“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
His Words, Imperishable
Jesus uses a fig tree as a metaphor to illustrate that there are signs to indicate when something is imminent. By observing the fig tree, one can infer that summer is well on its way. This can be translated to the Christian faith in that the return of the King is close at hand and should be greeted with joy and anticipation. Christ's promises will not be overturned, unlike the things of this world.
No One Knows
Jesus warns us not to expect to know the exact time of his return, as previously mentioned. This does not conflict with the chapter's teaching but instead stresses that certain events have to happen before his arrival. God is the only one who knows the hour of his coming. When Jesus does come back, it will be sudden and unexpected, just like in the days of Noah—when people neglected the warnings until it was too late. His return will cause significant disruption and division, yet it will occur during day-to-day life.
We must stay alert and obedient to our King's orders, for He will come when we least expect it. The wise servant will be found faithfully carrying out the master's will, while the wicked servant will ignore it. Procrastination is not an option, for there will be dire consequences if we are found walking in disobedience. Therefore, we must live a holy life with love for others and be prepared for the coming of our King.
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