Session #143 All Must Know
Scripture Matthew 24:36-44
Summary In Matthew 24:36-44, when Jesus said that “no one knows”, what exactly did He mean? Although clearly communicated, this has caused considerable confusion within the Body of Christ. For some, it’s a closed case. For others, it’s a clue. Careful. That in end-time discussions about knowing or not knowing, we do not end up missing what all must know.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:36–44
When Jesus said that “no one knows”, what exactly did He mean? Although clearly communicated, this has caused considerable confusion within the Body of Christ. We must be careful that in the end-time discussions about knowing or not knowing, we do not end up missing what all must know. Let us dive more deeply into Jesus’ answer in Matthew 24:36-44 so that we do not miss what He wants all of us to know.
No One Knows (Matthew 24:36)
The phrase ‘of that day and hour no one knows’ in Matthew 24:36 is a figure of speech. It refers more to a state of readiness and preparedness for when it finally happens, than for one to be preoccupied with when it may happen.
We may not know the day or the hour but we can be aware of the times and the seasons. Paul seems to suggest this in 1 Thessalonians 5:1 and that they are ‘not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake (us) as a thief’ (1 Thessalonians 5:4). However, to discern the times correctly, many of us are tracking modern Israel (leaves in parable of fig tree) and Daniel’s 70th week (Daniel 9:27) and end up year-setting and year-guessing. This may distract us from what Jesus truly wants us to know.
We think that if we knew, we would live more circumspectly and be more prepared. Jesus knows that if we knew when He was returning, we would wait until the last moment to be ready. Instead, Jesus lets us know how it will be before His return and not what we want to know – the time of His return.
The focus of the passage is that all must know how to be ready and prepared for His return: Readiness and preparedness is characterised by watchfulness that leads to faithfulness.
Jesus provides two illustrations to make this point even clearer..
Illustration 1: Noah and Flood (Matthew 24:37-42, Genesis 6)
In Genesis 6:11-12, the days of Noah were like the present evil age, a wicked and adulterous generation. ‘The days before the flood’ describes the times before Jesus’ return where people are going about life as usual (Matthew 24:38). ‘Eating and drinking’ is also a phrase used to describe sinful and idolatrous living (Exodus 32:6-8, 1 Corinthians 10:7). The main point is that many were oblivious to the coming flood in Noah’s time. In the same way, many will be oblivious and distracted, going about life as usual, in sinful and idolatrous living until the Day of the Lord.
The illustration then zooms in to two categories of people in Matthew 24:40-41 – the righteous and the wicked. We may ask ‘which is taken and which is left?’ Read in context that ‘the flood came and took them away’, this most likely refers to the removal of all in this present evil age to judgement. The more critical question should be ‘which of the two categories do we belong to?’ All must know that there is no middle ground and we need to watch and be ready (Matthew 24:42).
Illustration 2: Housemaster and Thief (Matthew 24:43-44)
In Matthew 24:43, the coming of Jesus is likened to the unexpected coming of a thief. In Jeremiah 49:9-10, the thief imagery is used to describe divine judgement. We are repeatedly warned to be watchful, alert, disciplined and sober (Revelation 3:2-3, 16:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:2,6; 2 Peter 3:10,14)
Jesus is reminding us to know what we need to know. Readiness is not determined by how accurately you can predict the date and time of Jesus’ return. Instead, all must know: Readiness and preparedness is characterised by watchfulness that leads to faithfulness (Matthew 24:44).
Implications: Awakened. Aligned. Assigned.
The main idea is that everyone needs to know and must know how to be ready and prepared. In Archippus Awakening, we express this in three key words: Awakened. Aligned. Assigned.
The word “watch” is better translated as “be awake and alert”. Sadly, too many are asleep in churches, unaware of what is happening and the signs of the times. Hence, the Lord’s instruction to awaken the saints through the 11th hour message of Archippus Awakening.
After the awakening, comes aligning. When we are awakened, we will begin to notice the different aspects of our lives that require alignment with Jesus and His kingdom. We are to watch and guard against careless and aimless living (Luke 21:34-36), false and deceptive teachings (Matthew 24) and our heart and our walk (Romans 12:1-2).
As we focus on the aligning. God will do the assigning. The more aligned we are with the heart of the King, the clearer we will be with the purposes of the King and His kingdom. This leads to knowing and fulfilling of kingdom assignments. When talking about end times, we are to discern and not be distracted by the signs and times so that we can be fully engaged in our assigned tasks (Mark 13:32-37).
All must know and fulfil their God-given kingdom assignments (Colossian 4:17)
Watchfulness is an attitude and posture for all as we go about our kingdom assignments(Mark 13:37).
Jesus’ 5th and final discourse is about Kingdom Readiness for the return of the King.
His return will be sudden and unexpected. Clearly, we are not called to determine the day or the hour; but to discern the times and the seasons that we may be ready and prepared to give account for how we have lived when He does return.
All must know that readiness and preparedness involves being awake, watchful, alert, focused, disciplined and obedient. To be awakened, aligned and assigned.
All must know: Readiness and preparedness is characterised by watchfulness that leads to faithfulness.