Matthew 24

Matthew 24: 1-2

1Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2Do you see all these things? he asked. Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.

Comment: We may like to think that Jesus in these verses was merely prophesying about the future. Yet what he could have been doing in reality was passing judgement on Israel and its temple. Jesus, as the Son of God, was given authority over man kind and was authorised to judge.

This judgement, He was either passing by proxy (representing God almighty), or directly through him. Although Jesus, in that historical period,  didn’t come to judge but to save (John 3:17: For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him), the Bible also states in Mathew 25: 31-33, that in another historical period (probably at the end of time), He will be sitting on the throne to judge the living and the dead 31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 The people of every nation will be gathered in front of him. He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right but the goats on his left.”

The reason why this judgement was often taken as a prediction is the fact that Jesus didn’t utter his speech through a form of prayer for some sort like Ellijah did for example in 2Kings 1:10 ” Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.” or when Jesus himself cursed the fig tree by saying in Mark 11: “14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.”

Nevertheless,  Jesus explained in many places in the New Testament that He has the authority to speak to things directly without the need to pray to the Father first, because the authority of Sonship was already given to him, once and for all. In fact, in Matthew 17:20, He even passes this power to speak directly into things to his disciples, and probably through them, to all followers. He said: “…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

It’s true that in other places in the Bible, Jesus states that if you “ask … it will be given to you“; if you “seek … you will find“; and if you “knock … the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7), still we notice here (Math17) that He has taken the concept of asking and seeking to another level. Jesus has given the followers a direct authority over things and situations through faith.

So, why Jesus Himself keeps asking the Father to intervene in various situations, in several places of the New Testament?

I believe that the answer dwells in John 11: 41-42. When Jesus was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, He spoke to the Father. What He said then was not the usual sort of prayer that you would expect in such situation. Jesus said:  “41 So they took away the stone. Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you that you have listened to me. 42 I knew that you always listen to me, but I said this for the sake of the crowd standing around here, that they may believe that you sent me.

It is interesting to see that Jesus was using the past tense to thank God for something that has already been done for him, while the man was still lying dead before him! This shows that the will of the Son is always the same as that of the Father. When Jesus first willed to raise Lazarus, while he was still away from Bethany ” 40 … across the Jordan River … where John had been baptising at an earlier time…(John10), It was already decreed that Lazarus will be raised from the dead the moment Jesus opens the tomb.

The other reason is that Jesus only asked to give glory to God in front of the crowd, to draw people to the Father, not to himself, in a time where the relationship between Son and Father was not fully revealed to the public.

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