AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH
Lord, Your people remain vigilant.
Read MATTHEW 24:36–44
The Day and Hour Unknown
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[a] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
Matthew 24:36 Some manuscripts do not have nor the Son.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth” (Gen. 9:11).
“About that day or hour, no one knows… but only the Father” (36). This is one of the key eschatological texts in the Bible. “Eschatology” is from the Greek eschatos (last, end), so it refers to the study of the end times. The point of the parable of verses 43 and 44 is that he will come like a thief in the night, an idea found throughout the New Testament. Although previous verses tell us that there may be suggestive signs, in truth we do not know when Jesus will ultimately arrive here (44). He will come suddenly and unexpectedly. This should end all our eschatological speculations.
But what will that day be like? As referenced in other New Testament texts, it will reflect the sin-laden days of Noah. The corrupt people of Noah’s generation were getting on with their lives, doing what people do, living carefree and oblivious to the looming disaster that awaited them. Then, the flood came suddenly and swept them away. Noah and his family were saved within the ark. When applied to the coming of Jesus, his people will be similarly preserved, and the unrighteous swept away. This speaks of judgment, to which Matthew will turn in the next chapter.
Not knowing the precise day, what should we do? We must stay awake and remain ready, for who knows when Jesus will come (42,44)? We are to be like the master of a home watching and protecting it from thieves. As we await Jesus’ unexpected coming, we are to be found fully awake and not dozing off. The next set of parables will explore what readiness looks like. With Matthew’s Gospel in mind, readiness means remaining utterly committed to the Lord, his kingdom, his Gospel, his mission, and his righteousness.
We need to be ready. Examine your heart and life. Ready yourself.
Lord, keep us from being distracted from all the worldly trinkets that divert our attention from where it should be.
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