We are coming to the close of our journey through Matthew. Things are coming to a climax for Jesus in his last days of life on earth. Two weeks ago we witnessed Jesus handing out 7 woes to the religious leaders of his time. And this Sunday, the very next chapter (Matthew 24), Jesus goes prophetically bananas! Jesus isn’t bananas in that he is crazy, bananas as in outrageously and graphically prophetic.
As he leaves the temple mount and walks with his disciples outside of temple walls he says, “Do you see all these things? Not one of these stones will be left on another.” This is crazy talk – what does he mean?
The disciples are confused too and can’t believe what Jesus is saying. Jesus then answers their questioning by mixing the description of two very important events that will occur in the future. One that will happen in 40 years to come, one that the disciples will experience for themselves: the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. The other event Jesus will describe is when he will return to earth in all of his glory at the end of time, an event that hasn’t yet happened.
Jesus descriptions of these events are chilling and can bring on fear. There have been many attempts by Christians to try and define what Jesus words mean in terms of the how and when of these events. Some of the conclusions of Christians, especially in recent history, is very descriptive and can generate fear.
I would like to take an approach to Jesus words that may be more descriptive than prescriptive based on clues Jesus gives us about how and when of the event of his return. Jesus words should not cause fear. Rather, Jesus words should stimulate two things from us: “Relax!” and “Get busy!”
Jesus words about the end of all things give us courage, confidence, and purpose. I will attempt to open up this understanding from Scripture itself. Our message will be based on Matthew 24. Read the entire chapter for Sunday and you will be prepared to dive in. The focus of the message, “Relax and Get Busy!“, will intensify on vs. 36-51. Download will unpack different interpretations of Jesus return from the history of Christian thought and reflection.
See you Sunday and be prepared for Jesus to go prophetically bananas!