Words That Last
God, my Friend and Lord, this day is Yours. I offer You my acceptance for whatever You might send.
Consider: Faith that makes a difference is faith that fixes its eyes on the ultimate rather than the immediate.
"A prime mark of the Christian mind is that it cultivates the eternal perspective. It looks beyond this life to another one" (Harry Blamires). The rest of Matthew 24, enigmatic though it might appear, urges us to look to that future day. Once again we are viewing the mountain range, trying to determine if this passage describes the foreground or the far horizon. Is this a description of what happened in first-century Jerusalem, or of what will happen on the final day when Christ returns?
There is a strong case for understanding this as a description of what happened during the lifetime of those who heard Jesus' words. "This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened" (34). The things to which Jesus refers--wars, famines, earthquakes, persecution, martyrdom, desecration of the Temple and the spread of the Gospel across the known world--did take place during that generation. On the other hand, others see the verses as describing Jesus' return at the end of the age. Verses 27-31 are graphic. Everyone will see the dramatic and inescapable nature of his coming. It will signal the gathering of God's people from every corner of the globe. The fig tree (32) is a symbol of hope: the twigs become tender, the leaves appear, and so the summer is near. Jesus is coming back.
What really matters is that we trust the Lord's Word. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" (35). The world we know is decaying and will one day end, but Jesus' words will never pass away: what he has spoken is enduring and reliable. The Christian cultivates that eternal perspective, trusting Christ's eternal word rather than looking at the world around us. For sure, Jesus will return. He has said so.
How well are you are doing on keeping an eternal perspective on life?
Loving Father, forgive me for getting fixated on the immediate, to the neglect of the eternal. Sharpen my focus on Your perspective.
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