Some of the disciples asked Jesus questions regarding the signs of His Return. The Discourse by Jesus in answer to the questions which is found in Matthew 24 continues into the next chapter. Matthew 25 contains some wonderful pictures of blessing. Here Jesus told the Parable of the Talents in which the obedient and faithful servant is told he would be “ruler over many things.” There is a very similar parable in Luke chapter 19 in which the faithful servant is given “authority over ten cities.”
I am of the opinion that in Glory we will not sit on a cloud, playing a harp. I think we will have responsibilities in the Lord’s Kingdom. I think we Christians may be the new shepherds prophesied in Jeremiah 3:15 and Isaiah 30:20-21. The parables of the talents and the minas indicate the awarding of responsibilities. Some will shepherd a small group, others will shepherd a city, or five cities, or ten cities. It appears this is the meaning of the Lord’s parables in Matthew 25 and Luke 19.
Luke 17, which I believe should be included with the Olivet Discourse, tells us that two people will be in bed; one will be taken, the other will remain. Likewise, we are told that two people will be working at a mill; one will be taken, the other will remain. This speaks of an instantaneous, day and night, world-wide event. This speaks of the Rapture. The Greek word for “taken” is paralambano, which can be defined as “received.” One will be received, the other will remain. I hope you look forward to being received by the Lord as I do.
In Mark’s account of the Olivet Discourse the Lord Jesus instructs us to keep watch because we do not know when the “master” is coming. He then enumerates four watches; the evening, midnight, rooster crowing and the dawn watches. In Psalm 90, Moses tells us that with the Lord a thousand years are like a day gone by, or a watch in the night. In Matthew’s account of the Olivet Discourse Jesus gave us a wonderful hint. In the Parable of the Ten Virgins the bridegroom came at midnight! Taking the information from Moses and the information from Jesus, the bridegroom may come at midnight, or the second watch, or the second thousand years, or, in other words, about now! This hint is not surprising. “Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isaiah 42:9)
You may recall the Alphabetic Designs I recently described. These designs appear to apply to the chapters in which the Olivet Discourse is found. The 13th letter is mem, which means “revealed and concealed.” Certainly, there is much revealed and yet still concealed in Mark 13. Similarly, the 24th letter is the final form of the Hebrew letter mem, again indicating Matthew 24 contains something revealed and yet concealed. The 21st letter is the shin, which indicates “divine provision.” Luke 21 is all about the Lord’s provision for those who love Him.
There are so many layers of understanding to the Word of God. I am sure that these lessons on the Olivet Discourse have barely skimmed the surface. May the Lord be praised for the hope these passages give us. May His name be praised always!