Luke 21:25-36November 28, 2021
Metropolitan UMC, Indian Head, MD
New International Version
25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
There are two main conceptions here.
(1) There is the conception of the second coming of Jesus Christ. There has always been much useless argument and speculation about the second coming. When it will be and what it will be like are not ours to know. But the one great truth it enshrines is this—that history is going somewhere. The Stoics regarded history as circular. They held that every 3,000 years or so the world was consumed by a great conflagration, then it started all over again and history repeated itself. That meant that history was going nowhere and human beings were tramping round on a kind of eternal treadmill. The Christian conception of history is that it has a goal and at that goal Jesus Christ will be Lord of all. That is all we know, and all we need to know.
(2) There is stressed the need to be on the watch. As Christians we must never come to think that we are living in a settled situation. We must live our lives in a permanent state of expectation. A novelist, in one of her books, has a character who will not stoop to certain things that others do. ‘I know’, she said, ‘that some day the great thing will come into my life and I want to keep myself fit to take it.’ We must live forever in the shadow of eternity, in the certainty that our actions will determine our fitness to appear in the presence of God. There can be nothing so thrilling as the Christian life.
(3) Jesus spent the day among the crowds of the Temple; he spent the night beneath the stars with God. He won his strength to meet the crowds through his quiet time alone; he could face the people because he came to them from God’s presence.
Notes from Point 1
Notes from Point 2
Notes from Point 3