruction of the temple was going to take place. And from the questions asked it seems fair to say that these guys believed that the only thing that the destruction of the temple could mean was that it was the end of the world as we know it!

The three questions that they asked were: 1. When will the Temple be destroyed? 2. What will be the signs for the coming of your kingdom? 3. What will be the signs of the end of the age? (The end of the world) In the remaining part of the chapter and the next one Jesus answers the three questions. Jesus gave some very clear answers to question one. History tells us about what happened in Jerusalem between AD 66 and 70. That historical record shows us that Jesus clearly told the disciples about how they would know when the temple was going to be destroyed. History tells us about how many Christians fled from the city when they saw the signs that Jesus had talked about taking place.

Jesus also gave a very clear answer in regards to question three: what are the signs of the end of the age? And that answer was “it will be business as usual”. Jesus said no one knows that day or that hour. Life will be cruising along like normal. He likened it to the days of Noah. Noah was building an ark and telling all who would listen that there was going to be a flood . . . and no one believed him. No one changed the way that they were living. No one cried out to God in repentance. And God put Noah in the ark and shut the door and the rain came . . .Jesus said that how it is going to be at the culmination of time. Jesus told the disciples (and you and me) that we should live as if today could be the day. When we know that company is coming to our house we make sure everything is in its proper place. There are days that we would prefer company would not just show up. Jesus said that we need to live with the mindset that he may be showing up at any time. We may not have another decade, another year, another month, another day, or another hour!

So does that mean we go to some mountain and quietly wait for his return? No. What Jesus says to do in Matthew 24 and 25 is to be busy doing the things that he would be doing. Jesus was saying that what he will be looking for and giving reward for when he returns again at the end of the age is people who are faithfully doing Kingdom work.

I am reminded this morning that I need to be mindful of the fact that our days here are numbered. I am reminded this morning that what will really matter when it is all said and done is what was done for the Kingdom of God. I am reminded this morning that I must use what time I have wisely. I am reminded this morning to ever live as if Jesus could return today!

Suggested Readings To Read Through The Bible In A Year

Wed.    Jan. 19, 2011   Gen. 34-35, Matt. 24, Psalm 18:16-36. Proverbs 19

Thurs.  Jan. 20, 2011   Gen. 36-37, Matt. 25, Psalm 18:37-50, Proverbs 20

Fri.       Jan. 21, 2011   Gen. 38-39, Matt. 26, Psalm 19, Proverbs 21

Sat.      Jan. 22, 2011   Gen. 40-41, Matt. 27, Psalm 20. Proverbs 22

Sun.     Jan. 23, 2011   Gen. 42, Matt. 28, Psalm 21, Proverbs 23

Mon.    Jan. 24, 2011   Gen. 43-44, Matt. 22, Psalm 22:1-21, Proverbs24

Tues.   Jan. 25, 2011   Gen. 32-33, Matt 23, Psalm 22:22-31, Proverbs 25



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