“Teacher, when therefore will these things happen?” (7)
This discourse started with the admiring of Jerusalem’s beautiful temple. Jesus foretells it’s destruction, which would happen roughly 40 years later. What sort of warning would the people get that the temple was about to be destroyed again?
- Other people will claim to be the Messiah (8)
- War (9)
- Earthquakes (11)
- Plagues (11)
- Famines (11)
- Terrors (11)
- Signs from heaven (11)
- Persecution of disciples (12)
- Betrayal by friends and family (13)
- Jerusalem surrounded by armies (20)
- Fleeing (21)
- Distress upon the land (23)
- Wrath upon the people (24)
- Death by sword (24)
- Captives taken (24)
This all went down in 70 AD. But wait, there’s more. There will be something called, “the times of the Gentiles” that needs to be fulfilled. Then a new set of signs will herald the Second Coming:
- Signs in the sun, moon and stars (25)
- Dismay among nations (25)
- Perplexity at the roaring of the sea and waves (25)
- Men fainting from fear (26)
- The powers of the heavens shaken (26)
- The Son of Man coming in a cloud (27)
Some people spend their lives doomsday prepping for this occurrence, while others ignore it completely. Again, we must find a middle, and–whaddya know–Jesus outlined that for us as well. He says to stay alert, to not wander off into drunkenness, but to remain prayerful and watchful.
For the past 1950 years since that temple was destroyed, Christians have been watching the world rage through cycles of war, plague, famine and earthquakes. Jesus gave us some pretty basic human circumstances to watch out for. Why do you think that is? Why give us signs that read as open ended as a horoscope from People magazine?
I think it’s to keep us humble and aware. This world does not belong to us. Our times do not belong to us. We mustn’t get so wrapped up that we forget Him and His intentions for life.
What reminds us of our powerlessness better than an earthquake? What dashes our plans more famine? What reminds us of our mortality like a plague? What keeps us on a toes more than a raging sea? These things remind us of our place in this world. One that desperately needs to keep our eyes on the LORD. Be ready, because things can happen that don’t allow for you to pack your things.
We need Him, we long for Him, we pray for His closeness.
How do you remain aware, or realistic, about your weakness and dependence on Him? How does that balance between fear and hope?