by Rev. Fr . V. T. Thomas, CA
Gospel: St. Mark 13: 28 -37
Today's reading deals with the last days and the second coming from Mark 13 : 28 - 37.
"Jesus said, learn the lesson of the fig tree offers: As soon as its branches become tender and it put forth its leaves you know the summer is near." So must you too know, when you see these things happening that the end is near at the doors. But no man knows about that day and that hour, not even the angels in heaven, not even the Son , no one except the Father. Be watchful, be wakeful, and be praying. Watch! in case He comes suddenly and finds sleeping, what I say to you all - be on the watch.
There are three special things to note in this passage.
(1) It is sometimes held that When Jesus said that these things were to happen within this generation he was in error. But Jesus was right, for this sentence does not refer to the second coming. It could not when the next sentence says he does not know when that day will be . It refers to Jesus' prophecies about the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple and they were abundantly fulfilled.
(2) Jesus says that He does not know the day or the hour when He will come again. There were things which even he left without questioning in the hand of God. There can be no greater warning and rebuke to those who work out dates and timetables as to when he will come again. Surely it is less than blasphemy for us to inquire into that of which our Lord consented to be ignorant.
(3) Jesus draw a practical conclusion . We are like those who know that their master will come , but who do not know when. We live in the shadow of eternity. That is no reason for fearful and hysterical expectation. But it means that day by day our work must be completed. It means that we must so live that it does not matter when He comes. It gives the great task of making everyday fit for Him to see and being at any moment ready to meet Him face to face. All life becomes preparation to meet the King.
In the end it had permanent truth to tell us:- Only God's people can see into the secrets of history.
It contains a fact we forget or disregard at our peril.
The imagery in which it is clothed is the imagery of Jesus' on time and that to speculate on it is useless, when Jesus himself was content not to know.
That of all things to forget God and to become immersed in material concern is most foolish. The truly wise never forget that they must be ready when the summons comes for those who live in the memory, the end will not be terror, but eternal joy.
Sermons and Bible Commentary/Analysis for the 1st sunday after Sleebo
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