Please read Matthew 24:32 – 25:46, Mark 13:28-37
& Luke 21:30 – 36
13th Nissan – Two days before Pesach (Passover) …continued
Yeshua continued teaching His talmidim on the Mount of Olives.
“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the door. Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son, except the Father alone. Matthew 24:32-36 TLV
“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 these things taking place, 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 or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. Mark 13:28-33 ESV
Then He told them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they put forth leaves and you see it for yourselves, know that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.
“But be on guard, so that your hearts will not be overcome with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who inhabit the face of all the earth. But keep on the alert at all times, praying earnestly that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Luke 21:30-36 LSB
Yeshua expects us to notice the signs of the times and know when His kingdom is near. “This generation“, the one Yeshua was talking to, did not pass away before the fulfilment of all His predictions regarding the Roman abomination that causes desolation destroyed Jerusalem and left not one stone upon another in the Temple – it took place less than 40 years after He gave this teaching. We are still waiting for that day which will suddenly “come upon all those who inhabit the face of all the earth” and are exhorted to keep alert, diligent and in prayer as we await it.
“For just as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. And they did not understand until the flood came and swept them all away.
So shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field, one taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill, one taken and one left. Therefore stay alert; for you do not know what day your Lord is coming.
But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Matthew 24:37-44 TLV
Here’s what the scriptures say about the days of Noah:
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. … Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. ...
And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 13 On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark. Genesis 6:1-5, 11-12 & 7:12-13 ESV
Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot – they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all – so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:26-30 ESV
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. 2 Peter 2:4-10 ESV
And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day – just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. Jude 6-7 ESV
God delayed His judgment for 120 years before bringing the flood, and during that time Noah both built the ark and preached righteousness to the people. They heard the warnings and call to repentance; they saw the ark being built and would have noticed when it was being finished but still they paid no attention and kept living as though nothing would happen. All the signs were there, and the building progress on the ark indicated the timeline, but the wicked were blind to it and did not understand that all would be destroyed by the coming flood until it was happening. In His mercy God delays His judgment, often for a very long time, but it will most certainly come and those who are looking for the signs and obeying God’s voice as Noah did, will notice when the day of judgment is drawing near.
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master put in charge of his household to give them food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whose master finds him so doing when he comes. Amen, I tell you, his master will put him in charge of all his possessions.
But if that wicked servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking a long time,’ and he begins to beat his fellow servants, and he 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 he will cut him in two and assign his place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:45-51 TLV
It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake – for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning – lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
Mark 13:34-37 ESV
Now Yeshua shifts their attention to focus on those He places in charge of His household, as they would be after His resurrection. Notice, first, that He calls them “servants”, not “masters”. He is the only master; we are all fellow servants. Matthew records the work of the servant placed in charge as being to give everyone in the household their food at the proper time, whereas Mark notes that each is charged with a different task and then focuses on the doorkeeper who must stay awake to be ready to welcome the Master when He returns. Note how Yeshua describes those who do not care for His household as He does and instead serve their own desires.
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish ones took their lamps, they took no oil with them. But the wise ones took oil in jars along with their lamps.
“Now while the bridegroom was taking a long time, they all got drowsy and started falling asleep. But in the middle of the night there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
Now the foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, since our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied, ‘No, there won’t be enough for us and for you. Instead, go to those who sell, and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were going off to buy, the bridegroom came. And those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. Now later, the other virgins came, saying, ‘Sir, Sir, open up for us!’
“But he replied, ‘Amen, I tell you, I do not know you.’ Therefore stay alert, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Matthew 25:1-13 TLV
Yeshua continued His admonishment to be prepared and alert for His return. This time the metaphor He used was virgins waiting for the bridegroom. There were no harlots in this group of ten, each of them was pure, but only five of them were wise enough to take jars of oil along with their lamps. Their lamps had to be lit to go with the bridegroom into the wedding feast and without the extra oil the lamps of the foolish were going out as the bridegroom came. They weren’t ready for Him at the time of His arrival, so they weren’t known by Him.
“For it is like a man about to go on a journey. He called his own servants and handed over his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey.
“Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them and gained five more. In the same way, the one with two gained two more. But the one who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
“Now after a long time, the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received the five talents came up and brought another five talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed me five talents. Look, I’ve gained five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a little, so I’ll put you in charge of much. Enter into your master’s joy!’
“The one who had received the two talents also came up and said, ‘Master, you handed me two talents. Look, I’ve gained two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a little, so I’ll put you in charge of much. Enter into your master’s joy!’
“Then the one who had received the one talent also came up and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man, reaping where you didn’t sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. So I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
“But his master responded, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you should have brought my money to the brokers, and when I came I would have received it back with interest. Therefore take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For to the one who has, more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance. But from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw the worthless servant out, into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” Matthew 25:14-30 TLV
“Talent” was the heaviest or largest biblical unit of measurement for weight, equal to about 75 pounds or 35 kilograms. “Talent“, from the Greek word tálanton, also referred to the largest unit of currency at the time of Christ, equal to 6,000 drachmas or denarii, the Greek and Roman silver coins. Denarii were the standard silver Roman coins and equal to a day’s wages. So, a talent was about nineteen years’ worth of daily wages for a six-day workweek. It was a LOT of money that this master gave to each of his three servants when he handed over his possessions to them. And yet, when he returned, his words to the first two servants were: “you have been faithful with little, so I’ll put you in charge of much.” What the faithful will receive when Christ returns will make everything in this current age appear “little” in comparison.
The third servant believed a lie about the nature and character of his master, just as Eve believed a lie about God and so ate the fruit, and this lie became lord over his actions instead of his master being lord over how he used the talent: “Master, I knew that you are a hard man, reaping where you didn’t sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. So I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground.” This lie produced wicked, lazy and worthless behaviour that had the third servant thrown out of the kingdom.
“Now when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will put the sheep on His right, but the goats on His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You? Or thirsty and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger and invite You in? Or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
“And answering, the King will say to them, ‘Amen, I tell you, whatever you did to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Go away from Me, you cursed ones, into the everlasting fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you did not invite Me in; naked and you did not clothe Me; sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
“Then they too will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not care for You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Amen, I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.’ These shall go off to everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life.” Matthew 25:31-46 TLV
“I was watching in the night visions. Behold, One like a Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days, and was brought into His presence. Dominion, glory and sovereignty were given to Him that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will never pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.”
Daniel 7:13-14 TLV
“I will seek the lost, bring back the stray, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick. But the fat and the strong I will destroy – I will tend them with justice. As for you, My flock” – thus says Adonai Elohim – “behold, I will judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats. Was it too little for you that you were feeding in the good pasture? Must you trample down the rest of your pastures with your feet? You were drinking clear water. Must you muddy the rest with your feet? Yet My sheep must eat what you have trampled with your feet and drink what you have muddied with your feet!”
Therefore thus says Adonai Elohim to them: “Behold, I Myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you thrust with your side and with shoulder and gore all the weak with your horns, until you have scattered them all over, I will save My flock. They will no longer be prey. I will judge between sheep and sheep. So I will set up One Shepherd over them, My servant David – He will tend them, He will feed them Himself and be their shepherd. I, Adonai, will be their God, and My servant David will be Prince among them. I, Adonai, have spoken.”
Ezekiel 34:16-24 TLV
“Is not this the fast I choose: to release the bonds of wickedness, to untie the cords of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to tear off every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the homeless poor into your house? When you see the naked, to cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh and blood? Isaiah 58:6-7 TLV
at that time your people – everyone who is found written in the book – will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake – some to everlasting life, and others to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:1b-2 TLV
Yeshua finished His teaching on the Mount of Olives with a magnificent description of Him coming in glory and judging the nations, even as Daniel had prophesied. Just as Psalm 82 described the judgment of the gods (spiritual principalities and powers) over the nations for failing to govern according to His precepts so Yeshua now describes judgment of the people of the nations.
God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for You shall inherit all the nations!
The Son of Man’s judgment was based, not upon creed or liturgy, but upon our treatment of the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick and imprisoned. The King of Glory identifies with the poorest and most needy of us. How we treat the least of these is how we are treating Yeshua whom we claim to love.
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In the comments section below share your thoughts on what you have read and answer some of the following questions…
* What is the lesson of the fig tree?
* How do you think the coming of the Son of Man will be like the days of Noah?
* What do we learn from Jesus’ parable about the man who went on a journey and put his servants in charge of his household while he was away?
* Why do you think Jesus included a parable centered on women, ten virgins, in the middle of His two journey parables?
* What do we learn from the parable of the talents (large amounts of money)?
* What is the significance of Jesus judging the nations on the basis of how they treated the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick and imprisoned?