2021_03_24 Insight Post- Rusty Coram
This week's reading- Matthew 23 & 24
As we continue our reading in Matthew, Jesus is heading toward the showdown with His enemies as they escalate their attempts to silence Him for good. Little do they know that Jesus is fully aware of their plans and that it will all backfire spectacularly when He rises from the grave... just as God planned all along.
His disciples do not understand this, and are in for a period of utter fear and brokenness when they see their leader arrested and killed. Like them, we can fall into the mindset that the world is falling to ruin and God has either abandoned us, or isn’t able to do anything about evil. Knowing this, Jesus plainly tells His friends that there will be rough times ahead, and that there will be suffering for those who are devoted to follow Him. In 24:15 He says, “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.” (NLT) Some translations say it is the “abomination of desolation”. This was something the Jews understood and feared. The prophet Daniel put out a warning about this in the Old Testament to prepare the people. This “sacrilegious object” refers to a profane and disrespectful act that mocks God and worship. One such act happened in 167BC when Antiochus IV slaughtered a pig on the Jews temple alter. In 70AD another act of sacrilege in the temple occurred when the Romans destroyed the temple. Jesus is saying here that these are signs of evil attempts to overcome what God is doing. More attempts will come and will be obvious to Believers as they faithfully await Jesus return. We are not to be surprised or discouraged, rather we are to trust God knowing that His plan will never be undone!
One last point from this section of Jesus’ teaching, in 24:36 He gives us some very important information: “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” We need to keep this in mind and concentrate on being faithful and focused on our mission of helping all people become fully devoted followers of Jesus, not let ourselves get distracted by predicting the end. We can maintain our hope not because of circumstances, but because God was, is and always will be with us!