“It’s the end of the world as we know it….and I feel fine.” ~ REM
Our passage this week is Luke 17:20-37, where Jesus talks about the end! (For the rest of this blog post I dare you not to hum “its the end of the world as we know it” by REM. If you DO start humming, welcome to my world where that has been a constant ear-worm for the last three days)
Jesus is asked about the timing of the kingdom of God’s arrival by the Pharisees. They are questioning his role as a possible messiah. They have things worked out very neatly in their theological training…they’ve probably got charts…and they want to know where all the armies and slaughter of Romans they thought would come with Messiah and the end of the age. Jesus responds about signs…what does he say, and what do YOU take from that?
He next turns to his disciples and warns them that things may get rough…and people will come declaring they know the timetable and location of the end game. How does he say we should react and respond to them? What does THAT tell us about fixating on end-time hoopla?
The next thing Jesus does is compare the end to two different stories of divine cataclysmic judgment in the Old Testament – Noah’s flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. What does he say characterized those days preceding that sudden judgment? Do they read like “signs” of impending doom? What WAS there to tell people in Noah’s day that and end was coming and something new would be in it’s place (hint: two specific characters)? What does THAT tell us about what we should focus on concerning intrigue about the end of history? There is a sign of God’s in-breaking kingdom and it’s the most important one to each of us individually…to see it, look in a mirror.
I hope you can join us this Sunday as we examine this fascinating passage in Luke!