2.12 We are to Understand that Christ is Coming Soon

2.12 We are to understand that Jesus is coming soon- quite apart from our interpretation of prophecy, we must live our lives as men who are awaiting the return of their Lord at any moment.

Loving Our Brethren

The Lord warned the Jews that they were not discerning the signs of their times as they ought to- i.e. they were not paying heed to the imminence of the day of the Lord which was to come in AD70, and neither were they perceiving that Israel's king was in fact amongst them. He went straight on to tell them a parable about the need to agree with our brother, because they were on their way to judgment. He links these two themes, of their not discerning the signs of the times and their disagreement with their brother, with the question: " And why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?" (Lk. 12:56-59). He seems to be saying that their discernment of the signs of the times was to be connected with their discernment of the need for love and forgiveness of their brother. The same basic link is found in Heb. 10:25, where we are exhorted to meet together and encourage one another " and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" . The sense that the day is drawing near should find expression in the love and care we show towards our brethren. The Lord exhorts to agree with our adversary quickly, whilst we are on the way to judgment- and He says this in the context of warning us to be reconciled with our brother (Mt. 5:23,25). In the light of approaching judgment there is an urgency about our need for reconciliation both with our brother and thereby with God (is He the " adversary" in the parable?).

Israel should have been just and not abusive of their brethren, precisely because " my salvation is near to come" (Is. 56:1). We are to do righteousness, , because God's righteousness is about to be revealed (Is. 56:1 RV). We seek to live the Kingdom life now, seeing we will so soon, by grace, be living it anyway.

If we live with the awareness that the Lord could return at any moment, then we will live in a way which involves doing and thinking and saying things, of which we would not be ashamed were the Lord to return whilst we are doing them. Job reflected: “If I scorned the rights of my servant… what would I do if God appeared? If he questioned me, what could I answer?” (Job 31:13,14 Stephen Mitchell’s translation). Living in the knowledge of the Lord’s return at any moment will radically affect our way of being and living.

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