Certainly, when we read this passage with the approach of Christmas, it does not leave us with that warm, fuzzy, baby-in-a-manger feeling. In fact, D.A. Carson, a New Testament scholar, says, “Few chapters of the Bible have called forth more disagreement among interpreters” than this one. Jesus speaks to his disciples of destruction and desolation in the city of Jerusalem and the land of Judea, of false prophets and martyrdom.
But in amongst this talk is an encouragement to watch for signs of Jesus Christ among this distress. This encouragement comes to the disciples after his resurrection, but before his ascension into heaven. We know they are looking for immediate answers to the question of, “How will we know You when we see You?.”
What if this is an encouragement for us, as we enter this season of Advent, to be watchful for signs of the presence of Christ in and among our own season of stress, hustle, and bustle? Where do we see signs that a tiny Savior is to be born? We are blessed to not be threatened with the impending destruction that the disciples were being warned about; however, we have other stressors during this busy season. What signs of the birth of the Son of God are we able to see?
Let us pray:
Heavenly Father, how wonderful you are to provide us with signs of your presence. We confess that we allow ourselves to become so distracted at times that we fail to see you. We thank you for giving us this season of Advent to prepare for your arrival and ask that you prepare our hearts for your coming. Amen.