As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?” (13:3-4).
“But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance,” (13:23).
When our children were young, as any loving parents would do, my husband and I made a concerted effort to prepare them for life. One of the conscious decisions we made together was to communicate with our children, not on a need-to-know basis, but in advance. We wanted our daughter and son to be equipped with the needed tools for whatever situation arose. The midst of a trial or temptation is not the time to frantically search for a safe route. Advance training is a crucial compass in enabling successful navigation through the stormy waters of life.
As earthly parents, we did the best we could with our limited knowledge of what lie ahead for both our children.
Jesus, unlimited in wisdom, lovingly prepared His own and Told Us in Advance all we need to forge ahead in faith and victory as we await His glorious return.
Consider Him Who Told Us in Advance
- He Told Us in Advance so we would not be misled. And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you,” (13:5).
- He Told Us in Advance so we would understand the beginning of the end. “For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs,” (13:8).
- He Told Us in Advance so we would be on guard, knowing what to expect. “But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them,” (13:9).
- He Told Us in Advance so we would not worry but depend on His Holy Spirit.“When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit,” (13:11).
- He Told Us in Advance so we would endure though hated. “You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved,” (13:13).
- He Told Us in Advance so we would live carefully prepared.“But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance,” (13:23).
- He Told Us in Advance so we would look for His coming in the clouds. “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory,” (13:26).
- He Told Us in Advance so we would learn the parable of the fig tree. “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door,” (13:28-29).
- He Told Us in Advance so we would believe His Words. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away,” (13:31).
- He Told Us in Advance so we would trust Him with the unknown.“But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone,” (13:32).
- He Told Us in Advance so we would take heed and keep on the alert. “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come… 35 Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming… 37 What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’” (13:33-37).
How do we respond to What He Told in Advance?
- Jesus, our perfect parent and teacher, Told Us in Advance to prepare us to live as aliens and strangers in this world.
- “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you,” (John 15:18-19).
- “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world,” (John 17:16).
- For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; (Philippians 3:20).
- Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul, (1 Peter 2:11).
Jesus Told Us in Advance what to expect and what to look for. We are to trust His Holy Spirit and His Word in order to endure to the end and understand the times. Through His enabling power we are to keep on the alert and be ready for His coming!
He has given us all we need to successfully navigate through this temporary journey we call life.
To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust, (2 Peter 1:1-4).
In order to take heed of what He Told Us in Advance, we must consistently spend time with Him in His Word and depend on His Holy Spirit to give understanding, and obey His commands.
As we depend on His Holy Spirit and take heed to obey all He Told Us in Advance, He is faithful to empower us to diligently apply ourselves to grow in our faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. It is His work; and as we are enabled by His Holy Spirit and His Word, we will live alert and fruitful lives to be ready when He comes!
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, (2 Peter 1:5-8).