SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- As Jesus is leaving the temple and heading out to stay the night on a nearby hill called the Mount of Olives, his disciples mention how magnificent the temple looks. Jesus then talks about how the temple will be destroyed and about what would happens after. There are three common ways to interpret this passage:
- As a teaching about when Jesus comes back to earth.
- As a prophecy loosely describing the events that took place in Jerusalem in 70 AD when the Roman Empire squashed an Israeli uprising, resulting in the destruction of the Temple, or...
- As a prophecy literally describing details of the time when Jesus will return, combining themes from two other books in the Bible called Daniel and Revelation.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Regardless of interpretation, we’re given an application at the end of the passage: Jesus says to “keep watch, because you do not know on what day our Lord will come.” He continues by describing a servant who was put in charge of the master’s household while he was away. If the servant throws parties and is harsh with the other servants, the surprise return of the master will prove devastating. But if the servant takes care of the household well, a surprise return from the master will be welcome.
- The same is true for us when it comes to following Jesus. Jesus is going to come back. We don't know whether it will be in our lifetime or not, but we should be ready. And even if it isn't in our lifetime, we know we will die but don't know when, so we should be ready for that. When either happens, will be living for and honoring God?
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Do you live with an awareness that the end could come any day? Jesus says we should. If you did, how would it change how you live? Is there anything you would start doing that you're currently not? Is there anything you would stop doing that you currently are? Take a minute to pray about this and ask God to help you live in a state of readiness.