The last two days I have been looking through the Olivet Discourse. The disciples walk up the Mount of Olives and they look back across the valley to the temple complex and they marvel at the great stones that have been used to build such a magnificent building. Jesus responds with the simple truth that quite soon these stones will no longer be standing one upon the other. The disciples are marveled and ask when these things will occur and when the end of all time will occur. Jesus lists various signs of apocalypse and doom, but he lists them in ways that show these terrible events to be quite common in history. These things will happen, but te end is yet to come. When Jesus does come no-one will need to tell anyone about it. The event will be obvious like lightning or circling vultures.
The thrust of Jesus’ message has two main points. One is that people must live in a state of readiness. Jesus could return at any time. If one tried to guess when that was, in order to modify their behaviour for the moment, it would show in some way that their heart was wrong. The heart of the disciple lives in great anticipation of the Lord’s coming. It is like a lover who looks out of their window each morning hoping and wanting for their absent lover to arrive home at any time.
Matthew 25 contains three parables that have the same main thrust. The idea in the parable of the virgins, the talents and the sheep and goats is that those who are rejected did not know the master. At the end of all time the measure of all things is not what was done, but who it was done for. It is not whether we obeyed God but whether we knew the God we thought we served. Do you know God?
Dear God, I want to know you. I want to have a personal relationship that grows daily. I want to gain insight from biblical study and I want to grow closer through prayer.
- What signs of the end times does Jesus cover?
- How does Jesus want for us to prepare for the end times?
- What do the last three parables convey about the most important thing relating to final judgment?
- Are you anticipating the second coming or is it far from your mind?
- How can you cultivate a life that knows Jesus more?