In our Advent reflections, Matthew now weighs in on the return of Jesus. We’ve read through the accounts of Mark and Luke and noticed some overlap. Here again, there are similar themes. As a disciple, Matthew would have had a front row seat to Jesus’ foretelling.
The news Jesus shared about his return would have certainly been hard to believe. Not because Jesus himself is unbelievable, but because the people hearing would not be used to having people go to and from heaven. Death was usually a one-way street. But Jesus’ death was not final. He rose from the dead and then ascended into heaven. Jesus is alive!
I got goosebumps just reading the first two verses! As we read through these texts during Advent, I’d like you to do so using the “lens” of Jesus is coming. For us, we are waiting for Jesus to come back. Oh, what a joyous day that will be! The nations will most certainly tremble!
These verses just magnify God’s power yet keep him relatable. He’s not an untouchable God. Sometimes I forget how wonderful it is to have God working for me! “For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!”
It’s going to happen; we just don’t know when. Jesus promised he would come back, and we know his word is true. Paul says, “For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.” Does that leave you a bit unsettled or oozing with peacefulness? I don’t think we’re supposed to be afraid, despite the thought of having a thief breaking in while I’m sleeping doesn’t sound all that pleasant.
Yet, the idea of Jesus returning to rescue our fallen world gives me hope. Yes! It most certainly gives me hope and with it some peace. It helps me get through some tough days knowing they don’t last forever. Jesus’ love for me lasts forever. I’ve even been known to say, “Okay, Jesus, you can come back any time now.”
We see Revelation is being written as a letter from John to the churches in Asia. I was thankful for a side note to clarify this is not what we know today as Asia, but rather a Roman province in what is now western Turkey. I am guessing there were more than 7 churches in that region, but we know the number 7 signifies completeness. The seven chosen here should represent all churches.
We see a salutation that we may recognize from Paul’s letters. Grace and peace to you. Such a wonderful greeting, don’t you think. John is quick to add who this greeting is from. We see what could be interpreted as the “Trinity” here. From God the Father, God the Spirit, and God the Son. The authority from heaven will be speaking to us, just as it did in letter form to the audience of churches.
For centuries, there have been forecasters, theologians, even common folk trying to figure out when Jesus will return. This is one of the passages that is often reviewed. I don’t know about you, but the line, “for the Son of Man will come when least expected,” tells me it will be hard to predict.
I don’t think God wants us to know. It’s like the analogy of the burglar. If you knew your house was going to be broken into, you would be ready for that! You would prepare with stronger locks, have a diligent watch underway, and maybe even the police on the line (or 911 on speed dial). God wants us to be prepared because we want to not because we have to or should.
The key message here is to be ready. Don’t assume you’ll get an email announcing Jesus’ return. There will be no social media event scheduled. When we least expect it, Jesus will return. I want to be one of the servants he rewards. Don’t you? Continue reading “Luke 12:35-48 – Are You Ready?”