Are You Ready?

Day 28

The three chapters of Luke 19, 20 and 21 take place over approximately three days as Jesus enters into the final week before His death. Most of Jesus’ teaching during this time takes on an eschatological tone. Jesus prophesies events concerning the immediate future of Jerusalem and He prophesies even more regarding His Second Coming and the final establishment of the Kingdom of God as a political kingdom on earth.

The purpose of the Parable of the Minas was to correct a misunderstanding of the disciples that “the Kingdom of God would appear immediately.” Instead of neglecting strategic effort and idly awaiting the final appearing of the Kingdom, the parable teaches us to “do business” until the King comes.

Interestingly, Jesus based this parable on a real historic event. With the death of King Herod in 4 B.C., Herod’s son Archelaus traveled to Rome to receive commission from Caesar to reign as King of Judea. (See Matthew 2:22) As with the nobleman in the parable, the reign of Archelaus was protested by the Judean citizens. Jesus knew history well enough to use this as a backdrop for an important parable.

The parable concludes with the king returning and slaying those who opposed his reign. When Jesus returns to set up His throne at His Second Coming, He will bring awesome judgment on those who oppose His reign. This is the central theme of the battle of Armageddon and the judgment in the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry is a kind of humble foreshadowing of what will be the most glorious event in human history: The return of King Jesus to set up His throne and rule the nations from Jerusalem. This time Jesus will not come lowly upon a donkey, but He will come in glory upon a white horse. Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!

The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers in Luke 20 is also prophetic in nature. Jesus is announcing that the Kingdom of God is no longer going to be resident in Israel as a political nation. Tomorrow I will be watching the general elections in Israel with great interest as I understand that Israel has a special place in the covenants of God and in His prophetic agenda; but I also understand that the political nation of Israel is not the custodian of the spiritual Kingdom of Heaven.

After Jesus confounds the attempts of the Pharisees and the Sadducees to defeat Him in debate, Jesus presents a conundrum to His opponents by asking them how the Christ could be merely the son and descendent of David, when David in prophetic scripture calls the Messiah “Lord.” Jesus also alludes to the great Father to Son promise of Psalm 110, where the Father tells the Son to sit at His right hand until His enemies are made His footstool. It is evident that in the week leading up to the crucifixion, Jesus is looking beyond His impending death to this great promise from His Father.

Of course Luke 21 is full of prophecy. Some of it has already been fulfilled. Luke 21:20-24 is prophetic of the period from September 4, A.D. 70 (the destruction of Jerusalem) to June 5, 1967 (Jerusalem coming back under Jewish control).

As I read Luke 21:25-26, I have the distinct impression that I am reading about current events and impending calamities. But Jesus instructs us that this is the time to anticipate His soon return.

Jesus closes His eschatological discourse upon the Mount of Olives with an exhortation to cast off the cares of life and the dissipating effects of an indulgent lifestyle and by a devotion to prayer to be living in a state of readiness so that we might escape the great judgment of the Day of the Lord and stand before the Son of Man.

Are you ready?

Are You Ready?
Bob Dylan

Are you ready to meet Jesus?
Are you where you ought to be?
Will He know you when He sees you
Or will He say, “Depart from Me”?

Are you ready, hope you’re ready.

Am I ready to lay down my life for the brethren
And to take up my cross?
Have I surrendered to the will of God
Or am I still acting like the boss?

Am I ready, hope I’m ready.

When destruction cometh swiftly
And there’s no time to say a fare-thee-well,
Have you decided whether you want to be
In heaven or in hell?

Are you ready, are you ready?

Have you got some unfinished business?
Is there something holding you back?
Are you thinking for yourself
Or are you following the pack?

Are you ready, hope you’re ready.

Are you ready for the judgment?
Are you ready for that terrible swift sword?
Are you ready for Armageddon?
Are you ready for the day of the Lord?

Are you ready, I hope you’re ready.