Text: Matthew 24 : 32 - 51
The disciples had to be instructed concerning the subject of eschatology. Thus Jesus carefully taught them how they should approach this topic. They must look at the following things in their correct perspectives.
1. Differentiate events
They must be able to distinguish the different events that would take place in the whole eschatological complex.
2. Discern false teachers
They must be able to know their theology so well that they would be able to discern the false teachers from the true.
3. Decide on the certainty of the teachings of Jesus
The disciples must decide that they can and will trust in Jesus. They must choose to believe all that He had said, over and above everything else!
4. Discipline self to respond appropriately
There will be suffering! The disciples must be prepared for great suffering! Great teaching deserves appropriate responses! Did Jesus teach that they must expect suffering? Then the disciples must fortify themselves to suffer for His sake!
THINGS WILL APPEAR “NORMAL”
Jesus had given His disciples an important theological perspective! From here on, their view of life would never be quite the same as before! They would now have to factor in the doctrine of the last things in all their considerations and deliberations! That is how a theological perspective works!
However, on the outside, from the world’s view point, nothing much has changed! Jesus also had to take time to explain how this could be so.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even
the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming
of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,
until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know
until the flood came and took them all away, so also
will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
To the secular world, things are as normal as normal can be! People will be going about their daily lives without much thought about the end times!
REFERENCE TO NOAH
It is interesting to note the mention of Noah. A number of things may be observed:-
1. Belief in the Scriptures
Once again, we note Jesus’ belief in the Scriptures. He would cite them as authoritative. He would cite them for illustrative purposes too.
2. Belief in the Scriptural account of the Flood
Jesus clearly believed in the Scriptural account of the Flood, judging from the way He cited the text of Scripture!
There was comparison made between the Flood and His return. If the Genesis Flood was just a myth, the comparison made would have been a poor one. Jesus’ use of the Genesis flood account endorsed the historicity of the Scriptures!
b) Common Component
There was a sad common component. In the days of Noah, people neglected to hear what Noah said about the Judgment of God. Jesus also warned that people in the last days would not be very receptive to spiritual truths as well!
Just as the Flood came and took people by surprise, Jesus warned that many would also be taken as a surprise when He returned!
A KEY WORD TO LIVE BY – “WATCH!”
How would the disciples of Jesus fare? How can we prevent ourselves from taking things for granted? Let us ponder what Jesus said to His disciples.
“Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken
and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill:
one will be taken and the other left.
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”
Life would appear very normal, as Jesus described this bucolic scene. People are going about doing their normal chores. Men working in the fields, and women working in the mills. One would be taken and the other obliviously left behind.
How should one guard himself against such complacency? Jesus gave His disciples a key word to live by! They would have to stand “Watch” all the time! Because the hour of the return of the master was not known, all true disciples would have no choice but to “Watch”.
It is not unimportant to have a deep and thorough knowledge of eschatological events! However, we must remember that knowledge avails little until it is directly made applicable to life! Let us be challenged to “Watch” for the return of the Lord Jesus!