The King is Coming!
I. The Prophecy of His Coming (vv. 24-27)
1) Celestial Signs
- Jesus’ vivid description of celestial catastrophe corresponds with many Old Testament prophecies about the ‘Day of the Lord’ – Isaiah 13:9-13; Joel 2:10-11, 28-32; Amos 5:20, 8:9; Zephaniah 1:15
- ‘Day of the Lord’ – Biblical description of God’s judgment and salvation which is already being manifested and is yet to be fulfilled in greater measure
2) Coming of the ‘Son of Man’ on the clouds– originally prophesied in Daniel 7:13-14
Application: The Coming of Christ to gather His elect and to judge the world is a future event foreshadowed by historical events (ie. Destruction of Temple in AD 70). For God’s people, the Day of the Lord will mean vindication and great rejoicing. For God’s enemies it will be a terrifying Day of Judgment. The King is coming back – are you ready to meet Him??
II. Reliability of the Signs (vv. 28-31)
1) Parable of the Fig Tree
- Unlike the Fig Tree of Mark 11, this Fig Tree is not to be understood as a prophecy regarding Israel – it is a simple illustration as shown by the parallel text in Luke’s Gospel: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees….” (Luke 21:29)
- Jesus point is very simple: there will be reliable signs that precede His second coming.
- Some signs characterize the entire age and are the ‘beginning of birth pains’ (vv. 3-13)
- Other signs indicate the immanency of God’s judgment, whether in AD 70 or at Christ’s return (vv. 14-23)
2) “This generation”/ “all these things” (vv. 29-30)
- The ‘generation’ in v. 30 is the same generation that lived to see the Temple’s destruction
- “All these things” refers to the signs leading up to and including the events of AD 70. Jesus never says ‘this generation’ (ie. His Apostles) would witness the coming of the Son of Man. He said they would witness signs leading to it.
“The ‘these things’ in vv. 29-30 can scarcely refer to the eschatological events of vv. 24-27, which are not signs of the end, but rather the end itself.” – James Edwards
III. Our Response His Coming (vv. 32-37)
1) No ‘Date Setting’ Allowed!
- In his humanity, Jesus does not know when He will return – neither do we!!
- It is both foolish and sinful to try to set dates for the second coming of Christ
2) Stay Awake!
- Parable of the Man on a Long Journey
- Before leaving this earth, Jesus entrusted the Church with a mission to accomplish
- We are to be faithful and watchful servants, knowing that our Master will return at a time we do not know – stay awake!!
- The Biblical Tension of Waiting and Watching
- Danger of Complacency – we should not grow spiritually lazy because Christ’s return has been delayed, or because we’ve become jaded by false prophets and ‘date setters’ in the Church. Live every day in the expectation of Christ’s imminent return
- Danger of Fanaticism –avoid speculative/ sensational prophetic theories that need to be constantly adjusted to fit current events, and focus instead on the clear, Biblical mission God has entrusted to you!