Wrapping up the end times
Jesus wraps up his teaching on the end times with the question “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” Will His warnings go heeded? Will the disciples endure? Will Jesus find them, and us, trusting Him as Saviour or living with the world’s values?
In yesterday’s passage it is worth noting that Jesus didn’t mention the sins of Sodom, but that they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting and building. Judgement did not come on Sodom merely because of sodomy, but because the ordinary good things of life were done in a godless way. Good things can make us insensitive to the things of God as much as gross evil.
So what is the answer? Pray!
Don’t worry that Jesus compares the Father to an unjust judge. Paul compared Jesus’ second coming to that of a thief. Jesus is not a thief, but his second coming will be sudden and unexpected like a thief. God is not an unjust judge, but He does respond to those who cry out to Him day and night. So always pray and don’t lose heart!
In verses 9-14, Jesus is talking to people who see their own righteousness over others:
Firstly they feel morally self-righteous – “I’m not like other men…”
Secondly they feel ceremonially self-righteous – “I fast twice a week and I give tithes of all that I get…”
Thirdly they feel they are self-righteous because of God – “God I thank you…”
But it is a belief in their own self-righteousness, whether from their own goodness or God.
We are not accepted by God on the basis of our own righteousness, no matter where it comes from. We are declared righteous by faith alone, in Christ alone. Like the tax collector and the thief on the cross next to Jesus.
Come like a child
Children know their limits and so they ask.
The rich young ruler
This man is an example of someone who is self-righteous, claiming to obey the law. Jesus can see the heart and knows that treasure is this man’s issue. He is trusting in his own riches.
The phrase “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” is understood by the next verse – what is impossible with men, is possible with God. It is impossible to enter the kingdom without God’s intervention. The interpretation that there was a gate in Jerusalem called the eye of the needle that could be entered by a camel if you took the goods off its back and made it kneel, was made up. It would be a salvation by works idea – ‘if I get my life right then I can get in’. It’s nonsense and there is no evidence that there ever was a gate called that. It’s clearly a hyperbole proverb – obviously a camel can’t go through the eye of a needle.
Peter’s said we have left everything to follow you Jesus. Jesus’ reply is that there will be reward in heaven.
I’m longing for the well done good and faithful servant!