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History (repeatedly) foretold (4)

(AD 30) “And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the chosen those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look and see, here is the Christ [the God-anointed answer to your problems]!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen. Look and see, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look and see, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look and see, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” Matthew 24: 22-28
 
It’s rather good isn’t it when we can listen to someone telling us the future – and then be able to check it out. The day before he was crucified in Jerusalem in AD 30 Jesus gave a forecast to his followers. He set out, for them, the future. It’s now nearly 2000 years later. Was he right?

Back then Jesus had had his attention drawn to Jerusalem’s magnificent new Temple. He was unimpressed and foretold its destruction. That fall would come about, Jesus said, through, to use his words, “the abominable thing to which desolation belongs”. See previous Info.

What this abominable cause of destruction and devastation actually is – is for each of us to decide. My own thoughts have been influenced by the word underlined in bold above and used four times by Jesus – the Greek word idou meaning “Look and see....”.

 
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Self-will is so keen and active that it will break a world in pieces to make a stool to sit on.’ (Anon.)...
Looking at – and seeing – Syria today, the abominable thing which has destroyed – and is continuing to destroy it might well be the self-interest of all the parties in conflict there. Look and see Hitler. Was he inflamed with self-interest? Was that destructive? Look and see the First World War. All nations involved were motivated by determined self-interest. 17 million died and 20 million were wounded. Self-interest aims for prosperity – and is destructive.

Matthew, Jesus’ first century eye-witness biographer (see bold above), adds that Jesus said that this abominable destructive force would from time to time be cut short – otherwise nobody would be left on earth. Thankfully Hitler and others like him in past centuries are no more; they’ve been cut short. But others have arisen. Stalin. Pol Pot.

Jesus said this, describing this serious human problem: “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” Wherever self-interest is cut short, others arise whose self-interest is attracted by rich pickings of power.

Today, are you able to identify self-interested people claiming to be the answer to all our national (or global) problems today? Are they powerful – able to do the seeming impossible? Able to bring annihilation to millions? Able to bring prosperity to those they lead?

Jesus also said to his disciples that when those forces – and other opposing similar forces – are using their supporters to recruit you to their cause, are trying to get you to follow them, don’t go. They will also give false promises. They will be liars. Don’t believe it. 

False promises? They’re so 21st century, aren’t they? The leaders of all Western countries (and Jersey) are promising prosperity. Do they really have the power to produce it, achieve it – or even definitely avoid the opposite? 

 
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‘It is the desiring of one’s own way which leads to every other sin in the world.’ (Donald Grey Barnhouse, pastor, 1895-1960 )
What a contrast with Jesus. Within a few hours of these warnings to his followers he was killed by the self-seeking Jewish and Roman authorities. Why did he allow that to take place? Why did he not allow his own self-interest to dominate him?

This man was in no way self-seeking. He had decided to go under the self-seeking powers of this world. He only and always did the will of His Father above. Never destructive of others, he healed a strengthless 39-years-paralysed man, he cured the inwardly polluted lepers, and he restored to a poor widow her dead only son.

That day in Jerusalem, looking at the wonderful Temple which would fall into desolation in AD 70, Jesus said “For as the lightning goes out from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” “Look and see, I have told you beforehand.” 

When you look and see can you indeed see Jesus the Son of Man? When you do it’s like a lightning flash in a destructively self-interested world.

 
Sinner Syvret

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