Summary: A sermon on the imperative need for a consistant prayer life in the spiritual disciplines of a believer.
Message begins with a tie in to the previous message:
Last week Matthew 21:12-13 (read)
- Jesus in the temple not happy with what it had become, and what it wasn’t
- The Next Day – Jesus curses a fig tree, and spends some time teaching in parables
- He is challenged by the Pharisees and the Sadducees on taxes and the resurrection
- He preaches a message to the crowds that my Bible labels - “Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees”
How’s that for a confrontational teaching?
- Then, with His heart broken by all He has seen, He laments over Jerusalem
- Read Matthew 23:37-38
That brings us to chapter 24. While getting ready to leave the city, Jesus’ disciples are marveling over the beauty of the temple, and Jesus sees an open door for some teaching.
This teaching will later take on the label “The Olivet Discourse”:
He begins to teach about the end of the age, the tribulation and His second coming
In here is teaching that is pivotal in some of the pre- and post-tribulation debates
Another sign of my aging is my increasing interest in such reflections
i.e. Matthew 24:29, an anchor verse for post-tribulation (read through v. 31)
i.e. Mathew 24:37 (read through v. 41)
A question for reflection: In the days of Noah, who disappeared?
But before we get too side tracked this morning. Regardless of pre-trib, post-trib, pre-millennial, post-millennial, a-millennial or just plain Kentuckian, when Jesus speaks of the end of the age He has some instruction and advice that He gives to the disciples.
Now, can we all agree that we are closer to the end of the age, to Jesus return then we were 50 years ago? Amen?
Then it would be wise for us to take notice of, and head Jesus’ advice in this passage. And this is what He tells the disciples. Matthew 24:42 (read through 44).
Jesus tells the disciples, and I believe us today, that we are to stay awake. Or as other versions translate it, watch. This is derived from the Greek: gray-gor-yoo-o (repeat)
The Meaning of grayporgyooo: to give strict attention to, to be cautious, to take heed lest some calamity overtake you.
It would become a word the disciples would become very familiar with over the next few days. Turn with me to Matthew 26:36 (read through verse 46 – highlighting phrases)
“Watch and Pray” – Redundancy for emphasis
Jesus establishes a connection that will continue –
Colossians 4:2 (read)
Highlight - I Thessalonians 5:6 (Be watchful) & 17 (Pray continually)
In fact, more than simply connected, I would suggest they are almost synonymous.
Praying is the way that we keep watch. Praying is keeping watch.
Another end-times passage: Mark 13:32 (read through verse 37)
If meant literally, we would all be falling asleep on the job, right? Obviously Jesus is not telling us we have to literally stay awake at all times. Never going to sleep. Instead, he is referring to a spiritual state of mind. A spiritual awareness. A spiritual preparedness. A spiritual watchfulness. And as we have seen from this language connecting these two words, that comes through prayer.