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May 2 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

Day Seventy-six – Matthew 24:29-35

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you
And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30

In verse 30, we come to the climax of events Jesus predicted in this chapter. It is here, with “the sign of the Son of Man” appearing in the sky that the curtain comes down on human history. When this happens and everything we have ever known is vaporized, when heaven and earth “pass away,” Jesus and his words will be the one remaining, stable reality (v. 35).

When preaching on this passage, a good number of ministers manifest a triumphant attitude, as if the coming of Jesus is all about the vindication of our faith in him. We are given the impression that what matters most is on the day of the Lord, is that we will be proven right and everyone else proven wrong. We could accept this sort of interpretation (and attitude) if our love for Jesus did not tell us that he intended to communicate a deeper and more important message.

Do you remember how Matthew’s gospel opened with Jesus’ genealogy? What was Matthew telling us? That charting the advance of human history, we could discern how it was moving toward “Jesus the Messiah” (1:1). This is the same message we find here in chapter 24. History has a goal, the universe has a center, our lives have a purpose, and all of it comes back to Jesus Christ our Lord.

Dear Lord, is it not true that our greatest frustrations arise when we imagine ourselves to be at the center of the universe? We expend too much energy trying to control everything and everyone around us. May we learn in the depths of our souls what it means to say, Jesus Christ is Lord. Let us imagine the day when everyone on earth clearly sees that You are the eternal center of the universe so that we can have the freedom to give up trying to occupy that position and find our true place under Your care and in Your service.

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