The Parable of the Appointed Time

19 Sep

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In Luke 12:54-56 Jesus criticizes the Jewish people of his generation for not knowing the time in which they lived. That is they didn’t discern the gravity of the moment. They simply let it go by without consideration. They knew when to expect rain or a hot day, but they simply didn’t reflect upon what had already occurred in their presence, in terms of interpreting John the Baptist’s coming and teaching, as well as Jesus own teaching and miracles. They should have known they were living in the last days of the Mosaic Covenant (Deuteronomy 31:29) and the beginning of the times of the Messiah (Deuteronomy 18:15), which would be the time of the New Covenant as predicted by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-33).

Jesus said this was the appointed time (kairos – G2540; cf. Luke 12:56). It was not simply the chronology of time the people didn’t discern. They didn’t consider or take into account the specific time or the appointed time that Moses referred to in Deuteronomy 4:30-31. There he told the people, as they assembled before him just prior to their entering the Promised Land, that in the latter days they would be oppressed, referring to their time of oppression in Egypt. Moses told them, if they turned to the Lord and became obedient, the Lord would be merciful and accept them. However, when the Messiah, who would be like Moses, would come (Deuteronomy 18:15), if the people didn’t hearken unto him and obey his voice, their rejection of him and their disobedience of his commands would be required of them (Deuteronomy 18:19). In other words, a lack of consideration of the times of which Jesus spoke, would bring judgment upon the nation.

Speaking of this very time, Jesus said to his disciples:

And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (Luke 10:23-24)

In other words, Jesus told his disciples that the times in which they lived were the times which kings and prophets longed to see, but they were unable. Peter would write later that it was revealed to the prophets of old that they prophesied not unto their generation but the generation of the first century AD (1Peter 1:10-12). So, this is how Peter interpreted what Jesus told his disciples in Luke 10:23-24. Should we interpret it differently? If so, by what authority? The time has come when we, too, must decide whether we should believe and obey Jesus or what men say about what Jesus said – i.e. the traditions of men.

Moses pointed to the time of Jesus (Deuteronomy 18:15-19), saying that time would be a peculiar season, when a choice, a momentous decision, would be required of the Jews. It would come in the latter days of their history (Deuteronomy 4:30-31), when they would be oppressed by their enemies (Deuteronomy 31:29). How can we, in our modern days, believe that these days of which both Moses and Jesus spoke, i.e. the last days, refer to us? Isn’t it the height of arrogance to believe that the momentous claims of God’s word must refer to our day, as though, we, of all people who ever lived, are that important? The point is: the Bible is a book about the history of the Jewish people. Wouldn’t logic tells us that any mention of latter days would have to refer to them—the people of the Book? Shouldn’t the last days refer to the Jews’ last days rather than to us in our day? The latter days or the end of the age, in as much as I can tell, refers to the Jews and their covenantal relationship with God.

Therefore, if the latter days and end of the age doesn’t refer to “the end of time” (something of which the Bible does not speak) or the end of the Gospel age (something about which the Bible says would never end), then these terms **must** refer to the first century AD and to the end of God’s covenantal relationship with the Jews of Jesus’ generation (cf. Matthew 23:36; 24:34) who refused to accept him as their Messiah. In such a context the end would have occurred cir. 70 AD, and any futuristic eschatology that we hear expounded today is categorically and fundamentally WRONG. That is, any foretelling of a future coming of Jesus in our day would be preached by a false prophet. Jesus’ Second Coming was in the first century AD.

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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Gospel of Luke


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