Outline: Matthew 24:36-51
- What we don’t know (vv.36-41)
- What we should know (vv.42-51)
Summary: Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 24 are triggered by his disciple’s questions: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and the close of the age” (v.3). In vv.4-35 Jesus emphasizes what it would be like leading up to the moment of his return. Then, in our passage, vv.36-51, Jesus emphasizes what his coming will be like and how he expects his followers to live in light of it. Jesus basically tells his followers two things: what they don’t know and what they should know. We don’t know the day or the hour and therefore many will be caught off guard. We should know, however, that our Master is most certainly coming back and that we must be ready for his return.
- How should we process the phrase “nor the Son” in v.36? Even with that jarring statement, the main point is clear. So what is the main point of v.36? In light of the main point, how should we think about the claims to know the day and/or hour made by people and groups in our day?
- Jesus compares his coming to the coming of the flood in Noah’s day. Read Gen. 6:9-7:24 and imagine what it would have been like when the flood came. What would it have been like for those inside the ark? What about those caught outside the ark?
- Jesus then gives his disciples a modern-day example of normal, everyday activates that will be carried out when Jesus comes back suddenly (v.40). What are some common activities that people carry out in our day? Now imagine what it would be like if Jesus were to come in such moments.
- According to v.44, Jesus clearly says, “the Son of Man is coming. How then does Jesus expect his followers to live in light of this fact?
- What does it mean to “be ready”?
- Do you (or perhaps someone you know) tend to focus more on what you can’t know than on what you should know? If so, what changes should be made in your thinking?
- Honestly, how much does the fact of Jesus return shape the way you live your life?
- Most people are not prepared for Jesus’ return. How should this fact motivate your desire to tell people about Jesus?
- Confess to God areas in your life in which you have failed to live in light of your Master’s coming. Areas that you are more spiritually “asleep” than “awake.” And receive forgiveness from Jesus, your merciful Master (1 John 1:9).
- Ask God to show you more of what it means for you to be more faithful and ready for your Master’s return. Ask him to help you to live out what he shows you.
- Pray that God would help you to believe, to really believe, with more of an absolute certainly that “the Son of Man is coming.”
- Thank God for the gospel and how we don’t have to dread that day but can actually look forward to it.
- Praise Jesus that his words can be trusted and that he will make all things right when he returns.