“In those days, after the suffering of that time, the sun will become dark, and the moon won’t give its light. The stars will fall from the sky, and the planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken. Then they will see the Human One coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. Then he will send the angels and gather together his chosen people from the four corners of the earth, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven. “Learn this parable from the fig tree. After its branch becomes tender and it sprouts new leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that he’s near, at the door. I assure you that this generation won’t pass away until all these things happen. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away. “But nobody knows when that day or hour will come, not the angels in heaven and not the Son. Only the Father knows. Watch out! Stay alert! You don’t know when the time is coming. It is as if someone took a trip, left the household behind, and put the servants in charge, giving each one a job to do, and told the doorkeeper to stay alert. Therefore, stay alert! You don’t know when the head of the household will come,whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows in the early morning or at daybreak. Don’t let him show up when you weren’t expecting and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: Stay alert!”
Jesus again gives us glimpses of what will occur when He returns. It sounds frightening, and it is meant to be so. Jesus doesn’t want to scare us into obedience, but He does want us to understand what is coming.
He tells us what will happen, but says only God knows when (v. 32). He wants us to be ready when it is the time, to be living in faith and obedience that we may be part of the eternal joy. However, when He comes it will be too late for us to get ready.
Jesus know us and our weaknesses, how we often put off difficult things until the last minute. He warns that we can’t wait until the judgement comes to make our decision, we must be ready now! We must prepare ourselves, and then prepare the way of the Lord.
Gracious God, we are grateful to be called as part of Your family and Your work. Help us to always be ready, living according to Your word. Amen.