August 16

Text: Matthew 24:3

And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (NASB)

“At last!  A private moment with Jesus! Now we can ask our questions!  Now our questions will not embarrass us before others!  Now we won’t be interrupted!”

Let our confusion begin.  How many questions did the 12 ask?  Was it 3, 2, or 1?  Perhaps the evident is not evident at all.  The evident seems to suggest they asked 3 questions.

1.  When will the temple (therefore the city of Jerusalem) be destroyed?

2.  What is the sign of your coming?

3.  When is the end of the age?

Since [a] they had not yet accepted the fact that Jesus would die (as suggested by Matthew 26:36-56—the “no urgency” sleeping reaction and the attempted deliverance by violence), and [b] the then 11 were unclear about Jesus’ purpose after resurrection (Acts 1:6), was it just basically two questions?

1.  When will the temple be destroyed, indicating the beginning of your reign?

2.  When will the end of the age occur?

Or perhaps it was just 1 question if they thought Jesus was only interested in the restoration of Israel.

1.  Since Israel will not exist when the temple is destroyed, the age will surely end—so what sign shall we look for?

Four questions should be asked.

1.   Question: At this time, how much did they understand about Jesus Christ’s second coming?

2.   Question: What did they refer to when asking about his “coming” and “the end of the age”?

3.   Question: How many questions did Jesus answer?

4.   Question: Did Jesus reply to their expectations or to realities they did not grasp?

Perhaps a brief prayer is in order: Lord, forgive us when we think we know more than we know.  Forgive us when we conclude we have everything figured out.

Suggestion for reflection: Is salvation dependent on knowing all the answers?  (Read Acts 10:1-35.)

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