I have been reading comments, blogs and news sites since the possibility of our nation's involvement in the current Syrian war. Some of them have been stirring up discussions about 'end times' scriptures and whether or not this war might begin the 'end times' spoken of in Daniel and Revelation (not Revelations). In a situation where the disciples and Jesus were talking about these things, some asked Him when the world would end and his Kingdom would begin. His answer was not what they expected or what we would expect today. We would tend to think Jesus, our savior would have a more concrete answer. Shouldn't He have all the answers? I certainly believe that Jesus has all of the answers to all of the questions that are important to life and especially the Christian life. I think His answer to the disciples here may point to the importance (or lack of importance) about the where and when of concerns like these. Jesus said to them,..."I don't know." (Matthew 24:36) That's right "I don't know."
The start of the conversation finds Jesus and the disciples going to Jerusalem. Matthew 20:17-20. He reminds them that he is going to be arrested, killed and rise from the dead after three days, they realize that the world as they have known it these past three years is quickly coming to an end. They want to know if this is the time that Jesus beings to rule. Jesus begins to recite the book of Daniel and talks about great cataclysm, war and famines. But he warns them that many will proclaim incorrectly the end of the world. He warns them that false messiahs will come.
Worried, they ask him is this the end? Jesus in essence tells them, "I don't know, its not our concern. That is only for God in heaven to know and plan on."
I thought this article might be important for us in considering this 'end of times' talk.' I hope you don't devote too much time to worrying and wondering. Leave that to the news journalists religious sensationalists to debate this. Even Jesus didn't even know when these things would take place.
Most rabbis and many Christian theologians recognize that much of what was said by Jesus here related to the time shortly after Jesus resurrection. In 70AD Jerusalem and their second temple was destroyed be the Romans and their leader Titus. The world of the Jews had come to an end. Jesus gives them two commands here (neither command concerned discerning the exact time of the end), one was to be alert Matt 24:42 so that they were spiritually prepared. And secondly, to be faithful so that his followers would continue doing the things He would ask them to do. What did he ask his followers to do? To make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) by loving them into the kingdom of God (John 13:34-35). This is what the main concern of someone who follows Jesus. Leave those things to them who like to sensationalize the news and to the religious people who like to worry about the end. Don/t follow after them. Jesus won't be there.
Remember, Jesus wants us to make disciples by loving each other and loving the world into His kingdom!