A constant attitude

Matthew 24:23-35

What did Jesus mean when he said “this generation will not pass away until these things have taken place”? Well, there is an abundant supply of words to help answer that. Or you may begin reading them and find they offer no help!

“The Bible was written for you, not to you.” That’s a teaching I keep at the forefront of my mind as I study the Bible. It’s from a Bible scholar whose work I appreciate. It means when we read the ancient words of scripture we must keep in mind to whom they were first written. The message meant something to them first. And it includes images, word plays and assumptions that may be lost to us. So, we do our best to learn the context of what we read.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the Bible has nothing to say to us. It does. As we seek to learn how the Bible first spoke to its original audience, we, then, learn how it speaks to us today. It was written to them, but also written for us.

So, I assume the disciples had questions about “this generation.” I would love to know how they struggled with that title. What did they make of it? How confused were they? We’ll never know, but that’s part of learning to read the Bible.

And what might Jesus’ words speak for us today?

Jesus used generation before to describe an unbelieving attitude of people. He spoke of a particular people, religious leaders. We have different titles and ways of leading in the church today, but we still have that same kind of attitude. That generation wasn’t going anywhere until the end. We learn, then, how to faithfully live out our calling even though that attitude is still around.

People will try to lead us away from God’s kingdom priority. They may use loud shouts of disapproval or employ more subtle means of distraction. But the words of Jesus will not pass away. They are there to inspire and to encourage us. They will, hopefully, convict us at times and motivate us to greater faith and discipleship.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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