Matthew 24:36 (ESV) — “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
My summers as a kid were spent at a sports club in town. A group of friends and I swam, played basketball and racquetball, and lifted weights every day of the summer break. We were dropped off early in the morning and picked up in the afternoons and evening. My mom picked me up each day. But her job had inconsistent hours for when she would leave work. So, I never knew what time she was coming to get me. I knew as the day went on, I was getting closer to being picked up than the hour before, but never knew the exact hour.
Our passage today points us to a similar reality that we live in today. As Jesus was talking about his return with his disciples, he made this statement, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” First, it is important to realize that the disciples are clueless about what He is referring to. He was telling them these things so that they would be remembered after His death, resurrection, and ascension, but they were clueless. However, notice that Jesus said no one knows the hour of His coming.
Many speculate about this statement. Did Jesus not know because of His human limitations? Does Jesus know now since He is in Heaven with the Father? We don’t know the answers with any certainty. But here is what is crystal clear: None of us knows the hour.
We do not know the hour that Jesus is returning in glory. But we do know that we are closer to His coming than we were the last hour. Jesus’ return is imminent. This doesn’t mean He is coming next year. It could be another thousand years. But it is imminent because we are not awaiting any other part of the redemption drama to unfold. His return is the last chapter in the story of redemption. We are at the 11th hour.
Our lives should reflect this reality. We should live in light of eternity. We should remember eternity is near, and live seeking Christ above all things, so we are ready for His coming.
Reflection & Journal:
- What are some things this passage teaches us about the return of Christ?
- How should we live in light of Jesus’ imminent return?
- Why should Christians long for the return of Jesus?
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