Monday, November 13, 2017

A promise we can count on

lightning (Image from
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 4:23-44

TO CHEW ON: ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.’” Matthew 4:35.

In our reading today, Jesus’ message seems mixed. On one hand, He says watch for these things (in Matthew 24:14-16, 29-30) for they are signs that the Son of Man is coming soon. On the other, don’t try to figure out the timing.

I like His example of the fig tree as a way to tell his coming is near:

'Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its branch has already b'ecome tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near'” - Matthew 24:32.

My Bible’s study notes take the mystique out of the comparison:
“As the budding tree signifies the coming of summer, the signs described by Jesus will give warning of His coming” - J. Lyle Story, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1335. 
So we look at Jesus’ list of specifics and watch for them as we watch for signs of seasonal change in the trees. When we see them playing out, we know His coming is getting nearer, just like we know summer’s around the corner when trees bud in spring and the world turns green.

Over and over, though Jesus reminds His listeners (and us readers) that we won’t be able to tell the exact time, and not to be caught by surprise.  

His coming:
  • Will be as sudden as zigzags of lightning - Matthew 24:27.
  • As to its timing, will be a surprise to even the angels - Matthew 24:36.
  • Will come in the middle of life as usual - Matthew 24:38.
  • Will separate the prepared and unprepared in the middle of what they’re doing - Matthew 24:40,41.
  • Is to be on our list of things to watch for and expect - Matthew 24:42.
  • Will be as unwelcome a surprise to some as a thief breaking into their house - Matthew 24:44.

What if it were today? Am I ready and expectant? Are you?

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, this reading reminds me that I need to take the promise that You would return, seriously. Help me to live daily in this hope with this expectation. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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