What should you do with Jesus’ teaching about the wrapping up of history? How can you live in the light of His return? Here are some pointers:
Keep your eyes open (29-31). It’s been said that a prophet is someone with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. Stay in touch with the times. As much as you can, know what is going on. Look for the signs of Jesus’ return. ‘In a limited significance, our Lord’s words were fulfilled within forty years of their utterance; but we are still to see how much more is contained in them than has yet been realised.’ F.B. Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary’, p.450.
Stay rooted in Jesus’ Word (32,33). ‘Sky and Earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.’ The Message. Times change; Truth does not. Stay ‘anchored to the Rock’ whilst being ‘geared to the times’.
Live carefully/walk prayerfully (34-36). The two things go together. You really have no choice but to live in the world, but it is rotten (to the core) and rotting. If you don’t at the same time keep close company with God, too much of this world system may rub off on you and rot your soul. Corruption spreads easily and quickly. ‘But be on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap…So, whatever you do, don’t go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that’s coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man.’ The Message. ‘It is impossible to live as we should apart from constant watching and prayer. The snare is so deftly laid that we may be entangled in it before we are fully aware.’ F.B. Meyer.
Keep your ears open (37, 38). Here is the ideal balance: Keep your eyes open to what is going on around you (29-31), and keep your ears open to the sound from up above you (37,38). ‘All the people were up at the crack of dawn to come to the Temple and listen to him.’ The Message.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to stay wide awake!