The Date of Christ's Return
When Mary and I get short on cash, it’s tempting to want to write a book predicting the date of Christ’s return. From The Late Great Planet Earth in our college days that gave the impression we had only twenty or thirty years before Christ’s return to the present predictors who hold the Jerusalem Post in one hand and the Bible in the other, setting dates based on equating events in the present war in Syria with prophesies about Damascus in the Old Testament, an author is certain to hit in big on Amazon. But then I look at Luke 17:20 and observe who asked Jesus the questions about time. In fact, Jesus says I need to focus not so much on the when but on the who.
“Now when Jesus was asked by the Pharisees, ‘When does the Kingdom of God come?’ He said to them, ‘The Kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation of certain signs and you won’t say, ‘Look! Here it is or there it is!’ What you need to look at is this—the Kingdom of God is in your midst.’” Luke 17:20-21
The men who asked Jesus the question about when God’s Kingdom would come had the embodiment, not only of God’s rule and authority but of His very being standing right in front of them, and these religious leaders didn’t see. They kept looking around for signs. Jesus gave them tons of them, but they missed Him. I need to relish the presence of Jesus in my life today, far more than all the speculations about the signs of the times.
LORD, help me let Luke’s Gospel give me a clearer and clearer picture of Your character and person. Help me not to respond to the uncertainty and fears of our present crises and start speculating about when You might return. Instead, help me to be focused more on the fact that Your Spirit lives inside of me now, and to submit today to Your internal presence Who has already come.