Rising Before The Dawn
Two Important Questions
Context of Matthew 24-25 known as “The Olivet Discourse.”
Sunday- Jesus comes into Jerusalem as King.
Monday- Jesus clears the temple.
Tuesday AM- Jesus returns to the temple for what is known as the Temple Debates with the Priests and Teachers of the Law.
Tuesday PM- Jesus walks from the temple up to the top of the Mt. of Olives to speak Matthew 24-25.
Desolation will come to the house of those who have not listened or received word from the Lord. Matthew 23:37-39
- Jesus wept over Jerusalem as he approached. 19:39-44
- There was long history of hardened hearts that truly lacked faith.
- Their error was not to ponder or consider the evidence of what they were seeing.
- The desolation of the Temple will be the manifestation of God’s anger with his people.
The true heart of faith seeks understanding. Matthew 24:1-3
- There is desire for sincerity within faith that will lead to questions that guide one’s steps.
- The teachers of the Law were well studied and knew facts but were not seeking what the facts were pointing too which is why their questions were to disregard not to gain understanding.
Temple Debate Matthew 22:15-45
Pharisees- were concerned for political issues to appease people, hence their question about taxes. “Is it right to pay the Imperial Tax to Caesar?”
Sadducees- were very secularized in their approach to their roles of priest and chose to question that which they thought was foolish—the resurrection of the dead. “Whose wife will she be of the seven brothers at the resurrection?”
Pharisees- they simplified to the most important commandment. Only to be challenged beyond expectation. “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus- asked what they should be asking. They did not dare ask anything else. “Whose son is the Messiah?” David they answered. “Why did David call him Lord if the messiah is his son?”
They stopped asking questions because they did not have hearts of faith! They chose to remain ignorant.
Zechariah “How can I be sure of this?” vs. Mary “How will this be?”
Nicodemus journey of faith began with a question.
- Secretly…“How can someone be born when they are old?” John 3:4
- “How can this be?” John 3:9
- Publicly seeking…He becomes Jesus’ advocate in being heard by his colleagues. John 7:50
- Faith on display…He along with Joseph of Arimathea bury Jesus’ body. John 19:39
He sought understanding, asked questions, and gained understanding that birthed faith.
The disciples pondered Jesus’ words and had some questions. Matthew 24:1-3
- Not all the disciples just Peter, James, John, and Andrew. Mark 13:3
- When will this happen to Jerusalem?
- Luke 21:20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies you will know that its desolation is near.”
- Instruction to leave Jerusalem when the armies come! Luke 20:21
- They now know Jesus does not want them to defend the city but let the judgment come from the army of gentiles. Understanding!
- What will be the signs of your return?
- This question leads to expectancy.
- It leads to alertness.
- The answer will equip us to interpret the times!
- The posture of a growing faith is one that seeks understanding.
- By asking questions we can interpret the “times” in confidence of the Lord’s sovereignty. He’s got this!
- With understanding we can navigate the times with hope, not fear.
- We need to be near enough to a seeker that they can ask questions of understanding.
1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
We benefit from the questions of the disciples all these years later!
Jesus was asked by his disciples when will he return and what will be the signs of the end. Jesus’ answer speaks to living a life of expectancy and purpose that creates joy and hope as opposed to panic and fear.