It’s suddenness (vv 1-11). Christ’s return is certain, but the day and the hour are not known, as Jesus said again and again (Matthew 24:36;42-43; 25:13; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 12:39, 46; 21:25-35). However, signs will precede His coming (Luke 21:25-35), so that patient believers may sense that it is near. But even those who are watching are warned to stay alert and self-controlled, lest they be caught off guard.
Did you know that the seemingly innocent things in your everyday life can suffocate your spiritual life if you allow it?
A friend of mine said the Lord told her in prayer one day that this nation had become a nation of maintenance men. “You have so many things to maintain,” He told her. “You maintain your house. You maintain your car, your yard, your machines, your hair. . . .
This veil, or curtain, separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place in the Jewish temple at Jerusalem. Only the high priest was allowed behind this curtain, and he could go into the Most Holy Place only once a year-on the Day of Atonement-to offer sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people (Lev 16:34).
John the Baptist set himself apart from the normal lifestyle of his world to do what God had called him to do. He did not drink alcohol or cut his hair. He lived in one of the harshest desert environments in the world, dressing primitively and eating simply. Yet people flocked into the desert to see this unusual man and hear his powerful message. When they arrived, they saw a man dressed like Elijah, the premier prophet of Israel hundreds of years earlier. His speech was harsh, clear, and penetrating.
This statement from Jesus is what is known as hyperbole-a deliberate exaggeration in order to make a point. We might compare this to the modern statement, “It’s raining cats and dogs.” We don’t mean that actual cats and dogs are falling from the sky. We are saying that the rain is coming down in a torrential downpour.
When discussing the most devoted followers of Jesus’ the New Testament writers say far less about three of the apostles-Barholomew; James, son of Alphaeus; and Thaddaeus (likely the nickname for Judas, the son of James)-than they say about Mary Magdalene.
She was from Magdala, a small town in Galilee in northern Israel, And since Mary was such a popular name in the New Testament, people took to calling this particular Mary by her hometown.
THE SYMBOLIC MEANING: Jesus Himself establish established the primary figurative interpretation of the cross as a call to complete surrender to God. He used it five times as a symbol of true discipleship in terms of self-denial, taking up one’s cross, and following Him (Mark 8:34; 10:38; Matt 16:24; Luke 9:23; 14:27). Building on the Roman practice of bearing the crossbeam to the place of execution, Christ intended this to point to the necessary death of self, involving the sacrifice of one’s individuality for the purpose of following Jesus completely; and a willingness to imitate Jesus thoroughly, even to the extent of martyrdom.
We also find Jesus using the perceptions linked with tax collectors to jolt the Jewish leaders from their complacency. While he was teaching in the temple courts during the final week of his life on earth, Jesus frequently clashed with the Jewish leaders, who questioned his authority and resisted his invitations to know him as their Savior from sin.