November 30 I Friday
2 Peter 2
“So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”
We have seen that the first portion of Matthew 24 likely refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. However, if there is a telescoping of near and far events into one picture, then what Jesus says about the coming of the Son of Man not only refers to when Christ was vindicated above the rubble and chaos of Jerusalem but also to His second coming at the end of the age.
The destruction of Jerusalem was a predictable event for those able and willing to read the signs, but the events surrounding the second coming of Christ are not as clear: “About that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36). Christ’s second coming is not something we can pinpoint, and it is foolish to try. Jesus says earlier, “You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come” (Matthew 24:6). These and other “signs of the times” are not countdown markers that enable us, if we read them correctly, to have clues to the timing of Christ’s return; these signs will characterize the whole age prior to the end.
“Therefore, keep watch,” Jesus says, “because you do not know on what day your Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42). He emphasizes again and again being ready for His coming, unlike those in the days of Noah. Noah’s contemporaries carried on with normal life—eating, drinking and marrying—when suddenly the flood came. There was nothing wrong with their eating, drinking and marrying, but in their preoccupation with legitimate interests, they failed to prepare themselves for the flood despite Noah’s warnings. In their unpreparedness, they were swept away and lost.
Like a thief who comes unexpectedly, without having made an appointment or given clues as to when he might raid, so will the coming of Christ be. No one knows the time of His return, but we do know that when He comes back, it will be the climax of history. No wonder He urges we “be ready” and “keep watch.” Though we must carry on with day-to-day life, we are to live as servants who faithfully do the good work He calls us to, remembering that Christ may return at any moment. On the one hand, we pray joyfully with John, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20), but on the other, we take every opportunity to share Christ with others so they might also be made ready for the time of His return.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that Your return will happen at the perfect time. Help me prepare for Your coming and grant me opportunities to share You with others so they might be made ready too.