“Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, across rom the Temple, when Peter, James, John and Andrew came to him in private. ‘Tell us when this will be’ they said, ‘and tell us what will happen to show that the time has come for all these things to take place’”.
Mk 13:3, 4 GNB
Someone once said, “The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn anything from history”. Of course, we try to. But the past does not repeat itself exactly another time. The fact is that we all would like to know what the future holds. The past has been such a miserable mess that we fear the future and yet move headlong into it anyway.
The history of Israel was always a tantalizing patchwork of hope and fear, prosperity and defeat, renewal and failure. Foreign nations were always threatening it. When the disciples asked Jesus this question Israel was even then under Roman rule, but the people were hoping against hope that their long-promised Messiah would come and liberate them.
The Bible tells us that we live in the period between the resurrection of Jesus and the end of the world. We have to live not knowing when misfortune, disaster, war or disease may overtake us. But we do know that ultimately the future is in God’s hands. This unpredictable life has to be lived in faith, knowing that God is a force superior to evil and his purposes are finally good and perfect. Thus, because Jesus has risen from the dead, we can be confident that God is finally in control – even when other factors may appear to pose a major threat. We also live in hope for God’s final fulfillment of all things.
Lord, help me always to look forward in hope.