What Jesus Did! 'The First Pains!' — Matthew 24:6-8

Sunday, November 7, 2021

[To his disciples, Jesus continued:] "And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don't panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won't follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come."
— Matthew 24:6-8 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus was saying that life in the end times would be tumultuous. Wars, famines, earthquakes would be on the earth. But these would merely be like the labor pains of a woman in childbirth. The disciples were not to become frightened or disoriented. The Lord who reigns, the Lord who would conquer, was still in control and things would happen at his command. Nothing would be left to chance. The Evil One was not in ultimate control. While these events would anticipate the downfall of Jerusalem, they would be only the beginning of the end.

The disciples were not to be afraid. The Lord who would pass through death, the Lord who would triumph over crucifixion, is Lord of all. They would not go where he hadn't been before. No, they were to go about doing what they were supposed to do. They were to be alert! They were to be ready! They were to be faithful!

But, was Jesus talking merely about the fall of Jerusalem or about the end of time? It mattered to those who lived through the destruction of Jerusalem, but the point is basically the same for us whether Jesus was talking about a major disaster or The Major Disaster. We are to be faithful and ready and unafraid. He will not forget, abandon, or leave us. When he comes in glory, we will share in it too! We are to be faithful, ready, and unafraid!

Today's Prayer

O Lord, Master and God of all time, the one and only God who dwells above time, give me a sense of hope, a heart of patience, and an eye of expectancy as I await your deliverance, whether it is from the problems that press around me now or it is the ultimate deliverance of your return! Marantha! O Lord, come in glory. In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5
  • Jeremiah 7:1-11
  • Hebrews 10:35-39

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of Matthew 24:6-8 NLT —  But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.