“Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
The Psalmist, in a time of great despair, wrote, “Why are you cast down oh my soul, and why are you in turmoil? Hope in God…” (Psalm 42:5). Hope serves as an anchor when the storms of life seem as though they are going to overwhelm us. As a child of God, we have the hope that His Word is eternal, and while circumstances may change, His promises remain trustworthy. We have the hope that in the midst of life’s hardships, He will never leave us, but will walk through the fires with us, even carrying us. Perhaps our greatest hope, is that Jesus has promised He will return for us. There is a time coming, perhaps in the very near future, when “as the lighting comes from the East and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” This great hope was foremost in the minds of the disciples, as the events of Matthew 24 unfolded, and the chapter is Jesus’ answer to the question, “when.”
Instead of giving a date, Jesus begins with a warning, “Take heed.” Essentially, He is exhorting His followers to be on the lookout for the events that foreshadow His return.
He begins with a description of the world:
Many false christs
Famine, pestilence, earthquakes in various places
Persecution – “then they will deliver you up . . .”
After answering the initial question about the signs, Jesus gives a series of warnings:
Be familiar with the Word of God, vs 15
Be a person of prayer, vs 20
Know Jesus well, so as not to be deceived, vs 23
Pay attention to the signs of the times, vs 32
Be ready – parable of the faithful servant (vs 45-51). Notice he is faithful when the master finds him “so doing.” We are ready when we are getting orders from the Master and doing them. When we lose sight of Him, that is when we begin to misbehave.
Perhaps you are cast down. Perhaps life is beating you down. Take time today to sit at the feet of the Master and get your orders from Him. He not only has a plan for your life, He also wants to use you for the furtherance of His Kingdom, in preparation for His return.
Questions for chapter 24
- What does Jesus predict will happen to the Temple?
- In 70 AD the Temple was destroyed after the Jewish people rebelled against Roman occupancy. The Temple was leveled fulfilling the words of Christ.
- Notice that chapter 24-25 is an answer Jesus gives to the questions of verse 3, what are the questions?
- In verses 4-8, how does Jesus describe the world leading up to His return?
- What promise does Jesus give in verse 14?
- Jesus warns concerning false Christs. What is a false Christ?
- What lesson should we learn from the parable of the fig tree?
- Why does Jesus bring up Noah?
- How can you apply verse 44 to your life today?