Matthew 24 ends with some pointed advice from the Lord about being watchful. This last “sermon” of His, called the Olivet Discourse, covers some details about the future of Jerusalem and information on Christ’s return to earth, which we call the Second Coming.
The message on being watchful is based on His caution to His followers that no one knows when all this is going to happen and because of that, they need to live as though it could happen at any moment.
“Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come...you also must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24:42, 44).
Jesus gives the illustration of two women grinding grain and two men working in the fields. One will be suddenly taken and the other left. He also says that life will be going on as normal when the Lord returns. No one will be standing on a mountaintop dressed in white with one eye raised to heaven and the other on a watch counting down t…
I can’t say that John the Baptist was exactly the most welcoming of preachers. He was your “fire-and-brimstone” kind of guy.
Imagine him standing by the shores of the Jordan, fiery, penetrating glance scanning the crowd that gathered. Many were curious. Who wouldn’t be? This crazy-looking self-proclaimed prophet appears from the desert regions dressed in camel hair. Weird enough, but then they find out about his diet…well, that would have sent a few people running!
Apparently there were enough among the people who came to hear him that responded to his message to attract the notice of the authorities, both political and religious. The message? “…a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” writes Luke in his Gospel (3:3). There were tax collectors and pious Jews, soldiers and the common folk, who came to hear what he had to say—and John had plenty to share! When asked, he informed each segment of his immediate society exactly what was required of them (Luke 3:10-14).