August 23

Text: Matthew 24:37-39

"For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.  For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.”  (NASB)

There is an obvious contrast between the “signs” verses and these verses.  The “signs” verses note an immediacy in occurrence (Matthew 24:29).  These verses note a continuation of the normal.  For this reason these verses will be treated as reflecting the resurrected Jesus’ return.

A comparison was made between the coming of the Son of Man and the time when Noah built the ark.  The ark’s construction was a time-consuming, uncertain process.  I would suppose in the early stages Noah’s efforts attracted much attention and perhaps caused a bit of anxiety for some.  As time went on, Noah’s efforts were probably no more than a widely known curiosity.  However, the time came when Noah’s work was the ridiculous efforts of a crazy man who was best ignored.

At first, Noah’s efforts disrupted normality.  Yet, the time came when normality returned, Noah was ignored, and situations concerned themselves with everyday routines—food, drinking, marriage, etc.  Despite Noah’s consistent message, the onset of the flood came as a shock to people.  Can you understand the shock people felt as the abnormal rainfall continued?  Can you imagine the anxiety people felt when they realized, “We are in trouble!”

Jesus said that those people did not accept their predicament until the flood began.  He said that the situation would be identical when the Son of Man returned.  Everything would be in a long period of normal routine prior to the moment of the return.  People would not see the trouble they were in until it was too late to do anything about their situation.

Normal routines lull us into a state of complacency.  It does not take long until we are sure that nothing will change, that things always will be normal.  Life always will be consumed with everyday needs, with its continuation, and with acquiring.  Then, when situations occur that definitely are not normal, our anxiety levels rise quickly.  For example, how do you react to “end of time” considerations?

Suggestion for reflection: Define “normal.”  (Read Revelation 6:12-17.)

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