Matthew – Fulfilled.
“When you least expect it, expect it”. This is one of my husband’s favorite phrases, especially when I am catching him unaware with a practical joke or a loving jab to his tickle spot. He said this to the kids often when they tried to best him at playing games. What he meant was, I won’t get back at you now, but at a later time, when you least expect it… He keeps us alert and on our toes! (Smiling)
Jesus patiently and lovingly sits his disciples down to seriously talk them through the answer to their questions of when. They ask, (as we still do today), “Tell us, when are these things going to happen? What will be the sign of your coming, that the time’s up?”
Jesus explains with imagery and clarity with what to look for, what to expect and who qualifies. The answer is quite simplistic. The believer who is ready is the one the Master will find always doing his job. “A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you.” But Jesus does not tell us when. “You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up.” So expect Him when you least expect Him! Be alert and awake. Keep doing what He has asked you to do…until He comes again. He IS coming back, you know.
Matthew 24, The Message
The Monster of Desecration
15-20 “But be ready to run for it when you see the monster of desecration set up in the Temple sanctuary. The prophet Daniel described this. If you’ve read Daniel, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you’re living in Judea at the time, run for the hills; if you’re working in the yard, don’t return to the house to get anything; if you’re out in the field, don’t go back and get your coat. Pregnant and nursing mothers will have it especially hard. Hope and pray this won’t happen during the winter or on a Sabbath.
21-22 “This is going to be trouble on a scale beyond what the world has ever seen, or will see again. If these days of trouble were left to run their course, nobody would make it. But on account of God’s chosen people, the trouble will be cut short.
The Arrival of the Son of Man
23-25 “If anyone tries to flag you down, calling out, ‘Here’s the Messiah!’ or points, ‘There he is!’ don’t fall for it. Fake Messiahs and lying preachers are going to pop up everywhere. Their impressive credentials and dazzling performances will pull the wool over the eyes of even those who ought to know better. But I’ve given you fair warning.
26-28 “So if they say, ‘Run to the country and see him arrive!’ or, ‘Quick, get downtown, see him come!’ don’t give them the time of day. The Arrival of the Son of Man isn’t something you go to see. He comes like swift lightning to you! Whenever you see crowds gathering, think of carrion vultures circling, moving in, hovering over a rotting carcass. You can be quite sure that it’s not the living Son of Man pulling in those crowds.
29 “Following those hard times,
Sun will fade out,
moon cloud over,
Stars fall out of the sky,
cosmic powers tremble.
30-31 “Then, the Arrival of the Son of Man! It will fill the skies—no one will miss it. Unready people all over the world, outsiders to the splendor and power, will raise a huge lament as they watch the Son of Man blazing out of heaven. At that same moment, he’ll dispatch his angels with a trumpet-blast summons, pulling in God’s chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole.
32-35 “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. So it is with you: When you see all these things, you’ll know he’s at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you. This age continues until all these things take place. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.
36 “But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.
37-39 “The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away.
39-44 “The Son of Man’s Arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field—one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill—one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up.
45-47 “Who here qualifies for the job of overseeing the kitchen? A person the Master can depend on to feed the workers on time each day. Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him doing his job. A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you. It won’t be long before the Master will put this person in charge of the whole operation.
48-51 “But if that person only looks out for himself, and the minute the Master is away does what he pleases—abusing the help and throwing drunken parties for his friends—the Master is going to show up when he least expects it and make hash of him. He’ll end up in the dump with the hypocrites, out in the cold shivering, teeth chattering.”
Ready or not, here He comes…it could be today or not…either way are we ready?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this glance into Your future coming as our Lord and Savior. May we be alert, always at the work you have given us to do. Help us to live expectant lives, focused on You, waiting for that glorious day when You will come to claim your own. But in the meantime…we trust and obey. We rest in the thought that the arrival isn’t something we go to see, YOU come to us. What a comforting thought!
In Jesus Name, Amen! I believe.