Don’t Worry

Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:1-8)

The world always has trouble. The disciples asked Jesus three questions. First, they wanted to know what Jesus meant by the destruction of the temple. Second, they asked about the sign of his “coming.” And finally, they asked about the end of the age.

The disciples were not thinking about the second coming of Jesus. When they asked about his “coming,” they were wondering when he’d come into his kingdom and take the throne of David. When they wondered about the end of the age, they wanted to know “when will this age of Roman domination over Israel” end?

So the disciples were a bit puzzled by Jesus’ answers. Jesus began by explaining about his “coming.” He warned of false messiahs offering false hope. He warned that the disasters of war and earthquake were merely the beginning of sorrows.

Since Jesus spoke those words to is disciples in the last week before his crucifixion, the pattern of the world he described has continued without end. The endless wars and endless natural disasters have merely been the beginning of our sorrows. Life has problems in it. Such ordinary problems—even big things like wars and earthquakes—do not mean that God is about to end the world. Life continues despite disasters and God is in control. Jesus told us not to be troubled by any of it.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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