August 24

Text: Matthew 24:40-44

"Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.  Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.  Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.  But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.  For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”  (NASB)

The simple thing to do is to think as many today think.  It is easy to conclude that what Jesus said was directed to us.  The conclusion: our “today’s perspective” contains the answer to Jesus’ emphasis.

The hard thing to do is to place ourselves in a 2000-years-old context.  Then the question of meaning centers in their perspective.  When we grasp the principle meaning to them, then we can make accurate application to our concerns.

For example, we can conclude the one taken and the one left behind indicates a world without followers of Christ and their influences.  It is rather simple to decide that is the only possible meaning.

First, note that the emphasis here and following is on preparedness.  It is possible that the distinction between being “taken” and being “left” was the distinction between being prepared and being unprepared.  In the context of the previous verses, one was prepared and one was not.

Second, note Jesus spoke to Israelites.  To Israelites, suggesting that any Israelite would be rejected was ridiculous in the extreme.  This position was held for three reasons.  (1) All Israelites were a part of the “nation (people) of promise” (Genesis 12:1-3).  (2) Undesirable behavior did not remove an Israelite from the nation or the promise.  (3) Israelites were morally superior to idol worshippers.  Thus, the central issue was ancestry, not preparedness.

Jesus said the central issue was preparedness.  The willingness to repent, not ancestry, was the key to preparedness (see Luke 13:1-9).  “Who” they were would not eliminate “what” they were.

Suggestion for reflection: With us, is preparedness a matter of “who” or “what”?  (Read Galatians 5:19-24.)

David's Home Page Previous Day Index Next Day

 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell