Friday 14 June 2013

Bible Book:

Matthew 24:43-44 Friday 14 June 2013


These verses form part of an apocalyptic section in Matthew'sGospel which begins at chapter 24 and ends at the end of chapter25. The term 'apocalyptic' refers to a style of writing that wascommon in Jewish literature and literally means 'unveiling'. Inother words, such writings are thought to reveal heavenly secrets.In this case, along with much apocalyptic writing, these verses arealso eschatological, meaning that they refer to death,resurrection, judgement, the afterlife and the culmination ofhistory itself. Associated with this is the expected return of theMessiah who will bring all of this to fulfilment.

The verses immediately before this (Matthew 24:36-42) refer to Noah and offer awarning from the example of those who carried on life as normal andwere swept away by the flood. This is then given as an example ofhow things will be when the Son of Man returns. The passage thengoes on to exhort the listeners to keep awake. The verses afterthis section (Matthew 24:45-51) speak about the faithful andwise slave who is found to be working hard when his master returnsin contrast to the wicked slave who acts in this way because themaster is delayed. The fate of both slaves is then described.

Today's verses contain an exhortation to be ready for when theSon of Man will return, for he will come at an unexpected time.However, Jesus' phrase "But understand this" suggests that he issaying something particularly important and something that requiresus to particularly think about and meditate upon. As we do so, wemay be reminded of the mysterious words in Mark3:27 which refer to the need to bind up the strong man beforeentering and plundering his house.

To Ponder

  • What does it mean for us to be ready or awake in our dailylives?
  • How do you feel about the return of the Son of Man?
  • What might be unexpected about the hour of the Son of Man'sreturn?

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