No One Knows the Day
(Mark 13.32-37; Luke 17.26-30,34-36)
36No one knows the day or hour. The angels in heaven don't know, and the Son himself doesn't know. Only the Father knows. 37 When the Son of Man appears, things will be just as they were when Noah lived. 38People were eating, drinking, and getting married right up to the day the flood came and Noah went into the big boat. 39 They didn't know anything was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. This is how it will be when the Son of Man appears.
40Two men will be in the same field, but only one will be taken. The other will be left. 41Two women will be together grinding grain, but only one will be taken. The other will be left. 42So be on your guard! You don't know when your Lord will come. 43 Homeowners never know when a thief is coming, and they are always on guard to keep one from breaking in. 44Always be ready! You don't know when the Son of Man will come.
There are people who don’t like to be surprised. They tend to be low on the intuitive scale – they prefer logic to feelings. Before they make a decision they like to have all the facts and figures so they can make a wise decision.
Followers of Jesus who are like this tend to be the ones who spend hours and hours poring over the pages of the Bible, trying to make sense of what it says about the return of Jesus Christ. They just have to know how it is going to happen, and preferably, when.
But Jesus is very clear that this is top secret. The angels, who spend eternity around the throne of God don’t even know when Jesus is going to return. There are no heavenly wikileaks about the particulars of the second coming of Jesus.
The return of Jesus is going to be just as surprising to the generation alive at the time as the great flood was to the people of Noah’s day. The followers of Jesus will be taken and those who have not followed him will remain.
Jesus uses an illustration that we can relate to today. None of us know when a thief is going to break into our house and steal our things. When we return home, or wake up, we find things missing. If, however, the thief called to say that one day he was going to come and steal our things, we would constantly be on the lookout.
Jesus is going to return. He tells us that over and over again. No one will have an excuse when he does. And the wise follower of Jesus takes that to heart and lives and loves in such a way that when Jesus returns, he or she is ready.
Jesus throws an interesting comment into the mix. It is a comment that must really confuse those who think they have his return all figured out. He tells us that he is going to come at an hour when we do not expect him. Unless, of course, we are expecting him anytime!
Dear Father, Jesus tells us that you alone know the exact time of Jesus’ return. We thank you that you are in control of the timing of all things in life, and particularly of this great event. Now that we have come to know Jesus by faith, help us to remain faithful in our service and love, for you and others, so that when Jesus returns we will be ready. In Jesus’ name. Amen