Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Friday, 19 August 2016

The day of decision (Matthew 16:27)

Once more Jesus calls himself the Son of Man, a reference to the prophecy in Daniel 7 of the Messiah receiving universal authority. In the context he adds another detail to what he has mentioned in verse 21. There he listed what would happen to him in Jerusalem. Now he informs them about an activity he will engage in after his resurrection. He does not indicate how soon or how distant this appearance will be. But we can say that he knew where he was going and what he would be doing?

What will Jesus have on that day? He mentions two things. One is the angels and the other is glory. With regard to the angels, they are said to be ‘his angels’. Of course, this could be a reference to his deity because as God he owns everything. But it is also a reminder of the extent of his exaltation that the most powerful creatures are his agents.

What role will the angels have on that day? One way of answering the question is to think of them as an army – the heavenly host. We are used to soldiers in times of crisis helping some people and capturing and imprisoning others. In a way, that is a picture of what angels will do when Jesus returns. They will gather together God’s people and they will also be the ones that ensure the wicked enter the place of punishment. The question to ask ourselves is, ‘Will we be glad to meet an angel on that day?’

Jesus will also come in the glory of his Father. This describes his appearance and his activity. Glory includes splendour and the activity he will perform will be to judge the world. This is going to be the occasion when every knee will bow to Jesus and listen to what he has to stay. It will be awesome sight. 

I wonder what Peter thought as he heard this. Did he say to himself, ‘I wonder what Jesus will look like on that day? I know have done wrong in speaking to him the way that I did. I do love him, but my love should be expressed in serving him, not in advising him. I am glad that I can make my peace with the Judge before the Judgment Day comes.’ Or maybe, he resolved to be more careful with his words and to take up the cross of discipleship and follow Jesus as close as he could.

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