By: Maggie Leonard
Reflection—v. 36, ‘nobody knows when the day or hour will come’
The end of the age is now. It’s not something to be anticipated. This reality was true in the time of Jesus just as much as it is for us today. In this passage, Jesus is speaking using apocalyptic language—a genre of writing that relies on poetic descriptions, celestial imagery, dualistic differentiation, and a wide view of history. Ultimately, all apocalyptic literature is meant to inspire hope in the face of great loss. Ironically, today we frequently read this genre as a damning indictment on the lives of others, and sometimes even ourselves. In chapeter twenty-four, the disciples ask Jesus, ‘What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?’ I suspect they were not asking when he was to return, but when his revolution and political reign would begin. They were expecting to rebel against the oppression and corruption of the Roman government and the temple authorities with whom the Roman officials were in cahoots. In the chapter preceeding the disciples’ question, Jesus had been railing against the hypocrisy of legal experts and Pharisees and declared that the building would be destroyed. How will we know what to do? Will there be one light or two in the church tower to signal the plan? Will someone yell charge? Like the disciples, when I’m facing difficulty, sometimes I just want to know when good things will finally happen. I am so eagerly anticipating the future that I miss what is in front of me.
Prayer May we eagerly anticipate the coming of your kingdom today and everyday.