Reading: Matthew 24-25
Summary: Chapters 24 and 25 constitute a rather lengthy, continuous teaching relative to Jesus ultimate return and judgment. It’s all initiated by the disciples drawing attention to the temple and all of its buildings. Jesus responded by saying the day is coming in which one stone would not be left on another. Incredulous at such a suggestion, they believe such a catastrophic event could only happen at the end of time, Jesus’ return, and the destruction of all things. Jesus’ response is to tell them about two coming days. One would come in their life times and should be prepared for by watching for the signs to warn of its arrival. This day, the destruction of Jerusalem would result in the temple’s ruin. The other day, however, would not be accompanied by signs and no one, not even the Son, knows when it will be. This day is the day of Jesus return. The only thing to do is be prepared.
To further drive home the point Jesus told two parables, that of the ten virgins and the talents in order to emphasize the need to be ready because one does not know when Christ will return. That is followed by His famous picture of judgment and Christ separating all the nations gathered before His throne to the right and the left as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
Are you ready? Are you prepared?
Not, are you getting ready? Not, are you aware of the need to be ready? Not, do you wish you were ready?
A person is either ready or they are not. There’s not really any middle ground in there. You may argue there is a process to becoming ready, and there is. But what happens if that for which your are preparing happens prior to being ready. Then you aren’t ready, are you? So, again, you are either ready or you are not.
Jesus said that because of what He had just taught, “you also must be ready” (Matt. 24:44). And what had He taught? That He would be returning one day. That return, as He will go on to teach in 25:31-46 will bring eternal judgment. Eternal destinies will be assigned. A person will either be received and accepted by God or denied and rejected (25:34, 41).
So, for that, we must be ready. Add to that the fact that we do not know when that day will be. Again—we do not know. No matter what we may hear people say about all the reasons they know that this event is impending, Jesus says we do not. As a matter of fact, He says it will happen at a time we do not expect (v. 44). Not even the angels or even Himself knows; only God (24:36).
Jesus is emphatic; it’s a “must”. Are you now ready?