9 January 2014
In the lifetime of Jesus, he taught us spiritual truths, he healed and delivered and he prophesied. Many times, Jesus talked about the kingdom of God, about the realities that we would finally see when He returns and also about his death and resurrection.
In fact, Jesus repeated the same things many times, especially to his disciples. We are told in Luke that Jesus foretold of his death at least three times. But each time, we read that his disciples did not understand – despite Jesus making it clear and repeating it to them three times. In the end, Jesus was killed and his disciples fell apart, lost and afraid. It took the resurrection and seeing Jesus (and not to mention the Pentecost) before his disciples took full flight in their faith and became the apostles.
Today, we face the same challenges as disciples of Jesus. We read his Word often, we keep it plastered on our walls at home, listen to worship songs and even memorize scripture. But perhaps, many of us are still like the twelve disciples before Jesus was crucified. We might still fall apart, lose faith, become lost when trouble comes. And yet, didn’t Jesus also intimate that trouble and persecution would come, that perhaps, there would be waves crashing down and only the person who build his house on a solid foundation would withstand it?
Jesus warned us to stay alert at all times, to watch ourselves “lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth.”
Jesus continued – “But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 34-36.
I believe Jesus was warning us specifically about two things. Firstly, not to slowly allow the cares of this life dissipate our attention and alertness to who and why we are – this is our daily struggle. Secondly, there will come a time of great perplexity with the coming of the Son of Man – “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of he sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
I often, and so do many, speak or think about how wonderful and amazing it will be when Jesus returns. To an extent, it is true, but it downplays the sheer terror and chaos of what will happen around the time He does return. It will catch us off guard, it will come like a thief in the night. Now if Jesus said these words, i’m pretty sure we will ALL be taken by surprise. We will all most likely be like the disciples and have the tendency to run and hide with fear over all the confusion. That I believe is to be expected. Anyone who thinks their faith is strong enough NOT to be taken a back, may risk being like Peter, who argued with Jesus that he would follow him even to the death and never deny Jesus. It happened just as Jesus foretold. Jesus told us these things as a stern warning. Why? Because with over 2,000 years past, this prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. The risk of this warning will have started to wear out. But it will surely come. And when it does, let us not deny the Christ.
“Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
Lord, today I remind myself of your words and I pray you help me stay alert at all times, to never let my guard down. Let your words both sharpen my spiritual awareness of the things to come, and let your words also be comfort to my soul when these things should be fulfilled.