25 「日、月、星辰要顯出異兆，地上的邦國也有困苦；因海中波浪的響聲，就慌慌不定。 26 天勢都要震動，人想起那將要臨到世界的事，就都嚇得魂不附體。 27 那時，他們要看見人子有能力，有大榮耀駕雲降臨。 28 一有這些事，你們就當挺身昂首，因為你們得贖的日子近了。」
29-30 耶穌又設比喻對他們說：「你們看無花果樹和各樣的樹；它發芽的時候，你們一看見，自然曉得夏天近了。 31 這樣，你們看見這些事漸漸地成就，也該曉得 神的國近了。 32 我實在告訴你們，這世代還沒有過去，這些事都要成就。 33 天地要廢去，我的話卻不能廢去。」
34 「你們要謹慎，恐怕因貪食、醉酒，並今生的思慮累住你們的心，那日子就如同網羅忽然臨到你們； 35 因為那日子要這樣臨到全地上一切居住的人。 36 你們要時時警醒，常常祈求，使你們能逃避這一切要來的事，得以站立在人子面前。」 37 耶穌每日在殿裏教訓人，每夜出城在一座山，名叫橄欖山住宿。 38 眾百姓清早上聖殿，到耶穌那裏，要聽他講道。
25“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” 29He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32“I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 34“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
- Jesus recites a list of persecutions and disasters that are to come. Then he said,”stand up and lift up your heads (ie. don’t be frightened)” because this means that Messiah is coming back soon. He will rule the earth with righteousness and peace.
- Jesus told his disciples to be alert to wait for His coming back. Though it’s been 2,000 years, it’s still true, He is coming soon. We need to be prepared to welcome Him, to accomplish His commands faithfully and not get lost in drinking, eating and entertainment. Nor should we be crushed under the heavy weight of worries for our lives.
- What do the numerous disasters in recent years have to do with Jesus’ words in this passage? Am I waiting for Christ’s return with hope and anticipation? Or am I afraid of what’s happening in the world? If I truly believe that Christ is coming back soon, what does this fact change my daily life? God, please help me to be alert in preparation for your return.
Name some of the big happenings in the world this year, (tsunami, earthquake, war, famine, etc.) What does Jesus tell his disciples what would happen Jesus comes back again? He wants his disciples to be alert and to prepare for his coming. What do you think of Jesus’ coming? What should you do to prepare for Jesus’ coming again? Is there anything you want to do so that you may be prepared for Jesus? (Parents, be sensitive to your children’s reaction. In needed, talk to them individually and lead them in salvation prayer if appropriate.)