THURSDAY – The Olivet Discourse

Matt 24, 25

The Jewish people in Jesus’ day were looking expectantly for the coming Kingdom of God. Daniel 9 told them when to expect the King and when Jesus’ Triumphal Entry did not fulfill their expectation, there must have been a massive disappointment. While the religious leadership is antagonistic toward Jesus and the people have rejected Jesus, the disciples are still loyal to Jesus but wondering what to expect now that their prophetic expectations regarding Jesus have been shattered. So in private they ask Him a very penetrating questions – “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”The establishment of the kingdom is still on their minds.

Jesus answers with a list of identifiable signs that the establishment of the kingdom is near. These signs are: the emergence of false Messiahs (24:5), wars and rumors of wars (24:6), anarchy, famines and earthquakes (24:7). Amazingly, Jesus tells us that this is only the beginning of problems to come (24:8). The real difficulties begin after these signs. There will be persecution of Jesus’ followers (24:9), apostasy by professed followers of Jesus (24:10), the appearance of false prophets (24:11), anarchy (24:12a), the humility and service characterized by agape love ceases to be expressed (24:12b). The only positive sign is that the Gospel will have permeated the world (24:14).

But then comes the big sign – a figure who performs the abomination of desolation (24:15). Once this figure prophesied by Daniel makes his appearance, Jesus warns those listening that it is time to flee (24:16) because God’s wrath is about to be displayed (24:16-26). Once this figure appears and does his evil, the Lord says He will return (24:27). It will be at this time that Jesus will commission the angels to gather the elect from around the world for entrance into the kingdom.

Jesus follows these signs of His second coming with parables encouraging urgent expectation by followers of the King (24:32-25:30)! He was urging His followers to be on the look out for these signs (24:32-25), that it will occur unexpectedly (24:36-44), and that faithfulness is expected by followers of the King (24:45-51).

What about you? Are you expecting the King? Could the signs we are seeing now be the signs spoken of by Jesus during Passion Week? If so, it is all the more reason to be prepared for His return and to keep our eyes focused on the King rather than circumstances.



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